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Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington

Search Interactive Maps

Our GIS (Geographic Information System) interactive mapping system lets you overlay a variety of historical Ordnance Survey maps and aerial photograph surveys onto present day maps.

Use the GIS to study the history of County Durham's landscape and its development from the mid-nineteenth century onwards.

Background maps

You can view two sets of background maps, aerial and historic.

Aerial

The aerial photography layers cover the current County Durham boundary area.

Four layers are available:

Layer title

Description

Aerial 2016

Current aerial photography from Bluesky with a most recent flight-year of 2016. A portion of this will be re-flown in 2018.

Aerial 2011

Historical aerial photography from Bluesky with a most recent flight-year of 2011

Aerial 2001

Historical aerial photography flown in 2001

Aerial 1940

Historical aerial photography maps of County Durham from the MoD archives

Historic

The historical map layers are based on the 6 inch to 1 mile or 1:10560 scale Ordnance Survey (OS) County Series surveys produced for County Durham between 1854 and 1942, and the 1:10000 scale National Grid Series surveys produced from 1957 onwards.

The historical mapping covers the boundary of County Durham before 1974 (between the rivers Tyne and Tees) plus the area covered by Startforth Rural District in North Yorkshire before 1974, which now lies within the current boundary of County Durham.

Eleven map layers are available. Three of the layers, titled 1860, 1898 and 1923, offer higher quality images of the pre 1974 county boundary area:

Map layer title

Survey dates

Coverage

Circa 1980-1994

OS National Grid Series Regular edition (continuous revision)

Pre 1974 boundary + current boundary area

Circa 1970-1979

OS National Grid Series Regular edition (continuous revision)

Pre 1974 boundary + current boundary area

Circa 1960-1969

OS National Grid Series Provisional & Regular editions (continuous revision)

Pre 1974 boundary + current boundary area

Circa 1951-1959

OS National Grid Series Provisional & Regular editions (continuous revision)

Pre 1974 boundary + current boundary area

Circa 1938-1950

OS County Series 4th edition (third revision, incomplete) 1937-1942.

(A National Grid Provisional Edition circa 1947-1948 covered the eastern half of Durham)

 

Pre 1974 boundary + current boundary area

Circa 1919-1926

OS County Series 3rd edition (second revision) 1912-1919

 

Pre 1974 boundary + current boundary area

Circa 1923

OS County Series 3rd edition (second revision) 1912-1919

 

Pre 1974 boundary area only

Circa 1894-1899

OS County Series 2nd edition (first revision) 1894-1897

 

Pre 1974 boundary + current boundary area

Circa 1898

OS County Series 2nd edition (first revision) 1894-1897

 

Pre 1974 boundary area only

Circa 1856-1865

OS County Series 1st edition 1854-1857

 

Pre 1974 boundary + current boundary area

Circa 1860

OS County Series 1st edition 1854-1857

 

Pre 1974 boundary area only

Map grid overlay

The GIS mapping is overlaid with a black-lined grid showing the corresponding 25 inch to 1 mile or 1:2500 Map Series sheets.

Use the info button to identify the relevant 1:2500 map sheet reference. For example: 'This area is covered by map reference 28.8.'

The grid shows the boundary of each 1:2500 map sheet and you can use the reference number to order digital copies of large scale OS maps more than 50 years old from the Record Office. You can also make an appointment to visit the Record Office and view the original map sheets in the search room.

Durham Collieries map

We have another interactive map relating to Durham Collieries. Use this to see a list of collieries which existed in a particular area.

The Durham Collieries map only covers the areas of County Durham where coal was mined. Visit the Browse by Map page to view the Durham Collieries Map.

If you have any problems and suggestions about our mapping, please contact our Website Administrator at webadmin@durham.gov.uk