Great North Road - Online map route?

The study of British and Irish roads - their construction, numbering, history, mapping, past and future official roads proposals and general roads musings.

There is a separate forum for Street Furniture (traffic lights, street lights, road signs etc).

Registered users get access to other forums including discussions about other forms of transport, driving, fantasy roads and wishlists, and roads quizzes.

Moderator: Site Management Team

Post Reply
Jamtex
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 09:42

Great North Road - Online map route?

Post by Jamtex »

Sorry if this is in the wrong forum, did read all the forums and the FAQ posts and this does seem to be the best one for it.

I normally work abroad a lot and will be coming back to the UK for a three week holiday, in this time I will be hiring a 125CC scooter (so it can do 70mph, just if going downhill with a tailwind :laugh: ) and one thing I would like to do is travel from Smithfield Market to Edinburgh using the great north road.

From what I understand (from reading threads going back to 2005...) a lot of the original great north road, only uses a part of the A1 (or roads that have been covered with the A1 or A1(M) normally have minor A or B roads running along side them, which would be handy as I don't have a full scooter licence yet...) and does go through villages and a number of unclassified roads but I've not been able to find a route on something like google maps which I could use to plan my 5ish day trip (I could do it in a day but I value my body and would like to drive slowly and stop off in a few places).

Anyone point me to a good online map that would have this? A Garmin mapset would be wonderful :D
User avatar
Ritchie333
Assistant Site Manager
Posts: 11708
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 20:40
Location: Ashford, Kent
Contact:

Re: Great North Road - Online map route?

Post by Ritchie333 »

Click on "Maps" on the yellow menu at the top of the screen, type "A1" in the search box, click "Go", and then select "Historic OS Maps" and "1923 MOT Half Inch". You will get a modern trace of the A1 over its original 1923 designation. You might find it easier to click on "Erase markers" to stop the online photos getting in the way.
--
SABRE Maps - all the best maps in one place....
Jamtex
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 09:42

Re: Great North Road - Online map route?

Post by Jamtex »

Thanks for that, I did play with this before I registered and decided to post :D

However what I really need is something that plots the old route on top of a new map so I can use it, so basically the opposite of what you suggested :)

Sorry if I am being a pain :oops:
User avatar
Ritchie333
Assistant Site Manager
Posts: 11708
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 20:40
Location: Ashford, Kent
Contact:

Re: Great North Road - Online map route?

Post by Ritchie333 »

Theoretically, you should be able to load the 1923 MOT Half Inch tiles into a map editor like Potlatch and make your own route trace from that. I had a vague idea of adding a "create your own route" feature for SABRE Maps, but wanted to wait until the historic maps were a bit more geographically accurate first.
--
SABRE Maps - all the best maps in one place....
t1(M)
Member
Posts: 7281
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2002 23:15
Location: kingston-upon-thames

Re: Great North Road - Online map route?

Post by t1(M) »

Biff Vernon's site gives much of interest on the history of the GNR

No online, but Frank Goddard's book "the Great North Road" (pub Frances Lincoln) is a guide to the historic route, with mapping in the style of Wainright's Lakeland Fell series.

Much of the old Great North Road has been bypassed, but significant parts have not, notably Baldock to Alconbury, Peterborough to Newark, a few strectches in Yorkshire, notably Dishforth to Scotch Corner, and significant patrs in Northumberland and the Scottish borders. In places the new alignment has stopped up the old, making it impossible to follow in its entirety without backtracking.

The traditional start of the GNR is not actually Smithfield but St Martin le Grand - the original site of the London General Post Office - the other end is its Edinburgh equivalent. I surmise that the "totso" at Angel is because, even in the days of horses, mail coaches were easier to steer than meatstock being delivered on the hoof to Smithfield.

