Saturday, December 12, 2015

17th Century UK Road Maps

The Road From London to the Lands End commencing at the Standard in Cornhill and Extending to Senan in Cornwall. It was made in 1675 by John Ogilby and covers almost 500 km.

Already in the 17th century strip road maps were being fabricated, for instance by John Ogilby (1600-1676), which proved popular in planning journeys throughout the United Kingdom. 

The first strip on the left-hand side from this map takes in much of contemporary London, showing (bottom to top, i.e. east to west) part of the City of London, Southwark, Westminster, Hide Park, Kensington, Hammersmith, Turnham Green and Smallheer Green. The next strips are labelled A through E (at the bottom) and B through F (at the top), showing the orientation and order in which they should be viewed.

 The continuation of the road from London to Holyhead, by John Ogilby.

The rivers and hills encountered are noted, as are the forks in the road, and the directions in which these lead. Andover, the last town on this map, is in Hampshire, and is still a long way away from Land’s End, the end point of this road map; indicating that this page is still a few scrolls short of being a complete map.

 The road from London to Harwich, by John Ogilby.

next episode: ile


  1. Fascinating, and we have to remember that these are not for cars but for horse-drawn vehicles. Miserable journeys.

  2. I have a copy of Ogilby's Road Book. Original maps, but rebound by a lbrary, long ago. I rescued it from doom.
    It was due to be incinerated, as a result of a beaurocratic failure which said it was 'Surplus to requirements'.


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