1 : 31680 The Ordnance Survey took particular care in plotting the south coast of England, as this was the area most immediately vulnerable to invasion. This plan notes military barracks at Selsea, Aldwick and Bognor to the bottom right of the plan. Buildings are blocked in red and black ink and infilled at Chichester, in the centre of the plan, and Arundel, at the right. A poor house and pest house are located a considerable distance beyond the boundaries of Chichester.
A coloured chart of Portsmouth Harbour, Spithead, and part of the Isle of Wight, on a scale of one mile to an inch
This is a map of Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight dating from 1585. It has been annotated by William Cecil Lord Burghley, Secretary of State to Elizabeth I, who has added the names "Westburhunt" and "Chichest". Burghley was an avid map collector and his application of geographical knowledge to matters of government is well known. Three beacons are indicated on 'Portesdowne', showing the systems in place for alerting the locality in an invasion scenario. Either side of these beacons are red windmill symbols named "westmyll" and "estmill", two further windmills, again highlighted in red, lie towards the centre of the map. It is likely that these have been highlighted due to their height which would facilitate their use as vantage points or beacons. There is a scale bar indicating a scale of one inch to a mile. Portsmouth became the focus of a new program of defensive works in 1584. 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. It is likely that this map, detailing the beacons in the area, was produced for military purposes connected with the strengthening of the defences for the Portsmouth area against the expected Spanish Invasion. William Cecil, Lord Burghley
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