Heritage Lists Maps

5 Ancient Maps of Britain

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Ptolemy’s 1st European Map – 15th century (based on Ptolemy’s map from 150 AD)

Woodcut map dating from 1486 which is a copy of one of Ptolemy’s early maps portraying Britain (Albion Insula) and Ireland (Ibernia Insula).

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Anglo-Saxon Mappa Mundi – 11th century

The Canterbury map was created around 1025-1050 and depicts Britain within the larger setting of Europe (located in the bottom left-hand side).

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Tabula Rogeriana – 12th century

The Nuzhat al-mushtāq fi’khtirāq al-āfāq, most often known as the Tabula Rogeriana is a description of the world and world map created by the Arab geographer, Muhammad al-Idrisi, in 1154. Al-Idrisi worked on the commentaries and illustrations of the map for fifteen years at the court of the Norman King Roger II of Sicily, who commissioned the work around 1138.

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Matthew Paris – 13th century

The Matthew Paris map dates from around 1250, depicting many ancient landmarks such as Hadrian’s and the Antonine Wall.

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Gough Map

The Gough Map or Bodleian Map is a Late Medieval map of the island of Great Britain. Its precise date of production and authorship are unknown. It is named after Richard Gough, who bequeathed the map to the Bodleian Library in 1809. He acquired the map from the estate of the antiquarian Thomas “Honest Tom” Martin in 1774.

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