The oldest surviving map of the British Isles has been digitally captured and turned into a Google Maps-style online resource. The 14th century Gough map is internationally-renowned as one of the earliest maps to show Britain in a geographically-recognizable form. Yet to date, questions remain of how the map was made, who made it, when and why.
This website presents an interactive, searchable edition of the Gough Map, together with contextual material, a blog, and information about the project and the Language of Maps colloquium. Named after topographer Richard Gough – who bought it in 1774 for half-a-crown (121/2p) and bequeathed it to the Bodleian Library - the map is drawn in pen, ink and coloured washes on two skins of vellum and measures almost 4ft long by 2ft wide. Throughout, towns are shown in some detail, the lettering for London and York coloured gold, while other principal medieval settlements such as Bristol, Chester, Gloucester, Lincoln, Norwich, Salisbury and Winchester are lavishly illustrated.
The website, www.goughmap.org, also includes a series of scholarly essays discussing the map; latest news about the project and a blog, among others.
Thanks to Dick Eastman for posting this originally. If you haven’t joined his blog you can do so at