Publication data
First publishedApril 1957
Last revised reprint pub.December 1978
Sheet data
Number of sheets17
Sheet size190km × 150km
Technical data
Geodetic datumOS GB 1936
EllipsoidAiry 1830
Projection typeTransverse Mercator
Projection origin49°N 2°W
Unit of measurementInternational metre
Meridional scale factor0.9996012717
Map gridOS GB National Grid
Map scale1:250 000

1957-1964: Metric marvel

Despite the title of ‘Quarter-inch’ Fifth Series, the mapping was in fact at 1:250 000 scale - reflecting the gradual move towards metric-scale mapping by Ordnance Survey. The series, as laid out, covered Great Britain in 17 sheets, each 190km × 150km. The mapping was completely revised and redrawn from 1-inch Seventh Series material.

Figure 1 (click to enlarge)
Figure 1
‘¼-inch’ Fifth Series sheet 10
Figure 2 (click to enlarge)
Figure 2
Wales & The Marches special sheet
Figure 3 (click to enlarge)
Figure 3
‘¼-inch’ Fifth Series sheet 16
Edition A (1963)

The first sheet to be published was no. 10 North Wales and Lancashire in April 1957. This was given a blue variant of the familiar 1-inch Seventh Series cover. (Figure 1)

In August 1959, a special 1:250 000 sheet - Wales and the Marches - was published, drawn using the same style as the ‘¼-inch’ Fifth Series, but issued as a Tourist sheet. (Figure 2)

The next four sheets of the ‘¼-inch’ Fifth Series were published in the Spring of 1960, covering Wales and the north of England.

It took until January 1963 for publication of the series to be completed, with the publication of sheets 17 South East England and 16 Southern England. (Figure 3)

1965-1978: Sixties style, seventies utilitariansim

Figure 4 (click to enlarge)
Figure 4
‘¼-inch’ Fifth Series sheet 13
Edition B (1965)
Figure 5 (click to enlarge)
Figure 5
‘¼-inch’ Fifth Series sheet 13
Edition C/*/*/* (1972)

In 1965 a new cover was introduced - a distinctive 1960s design. (Figure 4)

With the introduction of the new Ordnance Survey logo and ‘house style’ in 1969, the ‘¼-inch’ Fifth Series followed suit in 1970. (Figure 5)

The ‘¼-inch’ Fifth Series was kept up to date until 1978. Fifth Series mapping was then used to make up a new set of sheets for the Routemaster series, after which the Fifth Series was discontinued.

Page last updated: 14 April 2012