Insurance Plan of The City of Birmingham Vol II: sheet 24-2
1 : 480 This detailed 1889 plan of Birmingham is one of a series of twelve sheets in an atlas originally produced to aid insurance companies in assessing fire risks. The building footprints, their use (commercial, residential, educational, etc.), the number of floors and the height of the building, as well as construction materials (and thus risk of burning) and special fire hazards (chemicals, kilns, ovens) were documented in order to estimate premiums. Names of individual businesses, property lines, and addresses were also often recorded. Together these maps provide a rich historical shapshot of the commercial activity and urban landscape of towns and cities at the time.
The British Library holds a comprehensive collection of fire insurance plans produced by the London-based firm Charles E. Goad Ltd. dating back to 1885. These plans were made for most important towns and cities of the British Isles at the scales of 1:480 (1 inch to 40 feet), as well as many foreign towns at 1:600 (1 inch to 50 feet). Chas E Goad Limited Chas E Goad Limited
1 : 31680 This plan covers part of the English Midland plateau. The Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal is depicted down the left side. Opened for traffic in May 1772, the canal was built by engineer James Brindley as part of his 'Grand Cross', a far-sighted scheme to link the ports of Hull, Liverpool and Bristol by connecting the rivers Mersey, Trent and Severn. Work on a second waterway, the Birmingham Canal, started a year later to facilitate the transport of coal from the pits of the Black Country to Birmingham. The Industrial Revolution saw over 180 miles of canals and 216 locks built. Part of this network is visible on the plan highlighted in blue. Dawson, Robert
1 : 31680 This drawing is attributed to Robert Dawson. Different shades of green are employed to distinguish different land uses, and darker tones to describe the bold undulation of the landscape. Birmingham is depicted top left, at the centre of a network of toll roads and canals. Prominently featured on the plan is the Grand Junction Canal. This waterway was at the heart of the Industrial Revolution in this region at the beginning of the 19th century, carrying raw materials to mills and industrial centres, and finished goods to markets throughout Britain. Dawson, Robert
VIGORNIENSIS Comitatus Sheet 21
This map of Worcestershire is from the 1583 edition of the Saxton atlas of England and Wales.This atlas was first published as a whole in 1579. It consists of 35 coloured maps depicting the counties of England and Wales. The atlas is of great significance to British cartography as it set a standard of cartographic representation in Britain and the maps remained the basis for English county mapping, with few exceptions, until after 1750. During the reign of Elizabeth I map use became more common, with many government matters referring to increasingly accurate maps with consistent scales and symbols, made possible by advances in surveying techniques. Illustrating the increasing used of maps in government matters, Lord Burghley, Elizabeth I’s Secretary of State, who had been determined to have England and Wales mapped in detail from the 1550s, selected the cartographer Christopher Saxton to produce a detailed and consistent survey of the country. The financier of the project was Thomas Seckford Master of Requests at the Court of Elizabeth I, whose arms appear, along with the royal crest, on each map. Saxton, Christopher Ryther, Augustine