Historical Photographs & Maps

Historical Photographs:

Old bridge over Seacourt Stream around 1910      Aerial view of Botley, 1918      Poplar Road in the snow, 1950s

You can view more historical photographs on the English Heritage Viewfinder website including a large number taken by local photographer Henry Taunt dating back to the late 19th and early 20th century. There are 41 images shown under North Hinksey , and 9 under Botley (N.B. 8 of these also feature under the North Hinksey search).

The Oxfordshire County Council Heritage Search page allows searches of their photographic collection, but very few of the images are viewable online. The only way to see them properly is to visit the Oxfordshire History Centre in Cowley (see the ‘Get involved’ column for details). Although many of the photographs are of historical buildings or of the ‘hub’ area around West Way / Elms Parade there are quite a few of locations throughout our community, so it’s worth checking to see if your street, or even house, feature in one.

Also of interest are a number of aerial photographs of the area from the 1930s and 1940s which can be found on the Britain from above website. If you register and sign in you can also zoom in and download these photos.

Recent photographs of historical sites (as opposed to historical photographs) can be found on the Historical Buildings & Monuments page.

Historical Maps:

Section of Rocque Map 1760      Sheldon Tapestry Map 1663 showing Botley      Oxford 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map 1830

Getmapping include an interesting 1940-47 era aerial view of this area – to view this image click on the 1940-47 tab and increase the size by one step.

Botley and North Hinksey have featured in a number of early maps from Medieval times onwards (see the article ‘A history of Botley and the surrounding area’ on the main Local History page and the map page of the Cumnor Parish Record website for some examples), but detailed mapping of the area only really began with the introduction of Ordnance Survey maps in the 19th Century.

Two useful websites for viewing and buying historical maps (primarily copies of early Ordnance Survey maps) are Old Maps and Cassini Maps. Handy hints for viewing historical maps on the Old Maps website:

  1.  Search for Botley and click on ‘Botley, Berkshire’.
  2. Change the location by increasing or decreasing the co-ordinates in the boxes at the top – increasing the left hand box moves the target east, and increasing the right hand box moves the target north. If you use the arrows on the map to move around then the target and area viewed on historic maps will stay the same.
  3. Click on ‘Enlarge map’ to view your chosen historical map(s) in the right hand list.
  4. If you want to view another sector of the map click the ‘Close’ button (bottom left), change co-ordinates to the required sector and repeat step (3).