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Record Offices in the UK

Details of Record Offices in the UK

This list of addresses was compiled using data derived from the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Record Repositories in Great Britain, 11th Edition, 1999, personal notification of changes by the staff of the National Archives of the UK and information available on the individual websites.

They feature below, repository by repository. The NRA's code number for each location, as given in Record Repositories in Great Britain, is also cited below. Some sites observe the CARN scheme, whereby readers' tickets are issued in advance, without reference to availability of space at the Record Office; others require booking of space; the PRO which operates its own readers' ticket scheme, rarely operate so near their capacity. The information given here will be regularly updated. The order used will give an indication of the volume of relevant holdings, with the biggest such holdings featuring first.

National Archives of the UK:


  • Public Record Office (PRO), Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Richmond, TW9 4DU.

Telephone: 0208 876 3444 Fax: 0208 392 5286 Email: Website:

(NRA Code 66) Wheelchair accessible site A reader's ticket is required (with proof of identity in first instance). The PRO has an extensive digital catalogue with papers indexes and a library also consultable on site. Holdings include MT classes (UK's most important body of motorway papers); also the CAB, TRE, COU, OS, and HLG classes.

  • Institution of Civil Engineers, (ICE), 1-7 Great George Street, London SW1P 3AA.

Telephone: 0207 222 7722, (ext 2043) Fax: 0207 976 7610 Email: Website:

(Code 6) Wheelchair accessible. A letter of introduction and pre-booking is required. ICE holds all ICE' archival papers and publications, Sir Frederick 's Cooks, O.T. Williams papers and illustrations, Mott Hay Anderson's photographs and the Hard Shoulder (Survive) papers. Also all the IMCE and BRF archives. Although professional members have priority a research service is also offered to non-members based on ICE's large library and archive catalogue.

  • British Geological Survey, (BGS), Kingsley Dunham Centre, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG

Telephone: 0115936 3100 Fax: 0115936 3200 Email: Enquiries Website:

(NRA Code 158) Wheelchair accessible. Advance booking is required. A research service is available. Highly relevant to routeing issues.

  • House of Lords Records Office, House of Lords, London, SW1A OPW

Telephone: 0207219 3074 Fax: 02072192570 Email: Website:

(NRA Code 61) Booking, confirmation of appointment, and ID required by the Pass Office. Wheelchair accessible. Holdings include deposited Parliamentary Plans for all early motorway Bills and Acts; also significant holdings on earlier turnpikes, and on road bridges, wetland reclamation and enclosures.

  • Science Museum Library, Imperial College, South Kensington, London SW7 5NH

Telephone: 09388234207 or 8218 Fax: 02079389714 Email: Website:

(NRA Code 69) Wheelchair accessible. A reader's ticket is required (with proof of identity in first instance). An extensive digital library catalogue is available; the Museum also holds historically important civil engineering artefacts e.g. the Deflectograph. Its vehicles are at Wroughton.

  • Transport Research Laboratory, (TRL), TRL Limited, Old Wokingham Road, Crowthorne, Berkshire, RG45 6AU

Telephone: 01344 773131 Fax: 01344 770643 Email: Website:

(NRA Code 24) Wheelchair accessible. Advance notice for a personal pass to be collected at the gate is required. Motorway Archive Trust files on subjects related to Volume II are held in the Library.

  • Northamptonshire Record Office, Wootton Hall Park, Northampton, NN4 8BQ

Telephone: 01604 762129 Fax: 01604 767562 Email: Website:

(NRA Code 154) Wheelchair accessible. This is a very significant location for the Motorway Archive Trust's Eastern and Midland regional papers which have been catalogued and deposited through the good offices of team leaders D. Evans and J. Carrington, with the significant design and routeing issues related to motorways located in the County Surveyors' Departmental archive. Also housed here are the papers of the Contractor, John Laing.

  • Lancashire Record Office, Bow Lane, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 2RE

Telephone: 01772 2630039 Fax: 01772 2630050 Email: Website:

(NRA Code 55) Member of the CARN scheme. Wheelchair accessible. This location includes a major deposit of Motorway Archive Trust papers assembled through H L Yeadon about M6 M61, M55, M57, M58; M60, M62, M65, M66, A601(M) and A602(M), also a very important set of County Surveyors' papers, including those of Sir James Drake, supplemented by a large County Surveyors' office website.

  • Cheshire Record Office, Duke Street, Chester, CH1 1RL

Telephone: 01244 602574 Fax: 01244 603812 Email: recordoffice@cheshire, Website:

(NRA Code 17) Member of the CARN scheme. Wheelchair accessible. Another significant deposit of locally relevant papers about M56 and M53 has been made by the Motorway Archive Trust through the NW team leader, H L Yeadon.

