Estates at Windsor, Berkshire
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.
Detail from OSD 127 (Hampton Court), showing Kingston, Richmond and Twickenham
This drawing of London and the surrounding Thames countryside provides a fascinating blueprint of Regency London. The layouts of the ornamental gardens and tree-lined avenues of Hampton Court and nearby Bushy Park are shown in detail. These contrast with the depiction of Kew Gardens, which is left blank within its boundaries. The Ordnance Survey Letter Book records: "When the Ordnance Survey of the vicinity of Brentford was made, The Surveyor was not permitted to enter Kew Gardens." At that time, King George III was recuperating at Kew from bouts of mental illness: the king's privacy and security took primacy over mapmaking.
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This plan of the Chiltern Hills runs from Beaconsfield and Harefield at the top to Windsor Park, Egham and Staines at the bottom. A section of the Grand Junction Canal, running from Harefield down to West Drayton, is shown in aquamarine. The paper carries the watermark "E ,amp; P", standing for Edmeads and Pine.
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.This map is in poor repair. Its edges are dirty and damaged, and a join is visible where the drawing has been torn. Triangulation points can be seen at the map's boundaries, along with a series of stitch holes. Silk tape was wound through these holes to protect the map in the field. .The drawing details a large number of commons, including Pirbright, Ham Haw and Ockham. These are depicted by patterns of open dotting. Basingstoke Canal also features. It was completed in 1794, only a few years before this map was drawn. Blue washes, used to depict water, have faded. The town of Chertsey appears towards the top right, along with the ruins of Chertsey Abbey. The abbey was founded in AD666, as a house for the Benedictine Order, and dissolved in 1537.