1 : 31680 This plan covers parts of Warwickshire and Worcestershire, with the Severn Valley depicted in the middle. The River Avon meanders north-eastwards from Tewkesbury (where it meets the River Severn) to Stratford on Avon, where, after 17 locks, it joins the Stratford-on-Avon Canal. Below the Avon, near the bottom of the sheet, the Cotswolds form a dramatic limestone escarpment above the Severn Valley and Evesham Vale. Jurassic limestone, used as a building material throughout the area, gives the Cotswolds its distinctive look. Dawson, Robert
VIGORNIENSIS Comitatus Sheet 21
This map of Worcestershire is from the 1583 edition of the Saxton 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 used of maps in government matters, Lord Burghley, Elizabeth I’s Secretary of State, 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. Saxton, Christopher Ryther, Augustine
Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary
This is a chart showing the Bristol Channel and the River Severn. Sandbanks in the River Severn are indicated by stippling and the draughtsman has indicated the ‘Channell betweene the groundes’. The tributries of the Severn are indicated and figures along the banks record the distance in miles between their mouths. Locations of note, such as Bristol, Bath and Newport are represented by generalised perspective views of houses and churches. The map is thought to date from 1595, reflecting the fear that the Spanish were planning to invade the Bristol Channel in the 1590’s, rather than initiate a more obvious and direct attack via the English Channel. The Anglo- Spanish relationship had steadily deteriorated since the accession of the Protestant Elizabeth I. Raids on transatlantic shipping by English seamen such as Francis Drake and England’s support of the Protestant rebellion in the Spanish ruled Netherlands had brought tensions with Spain to a crescendo culminating in the events of the Spanish Armada. Although the Spanish Armada was defeated by the English in 1588, England remained at war with Spain for many years and further attempts to invade were made by Philip II. In 1595, the year this chart was produced, the Spanish attacked Mounts Bay, Newlyn and Penzance.