Big fun with old UK maps? The National Library of Scotland delivers

This is just a quick blog post to share some fun I've been having lately by combining old maps of England with current satellite photography. To be clear, I'm not the one doing the combining; that work is being done by the National Library on an amazing website that yields views like this:

What you are looking at is a map that shows the River Sherbourne in Coventry in the late 1800s, drawn over current satellite photos of the same slice of England's green and pleasant land. You can go to this interactive map view by clicking here

And that's the fun I've been having, because when I was young I played on that land and explored it with my friends. We were all born on the streets you see at the top of the image. (This was in the 1950s so our parents always worried that we would either drown in the river or catch polio from the river, neither of which happened, mainly thanks to common sense, good fortune, and a great vaccine.)

In the two images below I have rotated the view slightly and marked where I was born on both of them. In other words, the house in which I was born sits in what was a field until these streets were constructed (1934-36). 

What you can also see is that the course of the river has changed over time. This is part of the long and complicated story of the River Sherbourne, one that I am exploring these days on foot and, thanks to the National Library of Scotland, online.  

I have already determined that the river was straightened out after the time I spent playing there in the 1950s and early 1960s. Time permitting, I will post photos of what is today called Lake View Park, even though there is no lake (another long story).

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