A note on military mapping for engaging with the Northern Ireland Troubles


  • Arnold Horner


During the period of the Northern Ireland Troubles (c. 1968-c.2000), maps were an essential operational resource for the security forces. This review introduces and profiles the wide range of maps produced for the Northern Ireland ‘theatre’ by the UK Directorate of Military Survey. These maps extended from detailed 1:2500 town plans to synoptic ‘religious areas’ maps for the main cities and towns and single-sheets of the whole of Northern Ireland. A 1:20,000 series was also created for border areas that has no civil equivalent and which also covers adjacent parts of the Republic of Ireland. Although usually derived from Ordnance Survey base maps, the DMS maps give enhanced attention to grid-lines to facilitate precise specification of location and to recording places of concealment: woods in rural areas and ruined/ derelict buildings and archways in towns. Using data from various sources, including eBay and library listings, this article attempts to explore an important record of the Troubles, that appears to have received little systematic attention from scholars and archivists.



How to Cite

Arnold Horner. (2022). A note on military mapping for engaging with the Northern Ireland Troubles. Irish Geography, 54(2), 141–155. Retrieved from https://irishgeography.ie/index.php/irishgeography/article/view/1463