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Mapping the British Isles
The National Archives holds more than six million maps and plans, ranging from the 14th century to the modern day. The British Isles are well represented in our collections, among other places from all round the globe.
We hold a considerable number of early town maps of the UK, as well as colourful representations of marsh land, verdant forests and the countryside. Railway maps from the 19th century show new lines completed and in progress across the country.
Many early cartographic representations of Ireland also feature in our collections, including the famous map below of Hibernia drawn by John Goghe in 1567.
Some of our maps are signed by well-known mapmakers of the day, or even bear annotations by famous or important people such as Sir William Cecil. Christopher Wren's signature can be seen below on the plan of a house and gardens in central London, from the time when he was Surveyor General.
We have numerous maps of London and its surrounding areas, from a boundary map of the Greater London Plan Area to panoramics of the River Thames.
Ashburton, Devon, 1605/images/imagelibrary/showcase/maps/mpb1-7-ashburton-devon-1605.jpg
Catalogue reference: MPB 1/7
Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, 1639/images/imagelibrary/showcase/maps/mpf1-287-newcastle-upon-tyne-northumberland-1639.jpg
Catalogue reference: MPF 1/287
Ireland by John Goghe, 1567/images/imagelibrary/showcase/maps/mpf1-68-ireland-by-john-goghe-1567.jpg
Catalogue reference: MPF 1/68
Isle of Sheppey, 1572/images/imagelibrary/showcase/maps/mpf1-240-isle-of-sheppey-1572.jpg
Catalogue reference: MPF 1/240
St Buryan, Cornwall and adjacent parishes, 1574/images/imagelibrary/showcase/maps/mpf1-332-st-buryan-cornwall-and-adjacent-parishes-1574.jpg
Catalogue reference: MPF 1/332
Bradshaw's map of railways of Great Britain, 1839/images/imagelibrary/showcase/maps/mps3-4-bradshaws-map-of-railways-of-great-britain-1839.jpg
Catalogue reference: RAIL 1031/10
Greater London Plan, local authority boundaries 1943/images/imagelibrary/showcase/maps/mf1-1-(19)-greater-london-plan-1944-local-authority-boundaries-1943.jpg
Catalogue reference: MF 1/1 (19)
West coast of Britain by John Norden, c1610/images/imagelibrary/showcase/maps/mpf1-65-west-coast-of-britain-by-john-norden-c1610.jpg
Catalogue reference: MPF 1/65
River Thames, London 1662 (left half)/images/imagelibrary/showcase/maps/work38-331-river-thames-london-1662-left-half.jpg
Catalogue reference: WORK 38/331
River Thames, London 1662 (right half)/images/imagelibrary/showcase/maps/work38-331-river-thames-london-1662-right-half.jpg
Catalogue reference: WORK 38/331
Hainault, King's Forest, 1791/images/imagelibrary/showcase/maps/mpee1-21-hainault-kings-forest-1791.jpg
Catalogue reference: MPEE 1/21
Signature and seal of Christopher Wren on a London plan, 1673/images/imagelibrary/showcase/maps/mpa1-22-signature-and-seal-of-christopher-wren-on-a-london-plan-1673.jpg
Catalogue reference: MPA 1/22
Plan of Brighton and Kemp town, 1830/images/imagelibrary/showcase/maps/mpI1-343-new-plan-of-brighton-and-kemp-town-1830.jpg
Catalogue reference: MPI 1/343
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