Title page to A Topographical History of Surrey


The finely engraved title page to Brayley’s magisterial five-volume A Topographical History of Surrey includes numerous armorials, the most prominent being that of the 12th Duke of Norfolk, who was the highest ranking subscriber for the publication. The arms of the Bishops of Winchester and Canterbury flank the title with the Royal arms below and a crowned banner reading ‘Magna Charta’ above.

The decorative (and perhaps gaudy) frame is in consciously neo-gothic style, appropriate for a book dealing with the entire history (social, political, natural, and of course topographical) of a county.

Full title:
A Topographical History of Surrey: by E. W. Brayley ... assisted by John Britton ... and E. W. Brayley, jun. ... The geological section by Gideon Mantell. (The illustrative department under the superintendence of Thomas Allom.) [With plates.]
1841-8, London, Dorking, Surrey
Dorking: Robert Best Ede & London: Tilt & Bogue
Engraving / Etching / Hand colouring / Book
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library

Full catalogue details

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Lambeth’s topographical image

Article by:
Amy Concannon
Antiquarianism, Town and city, Transforming topography

With important antiquarian sites like Lambeth Palace and places of popular entertainment like Vauxhall Gardens, the London parish of Lambeth was a rich resource for topographical artists and writers at the turn of the 19th century. It was also a landscape in flux: a traditional ‘rural retreat’ on the Surrey side of the Thames undergoing rapid urbanisation. With a particular focus on the work of Lambeth-born topographer Edward Wedlake Brayley (1773–1854), Amy Concannon explores how contemporary producers of topographical material – both visual and textual – negotiated the changing landscape of Lambeth.

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