Cartographer: Scala, Gian Tomasso
Medium: Ink and tempera on parchment
This is a plan of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It is thought to date from around 1545 and to have been drawn by Gian Tomasso Scala. At this time large scale works of fortification were in progress at Tynemouth, eight miles down the river. War with France, England’s ancient enemy, had resumed in 1542 and 1545 saw the English and French Fleet meet in Spithead, the Mary Rose was sunk and the French land on the nearby Isle of Wight. The fortification works at Tynemouth were a response to French plans to land a force in the north of England. In the 1540’s Henry VIII employed several Italian military engineers, here the inscriptions are in Italian. Reflecting the concern with defence the castle, churches and fortifications are individualised but the houses, of less military significance, receive generic presentation.