Maps of Reading
Description: This is a manuscript map of the area surrounding Windsor in Berkshire. It forms part of an atlas that belonged to William Cecil Lord Burghley, Elizabeth I’s Secretary of State. Burghley used this atlas to illustrate domestic matters. Burghley was in charge of administration for the Royal Estate of Windsor. The Royal Estates were notoriously slackly administered, a flaw that no official involved was keen to remedy as there were considerable personal advantages to be gained from inadequacies in the system. The map is drawn to scale with a scale bar of 5.5 - 6 miles. The many parks are shown by enclosure symbols, an important feature of any landscape for military purposes as it was in parks that troops could rest and horses graze. Communication routes such as roads and pathways are indicated by double or single broken lines and the rivers and the points at which they are bridged are also shown. The waterways were a vital communication route at the time, especially in this area where the Thames provides direct access to the centre of London.
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