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The Fens

The Fens

Cartographer: Unknown

Medium: Ink and tempera on parchment

Date: 1603

Shelfmark: Cotton Augustus I.i

Item number: f.78

Length: 65

Width: 78

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Map

This is a map of the fenlands dating from around 1603. It is thought to be the model for Hondius’s "A generall plotte of the Fennes" published in Amsterdam in 1632 and is signed Ro. Cotton.

The map shows the area in some detail, generalised representations of churches represent small settlements. Larger towns such as Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds are shown in more detail with individualised red roofed buildings. The sands or the washes are indicated by dotted lines and a beacon is marked on the sands.

A notable feature of the drawing is the proliferation of windmills as the wind from the sea can move inland unhindered by hills.

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