We will be making some essential changes to our website hosting which will affect our websites from Friday 6 – Monday 9 December. During this time, this website will not be available. We thank you for your patience while we work to improve the stability of our websites. For further updates, check our Twitter @HistEnvScot. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Missing OS Name Books

There are a number of OS Name Books missing from our online collection. Robin Urquhart of the National Records of Scotland tells us why:

During WW2, while the OS name books were stored at Southampton, they were damaged during an air raid. The Perthshire Survey of 1859-1864 was particularly affected. Among the volumes destroyed were those covering the whole extent of the county surveyed at the scale of six inches to one mile, certain detached parts of parishes, and the following parishes surveyed at twenty-five inches to one mile: ARNGASK, BALQUHIDDER, BLAIR ATHOLL, COMRIE, FORTINGALL proper, KENMORE proper, KILLIN, KIRKMICHAEL, MOULIN and WEEM proper.

A further note by Dr Peter McNiven, Scottish Toponymy in Transition project, Dept. of Celtic and Gaelic, University of Glasgow, tell us more:

It has been noted that many of the Ordnance Survey Name Books (OSNB) for Perthshire are missing, perhaps destroyed in the aerial attacks during the Second World War by the German Luftwaffe on the Ordnance Survey's headquarters in Southampton on the nights of 30th November and 1st December 1940. In these attacks the main stores took a direct hit and the subsequent fire destroyed, among many other valuable documents, nearly all the Name Books for England and Wales (Seymore 1980, 278); it may be that many of the Six-inch scale OSNB for Perthshire, including those for Menteith, suffered the same fate, although the 25-inch OSNB for Menteith did survive. The date on many of the Name Books is 1898, and this would seem to be when they were accessioned into the Ordnance Survey stores at Southampton. (Ref: Seymore, W.A. (ed.), 1980, A History of the Ordnance Survey (Folkstone).)