Friday 27 May 2011

Fiddling with Maps

Its that time of year again when you can hear the distant sounds of skirling, fiddling, strumming, drumming and humming in the air - yes that's right its the annual Egg Scrambling Contest....

Only joking, of course its the brilliant (not biased at all) Orkney Folk Festival. And if you are in the town of Stromness or at some of the village ceilidhs these sounds won't be distant, but all around you creating a wonderful energy amongst all the locals and visitors alike.

If you're walking along the streets of Stromness or are unable to visit and wondering what it looked like in the past, here are a couple of maps to show you its development over the years. The first one is the Ordnance Survey map from 1903 and the second one is an Admiralty map from 1849. Double-click on the images to see them more clearly.


References D8/W/36 [C2] Copy (in two parts) of Admiralty plan of Stromness and Kaerston [Cairston] Roads. Surveyed by F.W.L. Thomas, Lieut. Commanding. Dated 1849. (This older map is not so clear to begin with and did not copy well.)

Part of Ordnance Survey Sheet number CVI, 1903, 6"/1mile.


  1. I love looking at old maps! I helped catalog, scan and store the map collection at the Smithsonian NMNH last year. What type of scanner did you use? Are other maps available online?

    Mus(eum)ings: Musings from a Museum Intern

  2. Hi Samantha,

    Thanks for your comment. We do not have any other maps online at present, but a good source for Scottish maps (including Orkney ones) is the National Library of Scotland Maps website.


  3. Hello! I came to your blog through a Google search for Ann Scott-Moncrieff. Her "Auntie Robbo" has been one of my favorite books since I was a little girl, and I've always wanted to read another book by her...but info on her is very hard to come by on the internet!

    I'm delighted by your blog (not revulsed or appalled! :)), partly because one of my lifelong dreams is to visit Scotland.

    Cindy at Notes in the Key of Life
    and Cindy's Book Club

  4. Hi Cindy,

    Thanks for your comment, I'm glad your like our blog. There is an entry for Ann Scott-Moncrieff in the Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women published by the Edinburgh University Press in 2006 - if you can't find a copy of it, I'd be happy to send you a scan - just send your details to our enquiries email at
    Other publications to look out for by Scott-Moncrieff are "Aboard the Bulger" (1934) and "The White Drake" (1936)



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