Mapping History Takes a New Turn

Ann Hills discusses publications by the Ordnance Survey

There’s a question mark after 'Fortress Annexe' within a space outlined on a new illustrated historical map and guide of Roman and Anglian York. 'The information was based on exploratory excavation, with the rest presumed; hence the "?"', summed up Jim Page, who is in charge of publications at Ordnance Survey's Southampton headquarters.

The map was produced by OS in collaboration with the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments and the York Archaeological Trust, who jointly wrote the text and provided the illustrations. It enables visitors to York to step back from today's perspective. Walking up Station Road, for instance, you can spot surviving ancient features, such as stretches of city wall; identify where barracks, baths and roads lay ahead centuries ago, and consider the 'presumed' features, including a possible parallel crossing over the River Ouse.

There are colour pictures of finds – a mosaic from a house in Toft Green and seventh-century hanging bowl from Castle Yard are among those linked to specific locations. Together with the written background, they bring the city's history and geography to life.

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