Insurance Plan of London Vol. xi: sheet 367
1 : 480 This detailed 1891 plan of London is one of a series of forty seven 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 : 21120 This is a roughly drawn field sketch of the north bank of the Thames, extending from West Thurrock, at the bottom, to Great Warley, at the top. The plan is made up of about 13 irregularly cut pieces of paper watermarked "1794". Some mismatch of detail is noticeable along the edges where the sheets have been joined, and the orientation of the lettering on the component parts is varied. Trigonometrical stations, from which the surveyors took angular readings, are marked 'flag', notably at 'Bulvan Fenn' and just above the low water mark for the Thames. Verron, Charles