Map of Gunton, Suffolk
This map of Lowestofe and Gunton in Suffolk dates from 1579-80. It was drawn for use in a case between John Hoo, tenant of Lowestoft manor, and Robert Wroote, owner of the manor of Gunton Denes. Gunton Denes can be seen below the centre of the map and is an area of flat land at the foot of the cliffs, accessed by paths called scores. To the right the villages of Newton, Hopton and Gorleston are shown in disproportionate proximity to one another. The map is drawn in the detailed pictorial style common to Tudor maps. Individual buildings are drawn with reference to particular architectural features, such as turrets and stepped gable ends, which do not necessarily reflect reality. Topographical features are shaded to give the effect of a south light. The scale of the map is irregular, with Gunton depicted at a scale of approximately 9 inches to1 mile and the rest of the area shown at a much smaller scale. A number of annotations, some of which have been later erased, have been made in lighter ink by a second hand in secretary style in or around Gunton Denes and, in addition, the north and south boundaries of Gunton Denes have been roughly marked in, probably by the same hand. Between Lowestoft (Laystofe) and Gunton the beacon is prominent, a feature common to coastal regions who would be first to raise the alarm in the case of an enemy approach by sea.
A Coloured Chart of the Coast of Suffolk, from Orwell Haven to Gorlston, near Yarmouth
This is a map of the Suffolk coast stretching from Orwell Haven to Godeston near Yarmouth. It details the defences of the area may be part of the coastal survey of 1539. Fortification of large sections of coast was carried out at this time as Henry VIII feared an invasion from the combined forces of France and Spain. In 1538 Francis I of France, and Charles V Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain signed a peace treaty. This union gave rise to the possibility that France and Spain may combine forces to invade England. France was England’s historical enemy and Henry VIII’s divorce of Catherine of Aragon, Charles V’s aunt, had offended the militantly catholic King of Spain. The map includes a vignette view of Ipswich, and a depiction of Orford Castle, built by Henry II in the 1160’s to guard what was then a busy port. Here a beacon is shown on the battlements, indicating that the castle, built on raised grown, has been incorporated into the early warning system that is depicted along the coast by numerous beacons. Two round tower forts are shown with gun ports and extended cannons. Such a large scale fortification plan was greatly aided by the significant advances in cartography and surveying which occurred in the Tudor period. The vast wealth Henry VIII had at his disposal after the dissolution of the monasteries provided the necessary finances for the survey.