New map shows Victorian Arbroath

HERITAGE Cartography have published a highly detailed 1859 map of Victorian Arbroath which is available to the public.

The map is the latest in the National Series - a collection of almost 150 maps of Victorian towns across Britain.

Based on the first large scale surveys of the Ordnance Survey, the maps have been meticulously created by Peter J. Adams who worked for many years for the mapping agency.

Mr Adams’ interest in history, and his fascination with the industrial revolution, first led him to research old maps of the 19th century.

Since then he has created his Victorian Map Series to give others with a similar love of the period the opportunity to discover how their towns and villages looked during that time of great social and economic change.

The Arbroath town map is designed in the style and colours of the period to reflect the work of the early Victorian cartographers.

The impressive detail of the map shows almost every tree and pathway, streets and lanes are named, pumps and wells in gardens can be seen and every public building and factory is labelled.

Together each individual detail creates a picture of the town as it looked over 150 years ago.

The map can be used as a vital tool for those researching their family genealogy or for those who simply have an interest in the historical make-up of their town.

The map shows that Arbroath in 1859 was a vibrant and modern town that was part of the Scottish industrial revolution.

Originally founded as an important harbour town the port had been enlarged to incorporate two basins, a pilot office, a ship building yard and a rope walk.

In the Victorian era the main influence on the growth of the town was the coming of the railway.

A branch line ran directly to the port allowing for the import and export of goods and raw materials giving a large boost to the local economy.

Industry was located mainly to the north of the town with a large flax mill, a sail and canvas works and a brick and tile works.

To the eastern side of the town the map shows a substantial gas works with a small coach manufacturer on the shoreline a little further south next to a bone mill.

Overall, Arbroath in 1859 appears to be a settled, organised and prosperous community but, it is inevitably riddled with the well documented Victorian social contradictions and problems.

One thing Arbroath did not seem to have, however, was a Poor House - unlike nearly every other town during the period.

The map may be ordered and purchased at local bookshops priced at £9.50 uncoloured and £25 coloured.

Other Scottish towns include Aberdeen, Banchory, Dundee, Perth, Peterhead, St Andrews and Stonehaven among many more.

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