The approximate route of the GNR, according to Goddard's book, follows the A1 to Highgate and then the A1000 all the way to Hatfield, where it follows two culs de sac linked by a footbridge over the East Coast Main railway Line (not clear from Google Street view whether you could wheel a moped over it, but it is part of the national cycle network), before briefly folloing the A414 and A6129 to Welwyn and then the B197 most of the way to Baldock (give or take a pedestrianised bit in Stevenage)and the A507 to join the A1 at the end of the motorway section.

It follows the A1 from there all the way to Alconbury, except where the A1 bypasses Biggleswade (A6001), Tempsford (unclassified) and Eaton Socon (B1428 and unclassified). From Alconbury the B1043 runs next to the A1(M) both following the GNR/Ermine Street, except that they both bypass Stilton. Beyond Norman Cross there is a short stretch of motorway with no obvious alternative before the A1 resumes, and the GNR follows it most of the way to Newark except through Stamford (B1081), Grantham (B1174), and Long Bennington (u/c).

From newark the GNR and A1 are rarely the same, the GNR following the B6326 and B6325 through Newark, B1164 to Tuxford and Markham Moor, A638 through Bawtry and Doncaster (partly pedestrianised in the town centre) to the top of the Doncaster bypass. You're then on the A1 except for the Wentbridge bypass until you reach the motoprway - the old GNR runs very close, mainly as the A162 but that itself bypasses the old bridge at Ferrybridge, then the A1246 and then unclassified through Micklefield and Aberford. Beynond Bramham you're back on the A1 as far as Wetherby, and then A168 paralle to the motorway, with brief detours round places like Leeming, all the way to Dishforth. From there to Scotch Corner you have the roadworks as the road is being convreted to motorway, with a new all purse road alongside, but after Scotch Corner the A167 is your friend all the way to Newcastle (brief departure in the city of Durham). North of the Tyne you have A189 and B1318 to Seaton Burn, a brief section of a1, then the A197 and A192 through Morpeth. Beyond there it's largely A1 except the B6341 through Alnwick and the A1167 through Berwick. Between Burnmouth and Cockburnspath the A1 is well established, butb the original route is apparently the A1107. finally, The A1 bypasses Dunbar, and a long stertch where the A199 follows the old route.
jlsmith
Member
Posts: 346
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 21:26
Location: Kent

Re: Great North Road - Online map route?

Post by jlsmith »

t1(M) wrote: <from start to finish>
Thanks for making the effort to document that. It is a very valuable note for the records!
User avatar
Ritchie333
Assistant Site Manager
Posts: 11708
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 20:40
Location: Ashford, Kent
Contact:

Re: Great North Road - Online map route?

Post by Ritchie333 »

jlsmith wrote:
t1(M) wrote: <from start to finish>
Thanks for making the effort to document that. It is a very valuable note for the records!
If you click on "Wiki" on the yellow menu at the top, type "A1" into the search box, and click on "Go", you can read Tim's account and more.
--
SABRE Maps - all the best maps in one place....
User avatar
Stevie D
Member
Posts: 8000
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 17:19
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Great North Road - Online map route?

Post by Stevie D »

Jamtex wrote:Thanks for that, I did play with this before I registered and decided to post :D

However what I really need is something that plots the old route on top of a new map so I can use it, so basically the opposite of what you suggested :)
What you can do is use the Where's the path website, which allows you to plot tracks (you can up/down-load them as GPX files as well). Set your map to Historical or OS 1930s, whichever you prefer, trace your route and then change the map to 'Map' (Google), 'Satellite' (Google) or 'Just OS' (only works til about 6pm), and you can see your trace overlaid on the modern source.
User avatar
Richard_Fairhurst
Member
Posts: 441
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 13:16

Re: Great North Road - Online map route?

