Insurance Plan of Reading: Key Plan
1 : 4800 This "key plan" indicates coverage of the Goad 1895 series of fire insurance maps of Reading that were 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
Estates at Windsor, Berkshire
This is a manuscript map of the area surrounding Windsor in Berkshire. 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. Burghley was in charge of administration for the Royal Estate of Windsor. The Royal Estates were notoriously slackly administered, a flaw that no official involved was keen to remedy as there were considerable personal advantages to be gained from inadequacies in the system. The map is drawn to scale with a scale bar of 5.5 - 6 miles. The many parks are shown by enclosure symbols, an important feature of any landscape for military purposes as it was in parks that troops could rest and horses graze. Communication routes such as roads and pathways are indicated by double or single broken lines and the rivers and the points at which they are bridged are also shown. The waterways were a vital communication route at the time, especially in this area where the Thames provides direct access to the centre of London.
Map of Forests around Windsor
Map of the forests around Windsor from "A Description of the Honour of Windesor", John Norden's survey of Windsor. The title page states that the survey was "taken and performed by the perambulation view and delineation of John Norden In Anno 1607". The plans are the result of a survey conducted on foot by Norden. The maps in this volume show communication routes, individual buildings, field boundaries and parkland along with details of wildlife and human activity, such as stags in Windsor Park and people boating on the Thames. The scale at which the maps are presented varies throughout the volume, with feet, perches and miles being the units of measurement recorded by a scale bar. John Norden is best known for his work "Speculum Britainiae", literally a "Mirror of Britain", which in its attempt to include the road names and town plans, lacking on many county maps of the period, was a direct ancestor of the modern A-Z. As well as producing several county maps in the 1590s, Norden worked as a land surveyor producing surveys for landowners and was the author of a work which outlines principles of surveying, known as the "Surveyor's Dialogue". Norden, John