Old Maps

Although I lived on Unst from birth and through my teenage years, and although my father and his father before him were postmen on Unst, I don’t recognise all the house names that I find when working through the old census records. Helpfully, the houses are recorded in areas so the neighbouring houses are next to each other on the census returns.

I found a great site on the web which provides online, zoom-able maps from way back. The specific ones I’ve been using are the
Ordnance Survey Maps – 25 inch 1st edition, Scotland, 1855-1882. Easiest way to start is to use the graphic index to work out what page you want and then open it from the list directly.

This a photo of the area that the map below shows. It shows the house I grew up in, in the foreground. I’ve tried to indicate the direction in which the photo was taken on the map. Click on the map to go straight to the zoom-able version on the NLS website.

A view of Uyeasound, Unst

A view of Uyeasound with Clivocast croft house in the foreground.
Photo Source: Shetland Museum

Map of Clivocast, Uyeasound, Unst

Map showing the direction the above photo was taken in. Click on the map to go to the zoom-able version on the NLS website

Beware, these old maps are addictive, you can lose hours scrolling around looking at places you recognise!

3 thoughts on “Old Maps

  1. I agree with you. It also can bring to life the world our ancestors lived in. With a little imagination and an open heart we can visualize their environment and feel a little closer.

    • I love seeing who were their neighbours; how close the nearest house was or how isolated. I’ve spent a lot of time walking on Unst and looking not only at the ruins of old houses, but also taking in what their views were too, and trying to imagine the people living in that setting.

Morag would love to hear what you think. Leave a comment here.

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