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 1531–1532 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.
- Article by:
- Anthony Gerbino
- Military and maritime, Science and nature
The first important transformation of English medieval design practice occurred in a military context, during the reign of Henry VIII. Pioneering plans, surveys and designs by leading Tudor engineers are housed in the British Library, particularly within Sir Robert Cotton’s manuscript collection. Anthony Gerbino, Senior Lecturer in Art History at the University of Manchester, explores further.
- Article by:
- Ann Payne
- Transforming topography, Antiquarianism
When does topography begin? Ann Payne, former Curator of Manuscripts at the British Library, describes early examples of topographical views from the British Library’s collections.