A Map of the Isle of Sheppey
This map of the Isle of Sheppey dates from 1574 and is thought to be the work of the cartographer Robert Lythe.Lythewas a cartographer of note as he created the first accurate map of Ireland while under the employ of the Crown and is therefore comparable to Christopher Saxton in his importance in the context of the history of cartography. This map was created for the purposes of defence and also to solve the problem of drainage in the area. The emphasis on streams and waterways suggests a link with the repeated attempts to avoid the silting up of Sandwich Haven by increasing the amount of water it could hold. The works were to be financed by a local levy, hence perhaps the prominence of names which may be a guide to apportionment. Anglo-Spanish relations had been in steady decline since the accession of the protestant Elizabeth I in 1558. In 1574 there was a fear that the Spanish would launch an attack from the Netherlands on ships at Chatham. In the idea of transferring the main fleet to Queenborough was suggested as a precaution. Under the command of Sir William Winter, Surveyor of the Navy and Sir William Pelham, Lieutenant General of Ordnance, and Lythe a survey of Sheppey was carried out. Sheerness and the Isle of Grain were rejected in favour of a new port at Swaleness opposite Queenbrough which would prevent a raid from the rear by way of the Swale. Swaleness was a marsh and in order to build fortifications drainage and embanking or the area was necessary. This was authorised by the Privy Council in September 1574. Earthworks were created but the fortifications were not built and in the event the Spanish did not invade until 1588. Lythe, Robert
1 : 31680 This map is drawn on rectangular sheet lines, enclosed by a black border. Fields are coloured brown where cultivated, and green or blank if untilled. Stonework buildings or structures are drawn in red ink at the major settlement of Faversham, in the centre of the plan. Infilled or blocked areas of black or sepia ink depict structures or buildings made from more impermanent materials such as wood. The altitudes ('spot heights'), noted in red-ink figures, are plotted rather than estimated or sketched. Ruled pencil rays intersect across the map, evidence of measurements taken by the surveyor between fixed triangulation points.
1 : 10560 This plan, showing the area around Sittingbourne in Kent, is drawn on rectangular sheet lines and enclosed by a black border. Fields are coloured brown where cultivated, and green or blank if untilled. Stonework buildings or structures are drawn in red ink at major settlements like Milton and Sittingbourne, at the centre top of the plan. Infilled or blocked areas of black or sepia ink depict structures or buildings made from impermanent materials such as wood. Corrections have been made on this plan and it is likely that the red-ink numerical annotations of altitude are measured rather than estimated or sketched.