The Mapping Group aims to provide information to help local people and visitors of all ages and abilities explore the landscape of the Land of Oak & Iron, to understand it and enjoy what it contains, with a particular emphasis on the industrial past. If like many people you find maps, and particularly old maps, fascinating join one of our regular meetings, held across the area, to find out more about what hides amongst all those lines and symbols.
Ordnance Survey (OS) maps and on-line maps, such as Google, Bing and openstreetmaps, provide a wealth of information, so why do we need to have a mapping project for the Land of Oak & Iron? Whilst OS maps contain a huge amount of information extracting it from all of the detail can be quite difficult. The term “not seeing the wood for the trees” comes to mind. A key element of our project is to extract the particular topic of interest to make it more readily accessible.
Another aspect of popular modern maps is that they represent the “as now” condition. This is particularly true of the on-line maps, and whilst it is very useful for finding our way around, historical information is sparse. In the mapping project we are interested helping people explore the history of the area. To do this we combine information from maps spanning over a hundred years into a single map. This is then supplemented with additional research which allows us to create a history on the maps which, in some cases, can extend over several centuries.
The Mapping Group have developed a base map of the Land of Oak & Iron and surrounding area which shows the land contours, major and and minor water courses, settlements, woodland areas, and the road network. To this we add topic specific information to produce “topic maps”.
The area covered by the map is considerably larger than the Land of Oak & Iron itself. This has been done to allow the wider connections between communities and other sites, which existed long before the Land of Oak & Iron was conceived, to be appreciated.
Base map boundaries
The base map is broadly based on the areas covered by Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 1st Series maps NY95, NY96, NZ04(part), NZ05, NZ06, NZ15, NZ16, NZ25, and NZ26. There is a particular focus on the areas south of the River Tyne and in the water catchment area of the River Derwent and its tributary watercourses, which define the boundary of the Land of Oak & Iron. A flexible approach has been adopted, for mapping purposes, to the “boundary”. Where items that are outside it are considered to be of interest or aid understanding of context they have been included.
This base map is used as the basis for further maps. These maps may currently be viewed, panned and scrolled on your device. Maps that are well developed are open for public viewing, just click on the link.
Currently maps are in a BETA version which may be viewed, areas zoomed in on and panned.
The research that supports the preparation of these maps is compiled in the form of an Excel Workbook for each topic. Where available these may be accessed using the links provided on the topic page. The workbooks contain individual sheets; one for each OS 1:25,000 1st Series sheets which is used in the mapping project. To search the workbook for word of interest (e.g a location name) please select the tab labelled “Master” in the workbook and use the Google “Find” function (access the menu using the 3 small dot symbol in the top right hand corner of the Google window) .
Research and map development have taken huge amounts of time provided by dedicated teams of volunteers since the group held its first meeting in October 2018. All information contained in the maps and associated material is subject to copyright. Whilst making the information freely available, for personal study, we ask that copyright is respected. Should you wish to use any of the material contained, for commercial or business purposes, please get in touch using the contact form at the foot of the page, to discuss this with us.