  • Cumbria Record Office, The Castle, Carlisle, CA3 8UR

Telephone: 01283 607284/5 Fax: 01283 607270 Email: Website:

(Code 23) Member of the CARN scheme. Wheelchair accessible. A significant deposit of research papers on M6 has been made here by the Motorway Archive Trust. See G.O. Lockwood's papers as County Surveyor in the 1940s.

  • Gloucestershire Record Office, Clarence Row, Alvin Street, Gloucester GL13DW

Telephone: 01452 425295 Fax: 01452 426378 Email: Website:

(NRA Code 40) Wheelchair accessible. A reader's ticket is required (with proof of identity in first instance). Research Service is available. There are significant holdings from County Surveyors on M5 and a deposit of design and environmental papers. (See W.E. Gallagher, Chapter 10) A fee may be payable.

  • Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Beaulieu, Hampshire, S047ZN

Telephone: 01590 612345 Fax: 01590 612624 Email: Website:

Appointment is required. Lord Montagu's papers are here alongside much about road transport.

  • Somerset Record Office, Obridge Road, Taunton, TA2 7PU

Telephone: 01823 278805 or 337600 Fax: 01823 325402 Email: Website:

(NRA Code:168) Wheelchair accessible. There is a significant deposit of Motorway Archive papers by F Johnson, a former County Surveyor, for the M4 and M5. There are also County Surveyors' Departmental papers and a related website.

  • Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road,Woking,GU21 1 ND

Telephone: 01483 594594 Fax: 01483 594595 Email: Website:

(NRA Code 176) Wheelchair accessible. Research service. Motorway Archive papers relating to the Trust's South East Region deposited by the team leader P.Lee but in slender quantity.

  • Centre for Kentish Studies, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone, ME14 1QX,

Telephone: 01622 694363 Fax: 01622 694379 Email: Website:

(Code 51) Member of the CARN scheme, with advance booking required. Wheelchair access. Some reference to Kent's turnpike trust and early highway administration as mentioned in Chapter 1 is accessible. Significant holdings on the M2, M20, and M26 motorways in Kent as result of work before and during the SERCU Sub-unit's life in Kent. Also a good County Surveyors' Collection. A research service is available.

  • Hampshire Record Office, Sussex Street, Winchester, SO23 8TH

Telephone: 01962 846154 Fax: 01962 878681 Email: Website:

(Code 41) Member of the CARN scheme. Wheelchair accessible. Research service is available Some papers on the M3 are held reflecting strong local interest in Twyford Down. Others on M27, M271, M275 and A3(M).

  • West Sussex Record Office, Sherburne House, 3 Orchard Street, Chichester,

Correspondence via: County Hall, Chichester PO19 1RN,

Telephone: 01243 753600 Fax: 01243 533959 Email: Website:

(Code 182) Member of the CARN scheme. Wheelchair accessible. Research service is available. Only the County Surveyors' Departmental Collection can be consulted freely. Consulting private papers requires permission from their Trustees, including the County Surveyors Society papers; William Rees Jeffreys's papers; and the Garland Collection.

  • Merseyside Record Office, Central Library, William Brown Street, Liverpool,L3 8EW

Telephone: 0151 233 5817 Fax: 0151 207 1342 Email: Website:

(Code 1072) Wheelchair accessible. A reader's ticket and booking in advance are required. Consult for J.A. Brodie's papers on land use and roads and lobbying for the M57, M59 and M58.

  • Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL

Telephone: 0191 383 3253 or 3474 Fax: 0191 383 4500 Email: Website:

(code32) Booking in advance required, Wheelchair access and a research service available. Much on motorway design for A1(M).

  • Staffordshire and Stoke of Trent Archive Service, Eastgate Street, Stafford, ST16 2LZ,

Telephone:017852278379 Fax:017852278376 Email: Website: or

(Code 169) Wheelchair accessible. Research service is available. Significant early County Surveyor's records for M6 due to the role of F Jepson in the M6's planning and construction.

  • Corporation of London, PO Box 270, Guildhall, London, EC2P 2EJ.

Telephone: 020 7332 1251 Fax: 020 7710 8682 Email: Website:

(Code 75) Special arrangements for wheelchairs. Proof of identity required for special collections The Corporation of London also operate the:

  • London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R 0HB

Telephone: 0207 332 3820 Fax: 0207 833 9136 Email: lma@ms.corpoflondon

(Code 74). A wheelchair accessible site holding former LCC and GLC records on the proposed motorway boxes and A102(M) and A40(M).

  • Museum of London, Museum in Docklands, West India Quay, London, E14

Telephone: 0870 444 3852 Fax: 0870 444 3852 Email: Website:

Wheelchair accessible. Appointment is required. Material here relates to the Port, Silvertown Way, M25,river crossings and re-use of derelict land. Also early road traffic survey data from 1771 as cited in Chapter1 and 7 of this volume.

