General features - OS 25k map symbols

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright June 2010, David Hawgood; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.

This is one of a series of articles which give photographs of features on the ground which have standard symbols on Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 maps, and also show the symbol. See OS 25K map symbolsExternal link for introduction to the series, and links to other articles in it. Ordnance Survey have told us that although the symbols are copyright they allow them to be copied without charge or specific licence.

Click on a photo thumbnail to see a page with a larger photo, and other photo details. The photo page also has a section of the 1:50,000 Ordnance Survey map. The Map link in the notes column displays the 1:25,000 scale OS map with the relevant symbol.

"General features" include places of worship, other buildings, masts, lighthouses, slopes and pits (which have a separate heading in this article as there is more discussion of their symbols). Many of the features in this section are in the Land feature symbols on 50K mapsExternal link. Some features which have symbols on 50K have no symbol on 25K - for example: pipeline with flow direction; ruin (building outline without colour infill); chimney (small circle) - not specified in 25K symbol key but symbol looks the same; heliport (H symbol on 50K, word on 25K); Graticule intersection at 5' intervals (not shown on 25K). Some "land features" on the key to 50K symbols appear in other sections of the 25K symbols key - for example woodland, National Trust properties.

Some abbreviations are in the OS key to symbols. We have a separate abbreviations articleExternal link showing which are used on 25K and 50K scale maps, and giving examples with links to Geograph photos. There are examples of the abbreviations listed in the OS key to 25K symbols.


Place of worship OS25K General Place of worship SV9110 : Old Town Church by Tony AtkinMap linkExternal link This symbol is generally used for a place of worship with no tower, spire or dome. The example is by Old Town Bay, Isles of Scilly.
Current or former place of worship with tower OS25K General Place of worship with towerTM5390 : All Saints and St.Margaret's Church, Pakefield by Ian RobertsonMap linkExternal link
Current or former place of worship with spire, minaret or dome: spire OS25K General Place of worship with spireSO6618 : Spire of Mitcheldean Church by Philip HallingMap linkExternal link
Current or former place of worship with spire, minaret or dome: minaret OS25K General Place of worship with spireTQ2384 : Minaret, Central Mosque Of Brent, Willesden Green London NW2 by JaggeryMap linkExternal link
Current or former place of worship with spire, minaret or dome: dome OS25K General Place of worship with spireSO9198 : Darlington Street Methodist Church, Wolverhampton by Roger  KiddMap linkExternal link
Building OS25K General - buildingTQ1682 : Hoover Building by dgMap linkExternal link This large supermarket does not have the black outline of "important buildings"
Important building OS25K General - important buildingTQ1783 : Vicar's Green Primary School by David HawgoodMap linkExternal link This small school does have the black outline of "important buildings", which used to appear in the key as "public buildings".
Glasshouse OS25K General - glasshouseTQ1876 : Kew Gardens Temperate House from the Pagoda by David HawgoodMap linkExternal link
Youth Hostel OS25K General - Youth hostelSU8936 : Hindhead Youth Hostel - front view by Peter SMap linkExternal link
Bunkhouse, camping barn, or other hostel OS25K General - bunkhouseNG0186 : Am Bothan bunkhouse Leverburgh by John FergusonMap linkExternal link
Bus or coach station OS25K General - bus stationTG5208 : Beach coach station by TigerMap linkExternal link
Lighthouse OS25K General - lighthouseNX0834 : New lighthouse at Crammag Head by Barry BoxerMap linkExternal link
Disused lighthouse OS25K General - disused lighthouseSV8808 : Old lighthouse, St. Agnes by Andrew AbbottMap linkExternal link
Beacon OS25K General - beaconSZ0484 : Beacon at the end of Training Bank by Ian PatersonMap linkExternal link
Triangulation pillar OS25K General - trig pillarNB5359 : Campar More trig by Iain MacaulayMap linkExternal link
Mast OS25K General - mastNB5360 : Ness of Lewis transmitters / Croinn-chraolaidh Nis by TigerMap linkExternal link The symbol has a curvy line at the top, to represent waves as the symbol is used most for transmission masts. It is not a propeller for wind masts - they have a cross at the top.
Windmill, with or without sails OS25K General - windmillTM2564 : Saxtead Green Postmill by Ashley DaceMap linkExternal link
Wind pump OS25K General - wind pumpNT4982 : Wind pump by Richard WebbMap linkExternal link
Wind turbine OS25K General - wind turbine or  OS50K symbol - wind turbine version2ND2751 : Flex Hill and Achairn wind farms by Paul SimoniteMap linkExternal link From 2016 1st symbol will be replaced by 2nd symbol
Electricity transmission line, with pylon OS25K General - power line with pylonSU9041 : Looking along the line of pylons on Thursley Common by ShazzMap linkExternal link On 25K maps the pylon symbol (a small square) is at the pylon position, whereas on 50K map they are at standard spacing.
Electricity transmission line, with pole  OS25K General - power line with poleSO8832 : Electricity lines, Severn Ham by Philip HallingMap linkExternal link
Slopes OS25K General - slopeSS5986 : Part of the Wales Coast Path between Snaple Point and Whiteshell Point on Gower by Jeremy BolwellMap linkExternal link
Solar farm OS25K symbol - general - solar farmTR3362 : Richborough solar farm by Oast House ArchiveMap linkExternal link

Pits and heaps

In many cases the symbol on the map does not correspond with the title and description for the photo. Usually there is wording on the map to indicate the type of pit. Contour lines are generally omitted in the area of a working pit.
Gravel pit OS25K General - gravel pitNR8399 : Gravel Pit, Kilmartin Glen by Rich TeaMap linkExternal link This pit used to have the gravel pit symbol, but after revision doesn't. We cannot find a gravel pit symbol in use at present.
Sand pit OS25K General - sand pitTQ1213 : Sandpit at Washington by Dave SpicerMap linkExternal link As for the gravel pit, the map no longer has the sand pit symbol - the boundaries and uses of these pits change with time, some get used for landfill, some are flooded, some become grassed over.
Other pit or quarry OS25K General - pitSX0783 : St Teath: quarry entrance by Martin BodmanMap linkExternal link Slate quarry
Landfill site or slag/spoil heap OS25K General - landfill etc pitNZ4924 : Land-fill site near Cowpen Marsh by Philip BarkerMap linkExternal link Landfill
Landfill site or slag/spoil heap OS25K General - landfill etc pitSX0255 : Cornish volcano? by Val VannetMap linkExternal link China clay spoil heap
Landfill site or slag/spoil heap OS25K General - landfill etc pitSE3227 : Spoil heap, Robin Hood by Christine JohnstoneMap linkExternal link coal mine spoil heap
Landfill site or slag/spoil heap OS25K General - landfill etc pitSD4770 : Carnforth slag heaps by Ian TaylorMap linkExternal link Slag heap

Map symbol images are Crown Copyright.
You are not logged in login | register