Bringing historical maps to life
Bath has a long and interesting history. Historical maps can give us a window into that history, letting us explore how the city has changed and grown over the years. The earliest historical maps of the city date to the 16th and 17th century (the "early modern" period).
Until recently the majority of these maps have only been accessible in offline archives or owned by private collectors. While some have been digitised they have not been made openly available, making it difficult for the majority of people to access them. Until now.
The British Library and B&NES council have recently published several digitised maps of Bath available online under an open licence. To make those maps useful and easy to explore we've aligned the old maps with their modern equivalents so that you can explore them using Google Earth. This means you can now explore maps dating from 1572 from your own computer.
We think this provides an amazing digital resource for local residents, teachers, historians or anyone with an interest in the history of Bath.
This video provides a preview of what is now possible. As well as exploring individual maps to compare them with the model city, it is also possible to compare individual maps, providing a fascinating way to explore the development of the city.
Exploring the maps in your browser
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Download and use the maps
If you'd like to download and use the maps yourself, then we've provided a dataset that provides information about each map along with download links so you can explore and use the images yourself.