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Greenough's World - Scotland

Map of Scotland
Detail from the third and final draft of Greenough's and Sharpe's geological map of Scotland c.1852 [Greenough collection LDGSL/747/6/C/5]. Click to enlarge

We are fundraising for the digital preservation of two unique maps of Scotland which were created specifically for the Society and its Fellows.


The first published geological map of Scotland was issued in 1836 under the (posthumous) authorship of John MacCulloch (1773-1835). The fieldwork alone had taken MacCulloch around 15 years to accomplish, but the reception to the map’s publication was rather negative from some quarters. Despite its topographical and geological errors, the map is not thought to have been superseded until the work of the Geological Survey in the 1860s.

Sharpe's and Greenough's Maps of Scotland, 1851-1852

On 23 July 1851 a committee headed by George Bellas Greenough was appointed by Council to assess the extent of the Society's Map collection holdings and make suggestions as to its improvement. One of the recommendations was that a new geological map of Scotland should be produced. Council ordered that the Society should purchase a copy of Lewis' Map of Scotland and that a further committee comprising of Greenough and Daniel Sharpe (1806-1856) should undertake its geological colouring.

   GBG log 3a  
LDGSL/947/6/C/4  Map 1 - Draft map of a geological map of Scotland by George Bellas Greenough and Daniel Sharpe, c.1851-1852
This map is the second of three drafts for the map of Scotland. The base map is an uncoloured proof version of John MacCulloch's 'A Geological Map of Scotland', published by Samuel Arrowsmith in 1832. The title of MacCulloch's map has not been engraved, instead a flimsy proof is attached. The broken lines indicating the edges of each outcrop delineated by MacCulloch are present on this map. Scale-1:250,000. Split into four sheets, each measuring 95cm x 77cm. [LDGSL/947/6/C/4]
Map 2 - Geological map of Scotland attributed solely to Daniel Sharpe, c.1852. 
This unique map is the finished result. The colour key is different to the other drafts, for instance gneiss is marked in yellow but is pink on the others. The map is recorded in the Council Minutes and on the item itself as being the sole work of Sharpe which, considering the existing drafts in the Greenough collection, is clearly incorrect. The geological colouring has been undertaken, as directed by Council, on the topographic sheet 'A map of Scotland divided into counties shewing the principal roads, railways, rivers, canals, lochs, mountains, islands, etc', published by Samuel Lewis and Co. Scale: 5 miles to an inch. 133cm x 193cm. [LDGSL/702]

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