Whereabouts Wednesday: Printed Maps of Sussex 1575-1900

8 Dec

The book Printed Maps of Sussex, 1575-1900 by David Kingsley was published by the Sussex Record Society in 1982 and is a catalogue to maps of the county of Sussex, England printed between 1575 and 1900.

The bad news is that this volume is now out of print, but the good news is that as well as being able to find it in second-hand bookshops and libraries, it is also available to view online on the Sussex Record Society website (along with many other useful books and databases).

As the book is essentially just a catalogue there is only a small section of illustrations featuring examples of some of the maps. Due to the limitations of the book format they are not particularly detailed (they can be enlarged on the website), but they do provide a good example of the style of the maps available and level of detail included.

These maps are not the sort of maps that I use a great deal, in general the level of detail is not good enough to be able to pick out individual properties (like you can on some Ordnance Survey maps), but these maps are great for getting an overall picture of the landscape and its development.

Most of these maps show main roads, rivers and settlements, which are great for understanding the landscape and connections of ancestral locations. It is also interesting to see the variations in spelling of place names, which may have changed over the centuries.

The catalogue also serves as a finding aid, providing details of where you can find copies of the 154 maps listed, as well as providing background on the creation of each map and the individuals and businesses involved in the publication.

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