London County Council Bomb Damage Maps: exploring historic maps on my work experience placement by Feliks Scheich

During my time here at the Institute of Historical Research I have used the interactive maps, my favourite of which is the bomb damage map, which was published after the war and shows through the use of colour and a key, the amount of damage done to areas of London during the Blitz.  The way the map was made is also very interesting, on the website its one map however it is in fact made up of 110 separate London county council maps that were all hand painted.

The London county council bomb damage map was my favourite because it featured nearly all of modern London including the outer boroughs unlike many other much older maps. This allowed me to see my area and how it was directly impacted and changed through damage from air raids. For example, there are modern houses on the end of my street which is mostly made up of townhouses and this is because a V1 or V2 rocket had hit it and destroyed the homes during the war. I could also see from this map how specific areas were targeted such as docks that had links to industry or infrastructure.

The map is also very easy to use as you simply type in your post code then look for your house, for example at random, I picked 81 Hart street and I found a church which had been destroyed “beyond repair” according to the key I was able to see from this how it looked after it’d been bombed and how it looks now in the present day.