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Books & Maps


  • The Drovers by KJ Bonser (1970) tells the whole story in an unpretentious way, and is the book that enthused me in the first place.  It covers every part of the UK.

  • Welsh Cattle Drovers by Prof. Richard Moore-Colyer is a scholarly account which I tend to use as a reference book and a few pages of at a time, according to which stretch I’m exploring…  

  • The Drove Roads of Scotland by A R B Haldane (1997).  A wise and fascinating book by a man who makes you feel he has been a drover himself.  In fact he walked many of the long roads he describes. 

  • Wales and the Drovers is a booklet by P G Hughes.  It's out of print but unputdownable.  What a shame the author couldn't find time for a longer book, because he writes with passion and style.

  • Two more books on Wales: The Drovers’ Roads of Wales by Fay Godwin & Shirley Toulson follows routes in detail, with OS references throughout; and Roads and Trackways of Wales, by Moore-Colyer again, is indispensable.  When in Wales, I would not be without these two volumes.

  • The Drovers by Shirley Toulson, a Shire publication, under 50 pages long, is an easy and reliable introduction to the subject, with excellent pictures.

  • The Hard Road to London by Idris Evans (2008) is an entertaining account of the hardships, habits and superstitions of drovers on their way from Anglesey to London.  It could only have been written by a Welshman!

  • On the Trail of the Welsh Drovers by Twm Elias, published 2018.  Short & entertaining read and you may be able to recognise a few of Twm's pictures from this website...

  • The Famous Highland Drove Walk by Irvine Butterfield describes in great detail the 200-mile journey from Skye to Crieff.  Laced with historical anecdote and a delightful read.  My thanks to Keith MacDonald for recommending it.


  • The Ordnance Survey Explorer Series, scale 1;25,000, gives the details of paths, field boundaries - everything, in fact.

  • The Old Series, the original survey done in the 1820's & 1830's, is reproduced by Cassini (OS by another name).  Scale 1:50,000

  • Ogilby's Britannia, pub. 1675, is an atlas of major roads in a series of strip-maps.  It shows the routes that have disappeared since enclosures and turnpikes.  Internet-viewing possible via Chris Mullins' website Full Table.

  • The county maps of Jefferys (nine counties, surveyed 1765-1771, Bryant (thirteen counties, 1820-1834), Davies and many more.  Reproductions available at county record offices.

  • Best of all: the National Library of Scotland's online maps ("geo-referenced").  Google nls, put in a place name top left, select the map you want - 1890's 6" isn't bad - and you'll see the exact map reference on the bottom left.  Bottom right is a blue button: move it to the left and the modern aerial view emerges from behind.  Magic!