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.
1 : 31680 This is an original protraction of the Suffolk coastline, running inland,from Orford Ness,,on the right,,to Hasketon and Wickham., The various traverses (single lines surveyed from different points),are distinguished by colour: red, blue, yellow, light brown and dark brown. ,These skeleton protraction lines,form the first plottings from the field book of the area., At the bottom right, the plan is annotated in blue with the date of the traverse and the,corresponding page numbers in the field book. Metcalf, Edward B
A Coloured Chart of the Coast of Suffolk, from Bawdseye to Thorpe, including Orford and Aldborough
This is a map of the Suffolk coast from Bawdseye to Thorpe. It includes detailed depictions of Orford and Aldeburgh. It is thought to date from between 1575-1600. Whimsically picturesque in style, topographical features are recorded pictorially. Individual architectural features such as Orford castle, village churches and windmills are carefully detailed and all manner of sailing vessels crowd the waterways. However, the purpose of the map is to provide a record of the layout and defensive capacity of the area. The inlets and tributaries of the waterways are recorded as are the sands and channels of the coast. Beacons are shown, with one atop the castle at Orford , built by Henry II in the 1160’s to guard what was then a busy port. The prominence of the windmills is probably due to the fact that they could also be used as vantage points due to their height. Aldeburgh (Albwrghe) is shown as a heavily fortified settlement with cannons occupying a pier and located at intervals along the adjacent sands. As well as two beacons, two windmills and a church are also shown at Aldeburgh all useful due to their height and therefore view of the sea. It is likely that the map was drawn in connection with the contemporary threat from Spain. Since the accession of the Protestant Elizabeth I to the English throne in 1558 Anglo-Spanish relationship had deteriorated. The continued English raids on Spanish colonial interests and England’s support of the Protestant rebellion in the Spanish ruled Netherlands had induced the Catholic Philip II to launch the 1588 Spanish Armada. Although the Spanish Armada was defeated by the English in 1588, England remained at war with Spain for many years and further attempts to invade were made by Philip of Spain with the dispersal of a second Armada’ in October 1596 and the assembly of the third Armada’ in the following spring. In this climate it was naturally coastal areas that were under the closest scrutiny.