A Chart of the Isle of Thanet and Sandwich Marsh
This is a plan of Sandwich Haven, the River Stour, the Isle of Thanet and the Wantsum Channel, Kent,possibly dating from around 1548. At this time the Sandwich harbour was in a state of decay. The course of the lower part of the River Stour, between Sandwich and the sea is a series of bends. This made it difficult to navigate, especially with the increasing lengths of 16th century ships, and also prone to becoming blocked with deposits of silt. The idea of making a new artificial channel directly east between Sandwich and the sea was proposed by the military engineer John Rogers, as a way to solve the problem. Although work started on the new channel during the reign of Edward VI it was abandoned with nothing more occurring until 1559 when a new report was submitted. This report suggested that the cut be made south of the line proposed by Rogers as here the marsh land was lower and a deep channel at high water would be easier to excavate. The author of this new report and the map which accompanies it are unknown. The only name on the map is Littlejoy which is written under the compass star. The map is drawn at a scale of 7 inches to 10 miles.
Canterbury is the largest settlement featured on this drawing, with barracks recorded nearby. The draughtsman has also noted two military batteries along the coast, roughly level with Sandwich. Produced against the background of the Napoleonic Wars, the Ordance Survey drawings show a clear preoccupation with defensive structures, particularly along the vulnerable south coast. On this map, Deal Castle, Sandown Castle and Walmer Castle form a line of protection for the Downs anchorage. Commissioned by Henry VIII in the late 1530s, they were built as a defence against possible invasion after his divorce from Catherine of Aragon angered French and Spanish Catholics. The draughtsman has delineated the distinctive petal formation of Deal Castle, built to resemble the Tudor Rose.
St Margaret's Bay
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This rough field sketch of the Kentish coastline was produced on about 12 pieces of thin, irregularly cut, paper which were then joined and laid on thick paper. There is considerable mismatch of detail at the joins. The plan runs from the Strait of Dover, through Dover Castle, St Margaret's Bay, Kingsdown, Walmer Castle and Deal. The red colouring normally used to distinguish buildings in settlement areas was not added to this drawing.
The cliffs of Dover are shown almost pictorially on this plan, with dark striations indicating steepness. Relief is shown elsewhere by shading and interlining ('hachuring'). Field boundaries are observed. The sandy coast is represented by a speckled pattern and grassland by a green wash. Dover Castle is seen in plan, with dark hachure lines depicting the steep underlying rocks. The castle, known as the 'Key to England', was a site of unique strategic importance, affording the shortest crossing point of the English Channel to continental Europe. Its defences were improved during the Napoleonic conflicts. Special tunnels were even bored beneath the keep for emergency entrance and exit. This drawing was surveyed while the war was at its most ferocious, yet no batteries are recorded.