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This drawing covers part of the Thames Valley in the counties of Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. The plan is oriented to the east, with a compass depicted at middle right. Symbols distinguish woodland, heathland, arable enclosed land and formal parkland. Brushstroke interlining indicates relief and hills. The River Thames is depicted in the lower part of the sheet, meandering through Oxfordshire between Oxford and Wallingford.
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.
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William Stanley was listed as a first class Military surveyor and draughtsman at the Drawing Room of the Tower of London. In 1821, he was asked to revise this plan by the Ordnance Survey's Superintendent, William Mudge. Stanley wrote to explain that he had "a great deal of trouble" in finding his field books and sketches "in consequence of its being so long since it was done, about 10 years." The dirty and torn condition of the drawing most likely results from constant travelling between the Tower and the surveyors in the field for amendments and corrections. Inns named include "Tumble Down Dick", "Rose and Crown", and "Kingstones Inn". Tollgates are also noted.