A Chart of the Isle of Thanet and Sandwich Marsh
This is a plan of Sandwich Haven, the River Stour, the Isle of Thanet and the Wantsum Channel, Kent,possibly dating from around 1548. At this time the Sandwich harbour was in a state of decay. The course of the lower part of the River Stour, between Sandwich and the sea is a series of bends. This made it difficult to navigate, especially with the increasing lengths of 16th century ships, and also prone to becoming blocked with deposits of silt. The idea of making a new artificial channel directly east between Sandwich and the sea was proposed by the military engineer John Rogers, as a way to solve the problem. Although work started on the new channel during the reign of Edward VI it was abandoned with nothing more occurring until 1559 when a new report was submitted. This report suggested that the cut be made south of the line proposed by Rogers as here the marsh land was lower and a deep channel at high water would be easier to excavate. The author of this new report and the map which accompanies it are unknown. The only name on the map is Littlejoy which is written under the compass star. The map is drawn at a scale of 7 inches to 10 miles.
This is a map of Orwell Haven, Essex. It is thought to date from1543. It shows proposed fortifications at the mouth of Harwich harbour which were not built. The forts are shown in plan form and have seem to be measured plans, recording details such as the splayed external opening of embrasures and the curved internal space for a man to stand. In this they contrast with the loose pictorial style of the rest of the map. The forts comprise a central fort with a curtain wall with bastions at each corner. The fort at Lagner Point has angular bastions in the Italian style perhaps revealing the influence of the Italian military engineers employed by Henry VIII in the 1540’s. The advantage of angle bastions is that they provide fire power outwards and flanking power along the walls so that no blind spots exist, enabling defenders to cover all the surrounding ground. The concern with the defensive capabilities of Orwell Haven and other coastal area at this date was due to the resumption of hostilities between England and France 1542. The map is the work of Richard Lee, a mason by trade was worked as a surveyor on fortification schemes in England and English territory in France. It is probable that this map was intended for personal explanation by Lee to Henry VIII.