Using grid references

OS maps are divided into numbered squares. These squares can be used to give a place a four or six-figure grid reference. It is important that you know both four-figure and six-figure grid references.

Make sure you know that:

  • numbers along the bottom of the map come first and the numbers up the side of the map come second
  • the four-figure reference 2083 refers to the square to the east of Easting line 20 and north of Northing line 83
  • the six-figure reference 207834 will give you the exact point in the square 2083 - 7/10s of the way across and 4/10s of the way up

The six-figure reference 207834 on the map below shows a church in Bamford.

An Ordnance Survey map of BamfordCrown copyright and database rights 2015 Ordnance Survey 100039117

Note: when using an OS map to answer mapping questions, you MUST always give grid references and/or map evidence in your answer. Map evidence includes the names of different things e.g. places, roads or rivers.