Online Map Collections
Old Maps of Manchester
A selection of historical maps focusing on central Manchester are available to view online.
The maps date from the late 18th century to the middle of the 20th century, and comprise private surveys, detailed Ordnance Survey maps and a selection of plans showing the Manchester Ship Canal and Docks.
Maps can be zoomed into street level to examine detail such as building outlines and functions, mill-owners names and the internal layout of public buildings.
To help you locate the sheet you need from a series, view the index map or browse the selected maps.
Maps of Manchester and Lancashire can now also be viewed in our new Manchester Digital Collections resource!
- William Green. A Plan of Manchester and Salford, drawn from an actual survey by William Green, begun in the year 1787 and completed in 1794.
William Green produced the first large-scale map of Manchester. It was printed on 18 sheets and was the most detailed authoritative map of Manchester in the 18th century. It shows the town during a period of rapid expansion which would eventually claim the undeveloped pasture fields of Ardwick, Chorlton-Upon Medlock, Collyhurst and Ordsall. View map
- Joseph Adshead. Adshead’s Twenty Four illustrated maps of the Township of Manchester, 1850-1851.
Joseph Adshead’s map of the Township of Manchester accurately depicts Victorian Manchester in 1851, distinguishing between public, private and commercial premises. It identifies individual buildings, and provides details such as courtyard names, and the owners of factories and mills. There are 24 sheets in total, some in black and white and some in colour. Browse maps or go to index map
- Ordnance Survey. Five foot to one mile (1:1056) Town Plans of Manchester. c.1843-1850
In Lancashire and Yorkshire these plans were produced for towns with a population of over 4000. Only a few other towns were mapped at this scale. The plans are incredibly detailed showing features such has man-holes, lampposts and the interior layout of buildings such as workhouses, theatres and the Town Hall. All 49 sheets for Manchester are available to view online. Browse maps or go to index map
- Ordnance Survey. Six-inch series of England and Wales (1:10560). Manchester sheet 104, surveyed 1845, published 1848.
This sheet extends from Miles Platting in the North, to Hulme and Chorlton-Upon-Medlock in the South; to the west of the sheet is Pendlebury in Salford which extends to Openshaw in the East. This map provides an overview of the expanding city whilst at the same time offering a rich amount of detail at one of the key periods in Manchester’s history. View map
- Bird's Eye View of Manchester in 1889. This stunning view of Manchester was drawn by Victorian illustrator and draughtsman H.W. Brewer, who was known for his depictions of cities drawn from an elevated viewpoint. View map
- Ordnance Survey. 25 inch to 1 mile (1:2500). Lancashire sheets. Various editions surveyed 1888-1933, published 1892 -1934.
A selection of Lancashire sheets extending as far as Broughton in the north; Rusholme in the south; Droylsden in the east; and Pendleton in the west. In most cases four editions of each sheet are available, documenting rich urban change between the 1890’s and 1930’s. Browse maps or go to index maps
- Ordnance Survey National Grid Series. 1:10560. Surveyed 1948-1955, published 1954-1956.
A selection of 16 maps from this series covers parts of Oldham in the north; Cheadle to the south; Duckinfield to the east and Eccles to the west. These are not as detailed as some of the other series but still offer a satisfying amount of detail for this time period. Browse maps
- Ship Canal
A small selection of maps show the proposed route of the Manchester Ship Canal and some of the plans include section drawings of warehouses and hydraulic systems as well as detailed measurements of individual docking areas. Browse maps
A selection of old maps of Manchester held by Manchester Archives and Local Studies are also available online.
- Maps of Manchester dating from 1750's to mid 20th century.
- World War 2 aerial bomb maps (Manchester Blitz maps)
For further information about the World War 2 aerial bomb maps please contact: Archives and Local Studies at Manchester City Library.
Soviet Military Maps of Manchester
During the cold war the Soviet Military mapped over 80 UK towns and cities in a staggering amount of detail. These four sheets cover the Greater Manchester area, including the City Centre, Trafford Park, Bury, Bolton, Stockport and Oldham. View maps
Campus maps through time
Campus Maps Through Time documents 190 years of the University of Manchester's history and the development of its Estate. This collection comprises original campus maps, development site plans, architectural drawings and historical student guides taken from the Library's Special Collections and University Archives.
Japanese maps: the geography of the Edo period
In partnership with the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, the Japan Foundation and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, the University of Manchester has digitised a number of maps from our Japanese collection.