The Charles Close Society for the study of Ordnance Survey maps

Digital Images Archive

227. Ten mile map of the World: the Dublin sheet (CCSA.CCS_218B_67/7)

The background to the proposed Ordnance Survey ten-mile map of the world is best summarised in ‘Tomorrow the World : Sir Henry James’ Map of the World at Ten Miles to an Inch’, a paper presented by Ian Mumford and Peter K. Clark at the 11th International Conference on the History of Cartography, Ottawa, Canada in July 1985. There is a copy in the Charles Close Society Archives at CCSA.BWA_332_2/1. Fifteen sheets covering part of North America were engraved, and a further six zincographs of Europe, each measuring 5º of latitude by 4º of longitude. All these sheets are to be found in the British Library, North America at Maps 69915(99), Europe at Maps 1030(368).

What is not present there is this unpublished pull from the plate of the Dublin sheet, engraved in Dublin in 1867, held at one time in the Ordnance Survey Office, Phoenix Park, Dublin. This poor image is taken from an old 35mm slide, but if nothing else it demonstrates how three sheets with extrusions on graticule sheet lines would have been required to cover the island. The copper plates in which these sheets were being engraved, each 6º of longitude wide rather than the North American and European standard 4º, are now in the National Archives of Ireland at OS/106. The northern plate was engraved twice: the first has the five miles of the Antrim coast lying east of 6ºW as an extrusion, and also a coastal outline of the Hebrides added in Southampton in 1869. This was omitted on the second, following a comment on 1 November 1869 in a letter from Cameron in Southampton to Wilkinson in Dublin that ‘…for the other containing the Down & Antrim coast I have no use, as the part of England [!] which comes in the Sheet has been engraved in another plate.’ The third plate, east of the Dublin sheet, is the least developed. It was engraved in 1867 and covers the Irish area only with a complete graticule and border, but no marginalia. One assumes it would have been sent to Southampton for the addition of the British area, which would have extended as far as the Greenwich meridian.