1 : 31680 This plan covers part of the English Midland plateau. The Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal is depicted down the left side. Opened for traffic in May 1772, the canal was built by engineer James Brindley as part of his 'Grand Cross', a far-sighted scheme to link the ports of Hull, Liverpool and Bristol by connecting the rivers Mersey, Trent and Severn. Work on a second waterway, the Birmingham Canal, started a year later to facilitate the transport of coal from the pits of the Black Country to Birmingham. The Industrial Revolution saw over 180 miles of canals and 216 locks built. Part of this network is visible on the plan highlighted in blue. Dawson, Robert
1 : 31680 This plan covers East Shropshire and Staffordshire. Across the plan, highlighted in yellow, is the toll road to Shrewsbury, built on a Roman road, the Watling Street. Along the road is Weston House and Park. Originally part of a medieval deer forest, the park was landscaped in the 18th century by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown - so-called because he was in the habit of telling prospective clients that their gardens had "great capabilities." With his followers, Brown dominated parkland design in the 18th century, creating the modern English parkland view with extensive sweeps of grass, groups of trees, lakes and planned vistas. At lower left is the Wrekin, a hill standing 1,334 ft hill above the Severn plain. It is formed by some of the oldest rocks in Britain: lava, ashes and debris thrown up from a volcanic cleft 900m years ago. Dawson, Robert
1 : 31680 This plan covers East Shropshire and part of Staffordshire, with the River Severn Valley depicted down the left side of the sheet. Here, in its middle course, the river becomes deeper and wider, forming a floodplain in which crops such as wheat and barley are grown. Down the right side of the plan is a section of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, built by the canal engineer, James Brindley as part of his 'Grand Cross', a farsighted scheme to link the ports of Hull, Liverpool and Bristol by connecting the rivers Mersey, Trent and Severn. The canal opened in May 1772. Ironbridge on the Severn at the top left of the plan is said to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. This tiny town gave the world its first iron bridge in 1779. Dawson, Robert
Map of Shropshire f. 75*
This is a manuscript map of Shropshire. It forms part of an atlat which belonged to Lord Burghley, Secretary of State to Elizabeth I, who used it to illustrate domestic matters. It shows only the principal towns, distinguishing between those with a castle and those without by means of a symbol of two connected towers with crenellations. The River Severn, marked Sabrina F, is charted. Lord Burghley has added a name adjacent to a place where the river is bridged. Lord Burghley was concerned with communication routes as revealed by his annotation. The draughtsman has indicated relief by hill symbols in two places. The map features a scale bar, but this is partly obscured by damage to the map.