British Town Maps: A History
Towns are complex and sophisticated creations. Mapping towns stretched cartographers' ingenuity to new heights of both artistic beauty and scientific exactitude as they strove to represent and communicate the physical patterns of streets, buildings and spaces; the 'above ground' and the 'below ground'; the built structures and the economy; the lives of those who live or work there; and the unseen realities of land ownership, administration, religion and politics.These maps served a variety of purposes, from guiding travellers, assisting with administration and government, raising taxes, planning the built environment, organising its defence - and much, much more. Some of the maps in this book are well known, others have languished in obscurity, deep in archives, until revealed by the ten years' work of a British Academy research project on which this book is founded. Lavishly illustrated in colour, it tells the story of the mapping of urban Britain from the late middle ages until modern times. The text is accompanied by a comprehensive index of town maps which have been catalogued on an open-access electronic resource.