Morden's map of Buckinghamshire, 1695

In 1695, the first edition of William Camden's 'Britannia' included county maps drawn by Robert Morden. By direct contrast to Ogilby's 'Britannia', very few roads were shown but towns, estates and (later) forests were all detailed.

This map was the opening slide for an illustrated talk I gave around 1995 entitled "The Highways and Byways of Tingewick". Its theme was that roads are not the permanent landscape feature we so often assume them to be, but are in fact changing constantly.

One of the principal reasons I chose this slide was that ... it showed no road through Tingewick - or at least, not one considered significant to the map-maker in 1695.

The choice of features that the map-maker DID feel were important enough to include is interesting. Churches are shown in different ways, presumably depending on whether they were simply a parish church, or an abbey. There is a windmill shown between Gawcott and Buckingham. Particularly interesting is the house surrounded by a very grand park fence at Radclive ("Ratley") - Tingewick's neighbour to the east - dwarfing that round Stowe which is currently still one of the foremost houses and landscape gardens of England.

Although Robert Morden died in 1703, later maps still bear his name. By 1710 (see right) the park at Radclive appears to have gone, and more roads added, though it is hard to see clearly.

On the 1722 edition (see left), 'Ratley P[ark]' has moved to a position south of Tingewick, approximately where Tingewick Wood lies!

Page updated Sep 18 by SKF