Ordnance Survey Map. 6 inches to the mile, 1893.
Major changes over the previous thirty years saw the construction of a network of railways lines, with open land in the north of Chiswick Parish disappearing beneath new streets of housing. The low-lying south of the parish is still mainly open farmland, but by building an earth bank along the river’s edge, the Duke of Devonshire, who owned more than half of Chiswick, made possible development, for example, of the Grove Park estate.
A major cholera outbreak in London in 1854 and continuing outbreaks of typhus underlined the importance of maps in providing a vital link to discovering the sources of these diseases; Dr John Snow plotted the spread of cholera via sick people, eventually tracking down the cause to a water pump in Broad Street. Following the Public Health Act of 1848, Local Boards of Health were formed in urban areas and were given power to ensure clean water supplies to their districts, as well as controlling sewers. However, they required extremely detailed maps to plan the sewers, and there were arguments between the Ordnance Survey and the Metropolitan Commissioners of Sewers (and their successors from 1856, the Metropolitan Board of Works) as to who should pay for the extra work.
In 1863 the Treasury authorised the work, and for the following eight years surveying was carried out. Then it took another five years for the sheets to be engraved…. The new series finally began in 1872, and ten years later it was decided that all OS maps were to be revised every twenty years. Work therefore began on the new edition in 1891.
Acknowledgement: ©Crown Copyright 1893. With thanks to Chiswick Public Library.