Oxted & District History Society - Talk
Oxted & District History Society

Tim Tawney, a keen antique map collector, gave an illustrated lecture to the Oxted & District History Society on ‘Antique County maps’.

Tim Tawney’s interest in antique county maps started with an inherited map of Kent, which turned out to be a first edition of John Speed’s 1611 map of Kent.  This map has a history of Kent on the back.  The bulk of his collection consists of 32 maps of Rutland, including Christopher Saxton’s map of Rutland, dating from 1610.  John Speed also produced a map of Rutland as did the Dutchman, Johannes Blaeu. 

The accuracy of antique county maps varies with different mapmakers.  Robert Morden’s map of Rutland is very accurate and John Ogilvy (1600-1676) was one of the first mapmakers to use a survey wheel.  An early road map of Rutland was produced in 1720 by Owen and Bowen.  The earliest county maps were produced from copper plates but Thomas Moule’s 1836 map of Rutland was much sharper, being produced with a steel plate.

Antique county maps have interesting additions, such as the coats of arms of leading county figures, possibly sponsors of the maps, and bucolic rural scenes. Reuben Randall’s map of Rutland is surrounded by attractive rural pictures.  Some county maps also have street plans of the major towns.


Antique County Maps a talk by Tim Tawney