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January 31, 2008 8:02 PM   Subscribe

The Gough, or Bodleian map is surprisingly accurate considering it dates from the 14th century. The Map is considered the first true map of Britain. Some say the red lines cris-crossing the map are roads, however, some disagree. You be the judge, because the map is available for interractive viewing at Queens University Belfast.
posted by mattoxic (8 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Hmm, the interractive map site is being slashdotted at the mo
posted by mattoxic at 8:04 PM on January 31, 2008

Very cool, thanks.
posted by LarryC at 8:08 PM on January 31, 2008

The Highlands looking suitably vague and beyong the pale of Anglo-Norman civilisation there. Great post, mattoxic, thanks.
posted by Abiezer at 8:15 PM on January 31, 2008

I love the fact that Gough bought it for half a crown. Luckily he knew it was valuable.
posted by mattoxic at 8:22 PM on January 31, 2008

Let's see, that's 15 points for my cities, 10 points for my roads, 8 points for this cloister, 3 for that one, and it looks like I've got 40 points for farmers.

Plus, I had followers to spare!

(What, we're not playing Carcassonne: England Expansion??)
posted by nzero at 9:00 PM on January 31, 2008

This is great! I've been planning a trip to Britain ... now, can I rent a horse at all ports, or only some ports during daylight hours and with the correct letters of credit?

Half a crown (2s 6d) might be worth £12 today. Well, somebody was selling it and must have realized it was worth something, but how'd it get to the guy on the street? Seems it would not have survived 400 years already if nobody had realized its value. Wonder if it was stolen from a collection, or thrown out with other effects of an estate.

Anyway, I assume the cartography experts have thought of such things, but it just isn't mentioned. The red lines may indicate lines of communication, say between post offices, or even private transportation labeled by cost or time. It could even have been a military map made up by enemies of the crown, or had Mountweazels should it fall into the wrong hands. That could explain the missing roads.
posted by dhartung at 9:20 PM on January 31, 2008

Perhaps the price index is misleading - I think it would equate to more than £12? I know these comparisons are difficult, but for example I understand that in 1768 in Gloucester's brass industry, a child pin maker of 9 to 11 years of age earned 2 to 3d a day. Journeymen were paid 7s - 9s a week while a few skilled men received 10 - 15s a week.

So half a crown in those terms would be about a third of a journeyman's weekly pay. I bet you couldn't get a journeyman brass-worker now (supposing you could find one) to work for a week for £36.

The map is fascinating - frustrating not to know more about its origins.
posted by Phanx at 2:03 AM on February 1, 2008

When I was a young kid and I saw the weather reports on TV I didn't have a clue what the map represented. I saw a Yorkshire Terrier on its hind legs (Ireland), and I saw a galloping pig being ridden by a man (mainland Britain). This only comes to mind because of what that first link looked like when the image first loaded.
posted by vbfg at 2:12 AM on February 1, 2008

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