The Charles Close Society for the study of Ordnance Survey maps

Digital Images Archive

Six-inch Yorkshire sheet 231 - Unfinished Impression

1st edition sheets of the West Riding of Yorkshire seem to have been made available in an unfinished state. Two examples are known that are coloured and mounted by the Manchester agent Hansbrow in book-fold covers with additional material folding out from the left-hand leaf - in this instance Examples for the Characters of the Writing. It is sometimes stated that these pre-publication copies were to assist geologists in their investigations, but it seems unlikely that geologists would have wanted the parishes colour-washed as we see here.

Necessarily, any pre-publication copy will have the publication date left blank. In this instance, the lower marginalia are wholly missing: the odd marks that are visible are possibly offsets from other copies. It will be observed also that the sheet number, top-right, is only engraved in hair-line. Note also the blind-stamp, dated 7 Feb 1854, with the words UNFINISHED IMPRESSION.

What makes it unfinished is the complete absence of contours. (Some years later, the Survey would issue uncontoured sheets routinely as an Advance Edition.) Specimens are also known with the contours stopping just short of the neatline, presumably because the adjoining sheet(s) had not yet been contoured and it was important that the contours should run smoothly from one sheet to the next. But the most important aspect of this sheet is that it shows an earlier state of railway development than any other known specimen, with 'Halifax Station' as a terminus to the south of the town.