This coastal plan is drawn to a scale of 3 inches to the mile, unlike most inland drawings, which are two inches to the mile. The larger scale reflects greater concern for the vulnerability of this area. The Solent gives access to the ports of Portsmouth and Southampton, making it a particularly attractive avenue for naval invasion. Hurst Castle is marked in black and red at the narrow entrance to the Solent. Built by Henry VIII as part of a defensive chain of fortresses, it is sited where the ebb and flow of the tides create particularly strong currents, providing an excellent natural defence against would-be invaders. The castle was modernised during the Napoleonic Wars. To the right of the castle, salt marshes extend towards Lymington. The saltworks, shown by blue squares, once supplied most of the west of England. A signal house is noted on Christchurch Head.
Description of the Isle of Wight
This map of the Isle of Wight dates from around 1600. It is titled on the reverse "Description of the Isle of Wight". A scale bar is included with the motif of dividers, stating ‘Scala Miliaria’, revealing that the map is drawn on a scale of half an inch to one mile. We can not be certain of the identity of the cartographer of this map but it may be one which is thought to have been produced by William White, which was then augmented and published by John Speed in his Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine. Both this map and the Speed map exaggerate the width of waterways, the depth of bays and prominence of headlands, in a similar way. Such exaggerations suggest that this map was not the result of survey and was drawn by eye. The beacon network on the island is shown by pictorial representations of individual beacons. The Needles are represented by three squat triangles and labelled ‘The nedles’. The period during which this map was produced saw England at war with Spain. The emphasis on the beacon network suggests that the map is concerned with defence in this climate of unease. 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 plan an invasion of England. Although the Spanish were dramatically 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 the ‘second Armada’ in October 1596 and the assembly of the ‘third Armada’ in the following spring. White, William
This is a map of Hampshire by Christopher Saxton, datingfrom 1575. 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. This map is actually a proof copy of one which forms part of Christopher Saxton’s 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 use of maps in government matters, Lord Burghley, 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. Lord Burghley added several place names to the map. This map was engraved by Leonardus Terwoort, one of a team of seven English and Flemish engravers employed to produced the copper plates for the atlas. Saxton, Christopher Terwoort, Leonardus Antverpianus
1 : 21120 Triangulation allows the relative location of individual topographical features to be plotted accurately. This drawing shows the primary triangulation of southern England, the lengths of the sides of each triangle being noted. Stations shown include Dunnose, Bagshot Heath, Inkpen Hill and the Salisbury Plain base. The points of the triangles provided the surveyor with references to which, by measurement or angular observation, he could precisely relate the position of other topographical features. Angular observations were made using a theodolite. Triangulation points were carefully chosen. Elevated sites were preferred where possible, particularly the tops of hills and church towers.