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Map Of The British Isles By Matthew Paris

Map Of The British Isles By Matthew Paris

Draughtsman: Paris, Matthew

Medium: Pigments on vellum

Date: 1250

Shelfmark: Cotton MS Claudius D. vi. f. 12v

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Map

This map belongs to the earliest surviving group of relatively detailed maps of the British Isles and contains numerous place names. It was drawn by an extremely talented and independent-minded Benedictine monk from St Albans, north of London, whose interest in mapmaking was well in advance of his time. It was intended to illustrate his chronicle of English history. The coastlines and rivers possibly stem from a Roman model and the top of Scotland veers to the East as on Ptolemaic maps. The relative accuracy is marred by a mistake in the depiction of the route from Berwick to Canterbury, forming the spine of the map. This is incorrectly shown as going due South instead of South-East beyond London. As a result Essex is shown where Kent should be. Hadrian's Wall and the Antonine Wall can be seen in Scotland and Snowdon ('Snaudun') in Wales.

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