Towns and urban areas
The Atlas maps show the towns and urban area definitions available in BBCE. On the Town maps hovering over a town area will also give the relevant RSDs. The areas covered change over time as the towns and urban locations expand. On the Urban classification map, areas that have small towns or higher population densities are shown as a transitional 'Rural higher density'. These are often emerging suburbs, dispersed industrial areas, and mining districts, as well as RSDs with small traditional market towns. For the Atlas all boundaries are approximate based on RSDs; the BBCE data give town and urban definitions down to parish level, where possible. The definitions are based on research by Chris Law and Brian Robson for the population of each town over 2,500 in size in England and Wales. See: Law, C. M. (1967) The growth of urban population in England and Wales, 1801-1911, Transactions, Institute of British Geographers, 41, 125-43; Robson, B.T. (1973) Urban Growth: An approach, Methuen, London. All the Law-Robson original population data are available as a UKDS data download to which has been added John Langton's town's data from the 1680s.
The BBCE replicates the Law-Robson methodology with digital data and GIS for towns with a population of 10,000 and over in England and Wales, and additionally gives all Scottish Burghs. There are methodological challenges for defining Law-Robson definitions in the digital record (see WP 6 for details).