This drawing is rich in archaeological sites, the most notable being Cadbury Castle, which, according to legend, is the Camelot of Arthurian myth. It is marked by several concentric rings inside a band of dense shading, smudged at the top, indicating a steep mound. It was not until 1839-40 that contour lines were introduced into Ordnance Survey drawings, and so the two large blank areas on the map represent low fluvial tracts. Red pecked lines denote the boundaries between Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire
This is a map of Dorset 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. In the lower margin there are notes concerning 'Dangerous places for landing of men in the county'. These notes were probably written by an assistant of Lord Burghley and show the concern felt about the south coasts vulnerability to invasion. Due to the presence of a Protestant Queen in the form of Elizabeth I, England was under threat from a catholic crusade from Philip II of Spain. This threat culminated in the events of the Spanish Armada in 1588. Saxton, Christopher William Cecil, Lord Burghley
A coloured chart of "The coste of England uppon Severne," being the whole north coast of Somersetshire; with the forts erected thereon; temp. Henry VIII ca. 1540
This is a pictorial representation of the north coast of Somerset. It shows the coast from the mouth of the River Avon near East Bristol to west Porlock and can be dated to 1539. At the top of the drawing round towers represent proposed blockhouses in the neighbourhoods of Porlock and Western-super-Mare on the north coast of Somerset. The intention to mount guns on platforms at Minehead and to the north of the Parrat is also represented in this drawing. Inlets are indicated and towns are shown schematically, an emphasis on the nature of the coast is evident as the draughtsman has recorded outcrops of rocks. The existence of this drawing and the proposals it contains can be imputed the threat of invasion which became probable in 1538 after a peace treaty was signed by Francis I of France and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor King of Spain. England and France were ancient enemy’s and the Catholic Charles V, nephew of Catherine of Aragon, was angered by Henry VII’s decision to divorce her. In the event, the works proposed here were not carried out. The paper upon which this map is drawn bears a watermark of a double headed eagle bearing a shield.