Insurance Plan of London North North West District Vol. D: Key Plan
1 : 10560
This "key plan" indicates coverage of the Goad 1892 series of fire insurance maps of London that were originally produced to aid insurance companies in assessing fire risks. The building footprints, their use (commercial, residential, educational, etc.), the number of floors and the height of the building, as well as construction materials (and thus risk of burning) and special fire hazards (chemicals, kilns, ovens) were documented in order to estimate premiums. Names of individual businesses, property lines, and addresses were also often recorded. Together these maps provide a rich historical shapshot of the commercial activity and urban landscape of towns and cities at the time.
The British Library holds a comprehensive collection of fire insurance plans produced by the London-based firm Charles E. Goad Ltd. dating back to 1885. These plans were made for most important towns and cities of the British Isles at the scales of 1:480 (1 inch to 40 feet), as well as many foreign towns at 1:600 (1 inch to 50 feet).
Chas E Goad Limited
Chas E Goad Limited
Detail from OSD 152 (Hampstead)
1 : 31680
The individual settlements that make up this area of London are shown by red blocks, with boundary lines indicating the fields separating them. Shading and soft interlining indicate relief, neatly illustrated at Primrose Hill, the summit of which is left bare. The barracks at the edge of Hyde Park are illustrated at the very bottom of the map. The dark blue-black line running from West Drayton to Brentford and Paddington is the Grand Junction Canal. This was London's principal link to the rest of Britain's canals, allowing the passage of goods to and from the industrial towns of the North and Midlands. Hyett includes a ground plan of Kenwood House in Hampstead, showing a level of detail much greater than might be expected from a map with a scale of two inches-to-the-mile.
This map of London was produced for the 1832 Reform Bill that established the metropolitan boroughs. The map's title features along the top; with a compass star at top right, an explanatory note at bottom right. At bottom left is a list of the 'liberties' of the city - the name given to areas exempt from the jurisdiction of the country sheriff, being subject to a separate commission of the peace (in this case royal and governmental authorities). The new boroughs are highlighted in colour, with the shaded area representing the old boundaries of London, Westminster and Southwark.
Dawson, Lieut. Robert K.
LONDON AND ITS ENVIRONS LEVELS TAKEN BY ORDER OF THE COMMISSIONERS OF SEWERS
The cholera outbreaks of the 1830s and 1840s forced the government to make drastic improvements to the methods of drainage and sewage disposal in London. A Metropolitan Commission of Sewers was charged with the central task of unifying the existing piecemeal drainage system and forming a plan for a completely new one. A new map showing the levels of the land to be drained was needed for this. In March 1848, officers of the Royal Engineers began to prepare stations for triangulation. Observation posts were set up on one of the towers of Westminster Abbey and over the cross of St Paul's. This map is the result of the survey, showing the relative altitude of the land, a necessary preamble to planning drainage systems, as sewage can only be washed away downhill.