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King George III Topographical Collection

Over 2,500 watercolours, drawings and prints from the vast collection amassed by a monarch for whom geography was a personal passion as well as a professional necessity.

Image of Peter Barber

Peter Barber

Head of Map Collections

King George Ill’s Topographical Collection contains some 50,000 items, dating back from 1824 to around 1500. As well as manuscript and printed maps, many of which are treasures of cartography, the collection includes topographical drawings, watercolours and prints, a few letters and reports, and some very rare local printed ephemera. Around 40% of the collection relates to the British Isles and 10% to the former Colonies. About a third is taken up by the countries of Europe associated with the Grand Tour. France, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy are all strongly represented.

Read the full curator's introduction

Curator's choice

Peter Barber highlights personal favourite items from the collection

See all of the items in this exhibition

The west front of Wapping, Stepney Augt 1714

Popularly known as St George-in-the-East, this is the parish church of Wapping-Stepney. It was b...

View of Sydney

Fernando Brambila was court painter to the Spanish monarch, and was sent as principal artist on a...

A VIEW of the CITY of QUEBEC the Capital of CANADA taken from the Ferry House on the Opposite side of the River

Founded in 1608, this French settlement in Canada developed at a point where the St Lawrence Rive...

View near Loch Rannoch

Paul Sandby (1725-1809) was one of the most influential English watercolour artists of his time. ...

View of the Castle of Caerphilly in Glamorganshire, Wales

This romantic, foliage-covered ruin used to be one of the great castles of Wales. It was built by...

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