Sunday, January 27, 2013

Stony Stratford gets on The Map

Section of the Gough Map
One of the earliest surviving maps of England is the Gough Map, so-named after its 18th century owner, Richard Gough. It is now in the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

The map is thought to date from about 1360. The orientation is different from today's maps in that the top is the east rather than the north. Back then it was thought that all maps should point towards Jerusalem.

Of interest to us is that Stony Stratford is marked on the map. The Watling Street is drawn as a straight line with St Albans and Dunstable along the way. From Stratford the road branches to the significant medieval town of Northampton and to Buckingham. The wide green lines represent the rivers - in our case the Ouse and Ouzel.

This 14th century map maker obviously though that Stony Stratford was important enough to be marked on the map. The only other towns of importance in the area, apart from Northampton and Buckingham, are Bedford and Woburn Chapel. Olney and Newport Pagnell are not noted.

At the time this map was made Stony Stratford was about 170 years old, definitely a medieval creation.

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