Historical maps launched online

Historical maps of North Somerset are now freely available online for the first time, a North Somerset Council spokesperson has said.

The Know Your Place West of England project, which is supported by the National Lottery, will enable people to discover how the area has been transformed over time.

It will be possible to explore neighbourhoods online using free digital resources such as old maps and archive images, the spokesperson added.

North Somerset Council is a key partner in the collaborative project, which is led by South Gloucestershire Council.

Know Your Place West of England project: Portishead 1880s to 1930s

The council spokesperson said: “You will also be able to upload and share your own information about the area straight onto Know Your Place helping to build a rich and diverse community map of local heritage for everyone – from schoolchildren to family historians and planners to enthusiasts of community heritage.

“More than 50 project volunteers are working hard to prepare further historic maps, which will be added onto Know Your Place North Somerset over the coming months.

South West Heritage Trust in Taunton supplied many of the original maps. In addition, collections from museums are featured in a touring exhibition that will visit North Somerset libraries in the coming months.”

The council hopes that the website will continue to grow as more map resources, drawings and photographs from archive and museum collections are added.

Know Your Place West of England project: Weston-super-Mare 1880s to 1930s

North Somerset is the final area of the West of England to be mapped in the project.

Other areas available online include Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire, and Gloucestershire.

Cat Lodge, archaeologist at North Somerset Council, said: “We are grateful for the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund in facilitating such an exciting project which will enable residents of North Somerset to better interact with and explore the history and heritage of their local areas. Through the use of digital mapping, users are able to see how their communities have developed over time and add to the historical knowledge of those places.

“Know Your Place is a valuable resource which will not only aid community historical and archaeological groups and schools in local research, but also contribute to adding new information to North Somerset Council’s Historic Environment Record and raise the profile of heritage in the district.”

The Know Your Place West of England project was awarded £379,800 by the Heritage Lottery Fund, with match-funding and in-kind support from local authorities and heritage groups in the region, including £5,000 match-funding from South Gloucestershire Council.