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Helston, Cornwall

Helston, Cornwall

Draughtsman: Dawson, Robert

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1811

Shelfmark: OSD 3

Item number: 18

Length: 47

Width: 30

Genre: Map

Map scale ratio: 2' : 1 Mile ( 1: 31680)

This drawing is attributed to Robert Dawson (1771-1860), a first-class Royal Military Draughtsman and Surveyor. He was also an influential teacher at the Tower of London Drawing Room, where he had been employed since the age of eighteen.

The map is oriented unconventionally, with north to the left rather than at the top. Consequently, Lizard Head, the southernmost point of Great Britain, lies to the right of the plan. The boundaries of the area surveyed are coastal from Porthleven to Falmouth Bay, but at Lower Trenoweth they leave the coastline and follow the roads inland. The word 'flag' is written in several places (the tip of the Lizard, for example) to mark points between which Dawson took angular measurements to pinpoint topographical features. Similarly, ‘Signal Staff’ points are noted around the coast at Black Head and below Mullion Island. Helston was a tin-mining town. Copper and tin mines in the area are indicated by symbols.

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