Richard Horwood was a cartographer and surveyor active in the 1790s whose biggest undertaking was his Plan of the Cities of London and Westminster. The map was published as 32 separate sheets between 1792 and 1799, and is remarkable for its sheer scale and size. At 26 inches to the mile it was, at the time, the largest map ever produced of the capital, and was arguably the most detailed. Horwood originally intended to publish the entire map within two years, but owing to the intricacy of the survey its production took nearly ten. Horwood was forced to accept a loan from the Phoenix Fire Insurance Office in order to complete the project, in return for a dedication and acknowledgement of their sponsorship.
The section shown here details parts of Southwark around St George’s Circus and The Obelisk, an area of London which by the 1790s remained largely rural in character. Note the individual plots for each building, many of which are numbered, and the detail of the many intimate courts and alleyways.