Post by Richard_Fairhurst »

Ritchie333 wrote:Theoretically, you should be able to load the 1923 MOT Half Inch tiles into a map editor like Potlatch and make your own route trace from that.
I think there'd be a good case for adding the Great North Road as a relation in OpenStreetMap (maybe type=route, route=historic or something like that). It's certainly "verifiable" which is the key criterion for such things.
Help map the world: openstreetmap.org
User avatar
Ritchie333
Assistant Site Manager
Posts: 11708
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 20:40
Location: Ashford, Kent
Contact:

Re: Great North Road - Online map route?

Post by Ritchie333 »

Richard_Fairhurst wrote:I think there'd be a good case for adding the Great North Road as a relation in OpenStreetMap (maybe type=route, route=historic or something like that). It's certainly "verifiable" which is the key criterion for such things.
The concern I had with that is that certain areas of the historic A1, such as around Dishforth here physically don't exist anymore (let alone the A6014 here which is buried underneath a reservoir), and adding that as an additional set of nodes and ways on OSM would be confusing unless there's some way of telling the standard renderers to never display it by default.
--
SABRE Maps - all the best maps in one place....
User avatar
J--M--B
Member
Posts: 14647
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2003 17:34
Location: Lochaber, Scotland
Contact:

Re: Great North Road - Online map route?

Post by J--M--B »

For the section through North Yorkshire, the council have an excellent online mapping site. You can even get the numbers of the unclassified roads if you are a real anorak :=)


http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=6357
JMB
Fort William
http://www.mbriscoe.me.uk

"Give me the third best technology. The second best won't be ready in time. The best will never be ready." Robert Watson-Watt
User avatar
Richard_Fairhurst
Member
Posts: 441
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 13:16

Re: Great North Road - Online map route?

Post by Richard_Fairhurst »

Ritchie333 wrote:adding that as an additional set of nodes and ways on OSM would be confusing unless there's some way of telling the standard renderers to never display it by default.
By and large the renderers work from a blank canvas and add things that match their rules, rather than starting with a full canvas and knocking stuff out/restyling. If they encounter a way without any tags they recognise, they'll just ignore it. So don't worry too much about that - just be careful to tag it in an unambiguous way that can't be mistaken for a current feature.
Help map the world: openstreetmap.org
User avatar
nowster
Treasurer
Posts: 14779
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 16:06
Location: Manchester

Re: Great North Road - Online map route?

Post by nowster »

The best way to do it for existing roads/paths would be to use a relation. That's how the Euroroutes are done.
User avatar
jgharston
Member
Posts: 2428
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 18:06
Location: Sheffield/Whitby

Re: Great North Road - Online map route?

Post by jgharston »

Ritchie333 wrote:(let alone the A6014 here which is buried underneath a reservoir),
Wow, did the A61 really used to go through Firth Park?
User avatar
Paul
Member
Posts: 9464
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2002 15:22
Location: Ingbirchworth/Leeds
Contact:

Re: Great North Road - Online map route?

Post by Paul »

jgharston wrote:
Ritchie333 wrote:(let alone the A6014 here which is buried underneath a reservoir),
Wow, did the A61 really used to go through Firth Park?
(Assuming you're talking about Sheffield...) Numbers may change but road names are a giveaway for historical routes in towns: Barnsley Road.

There should be a plot of the course of the old A1/Great North Road on Google Maps but they've temporarily removed the ability to search user-generated maps unfortunately, otherwise I'd be able point you to one. This would give you a KML file which I understand can be fed into most GPS mapping devices by various methods.

Nothing like doing your own research though, so compare maps the old fashioned way. That's what I'd do. First rule of thumb: go for the straighter line and ignore all bypasses.
Regards,
Paul
User avatar
Chris5156
Deputy Treasurer
Posts: 16870
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2001 21:50
Location: Hampshire
Contact:

Re: Great North Road - Online map route?

Post by Chris5156 »

Paul wrote:First rule of thumb: go for the straighter line and ignore all bypasses.
But beware of bypasses that straightened the road or shortened the course - the Colnbrook Bypass on the A4, for example, and on the A1 the Wansford Bypass.
Post Reply