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Trent Waterways

Trent Waterways

Cartographer: Unknown

Medium: Ink and tempera on parchment

Date: 1531

Shelfmark: Cotton Augustus I.i f.65

Length: 45.5

Width: 122.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Map

This drawing shows the streams of the River Trent from Nottingham to Newark with the towns, villages and water mills shown pictorially. Emphasis is placed on the bridges in the area, they are shown at a slightly enlarged scale and each is labelled. The routes that lead from the bridges to the various towns are also indicated. The date of the drawing is not confirmed but the emphasis on the bridges may reveal that the drawing is linked to an Act of the Reformed Parliament of 1531-2 relating to the financing of bridge maintenance. This was concerned with which parishes were responsible for maintaining major named bridges.
The vignette views of towns such as Nottingham, shown with three soaring towers in the castellated walls, and Newark, with its castle dominating the surrounding domestic architecture, are carefully depicted with great individuality, showing that decorative considerations were not at odds with the practical function of such a drawing during the Tudor period.

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