The latest version of Ordnance Survey’s Boundary-Line data contains two new layers, Ceremonial Counties and Historical Counties.
This new layer in the Boundary-Line data represents the areas of England, Scotland and Wales that are represented by a Lord Lieutenant. The Lord Lieutenant is the chief officer of the county and representative of the Crown; whenever the Queen visits an area she will be accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant.
This layer is very useful for those who want to make a map of Great Britain divided into its counties without all the complexities of Unitary Authorities, Districts and Boroughs. This is the layer to choose when making a map showing a more traditional view of Great Britain without making a historical view.
The historic counties dataset shows the county boundaries in place in 1888 in England and Wales and 1899 in Scotland. The boundaries for England and Wales were derived from mapping from the National Archives dating from 1890. The Scottish boundaries are derived from maps as late as 1940.
This layer is very useful for those studying this time period and when combined with the ceremonial counties and modern the most up to date boundaries gives a good picture of how fluid the boundaries are over time.
Selecting Layers in Data Download
If you have the Boundary-Line data you need already but would like to add the new layers without downloading it all again then follow this useful tip. Once you have added the product to your basket click on the arrow in the layers column to pick and choose those that you want to take. See the image below:
You will then just receive these new layers and not all the others which you may already have or not need.
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