Other collections:
  • Imperial War Museum, Library and Department of Documents, Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ,

Telephone: 020 7416 5221/2/3 Fax: 020 7416 3374 Email: Website:

(Code 62) Advance booking is required. There are special arrangements for wheelchairs. Holdings include much about German roads and British transport in the twentieth century.

  • National Archives of Scotland, HM. General Register House, Edinburgh, EH1 3YY

Telephone: 0131 535 1334 Fax: 0131 535 1328 Email: Website:

(Code 234) Wheelchair accessible. A Reader's Ticket is required, with proof of identity initially. This is the repository for all the official papers on Scotland's motorways.

  • Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, (PRONI), 66 Balmoral Avenue, Belfast, BT9 6NY

Telephone: 02980255905 Fax: 01232 255999 Email: Website:

A readers ticket is required with proof of identity on first application. Wheelchair access is available. This is the official repository for the official records of Northern Ireland, including the Roads Service Northern Ireland. See here T.J.. McCormick, The Northern Ireland Motorway Achievement, Roads Service and the Motorway Archive Trust, Belfast, 2002.

  • Glasgow University Archives and Business Record Centre, 13 Thurso Street, Glasgow G11 6PE

Telephone: 0141 330 5515 Fax: 0141 330 4158 Email: dutyarch@archives, Website:

(Code 245) Wheelchair access is limited. A reader's ticket is required with poof of identity initially. Advance booking is also required. This repository contains the archival collection of Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd.

  • National Library of Wales, Department of Manuscripts and Records, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 3BU

Telephone: 01970 632800 Fax: 01970 632883 Email: Website:

(Code 210) Wheelchair accessible. A Reader's Ticket is required. This site is the major official repository of Public Records in Wales with some records transferred from the PRO. Its collections assembled from private bodies all over Wales go much wider. This is the expected destination of the Welsh element of the Trust's Motorway Archive. A research service is available.

  • Hertfordshire County Council, Hertfordshire Record Office, County Hall, Pegs Lane, Hertford, SG13 8DE

Telephone: 01992555105 Fax: 01992555113 Email: Website:

Herfordshire Record Office holds some very significant turnpike material cited in Chapter 1; extensive records of provision for Highways maintenance by JP in Quarter sessions and a small collection of material relating to the M1 and ffoliot's part in M1 design is retained with outline data on other schemes in the county, notably Stevenage By Pass A1(M) and A41 ( M) by passing Tring and Berkhamstead. .

  • Royal Automobile Club and the RAC Foundation for Motoring, 89-91 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HS.

Telephone: 020 7747 3485 Email: evking@ Website:

Appointment is required by direct contact with their archivist, Joan Williamson: 020 7515 1162. Some useful on S. F. Edge data on Sir Frederick Cook is held. While the Club' archive is large it is essentially a private collection of papers. Its archivist is only employed part time and so most inquiries are dealt with by letter rather than by direct public consultation.

  • Ordnance Survey (Library), Romsey Road, Southampton, Hants, SO164 GU,

Telephone: 023 8079 2000 Fax: 023 8079 3453 Email: Website:

Not open to the public; however, a very comprehensive website is available. Additionally brief details of a few listed roads and motorway structures, e.g. river crossings, A5 in Wales, are in the National Monuments Records at Swindon or Cardiff; or the Royal Commission on Ancient Historical Monuments, Edinburgh. The OS records insofar as they are available are readily consulted at the Public Record Office , Kew where they form the large OS class.

  • Yorkshire North Riding

The County Record Office, County Hall, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL7 8AF

Telephone: 01609 777 585 Fax: 01609 777 078 Email: Website:

Temporary style offices with no access allowed to the primary sources. Easy access but to microfilm and CD terminals only.

  • Yorkshire West Riding

Registry of Deeds, Newstead Road, Wakefield WF1 2 DE.

Telephone: 01924305980 Fax: 01924305983 Email: Website:

Booking required to use its very small office, barely more than was required to run the local but large Deeds Registry. No wheelchair access is possible. Other offices in the Central Library at Bradford (albeit with no wheelchair access) Halifax, with wheelchair access; Huddersfield and Leeds; also Yorkshire Archaeological Society, 23 Clarendon Road, Leeds, LS29NZ

  • Yorkshire East Riding

County Hall, Beverley until 1999 when closed and relocated to a new wheelchair accessible site.

Note: Proposals are nearly agreed for a combined County Record Office, and the historic Yorkshire Deeds Registry to be built with HLF funding. Any Motorway Archive Trust for Yorkshire and the work of NERCU deposit will advisedly await the outcome of these negotiations; site to be formally agreed - probably in York with access to the Borthwick Institute and York Minster collections.

  • Institution of Highways and Transportation, 6 Endsleigh Street, London WC1H 0DZ

Telephone: 020 7387 2525 Fax: 020 7387 2808 Email: and Website: and

A small library for professional members only, but its website, hosting the UK motorway archive portal is full of very significant content with considerable data available there about the Motorway Archive with links to other websites.