John Ogilby's "Britannia" published c. 1675

Britannia ... or, an Illustration of the Kingdom of England and Dominion of Wales by a Geographical and Historical Description of the Principal Roads thereof

plate 12 - London to Buckingham

More about John Ogilby in the blurb for a book about him on Amazon.

The forerunner of the road atlas found in every modern car, Ogilby's Britannia consisted of 100 strip maps of the post roads of England and Wales. Each plate is drawn in the style of the rolled map that a traveller might draw for his own use and carry in his coat pocket. Ogilby's maps, however, were accurately surveyed using an ingenious wheeled measure like a modern pedometer. Measurements are given in the new standard mile of 1,760 yards which had only been introduced by statute in 1593, replacing the old middle, short and long miles. Each route is shown in meticulous detail, with every landmark and crossroad. Points of interest and sometimes comments on the countryside are shown, with a compass rose at intervals to show changes in direction.

As can be seen from this portion, Ogilby found Tingewick to be precisely 63 miles from London. Buckingham is left behind after crossing the River Ouse by Castle Bridge - 'a stone bridge with 6 arches' - replaced in 1851 by the present Tingewick Road bridge.

Once outside Buckingham, Lady Smith's great park would be seen on the right hand side (one of only a handful marked on Morden's map of Buckingham Hundred in 1695). Just beyond the turning 'to Tame' (Thame) - this is now the Dropshort crossroads - 'Ratley' (the old spelling for Radclive) is in view, with its church.

Shortly afterwards, 'a Stone bridge & brook' (Dudley Bridge) marks the boundary of Tingewick parish, with a road leading off immediately to the left 'to Gocot' (Gawcott) - as are three further roads within the village! I wonder if the bracketing of these roads indicates that they all join up together outside the village, since the same bracketing is used for a final left turn at the end of the village together with the road southwards from Finmere, both of which lead to Bicester. However this bracketing is not used for the the roads on the right, firstly through [Water] Stratford (whose spire is visible from the road) and a second running northwards from Finmere, both labelled 'to Toceter' (Towcester).

Page updated Sep 18 by SKF