Colchester is the oldest recorded town of Great Britain. Over the past 250 years, many special events have occurred in the town, the details of which can be found in a historical map. The ichnography of Colchester is believed to have been produced by James Deane, a local architect. Although the illustration of Colchester was not signed, the record office keeps some of the works of Mr. Deane.
Louise Rodwell, a student of Essex University was investigating the history of the town’s High Street when she found the map in the Essex Record Office. According to Rodwell, the layout the town is still recognizable because it is based on the streets set out by the Romans. On the map, some of the streets were named while others were included in a key that lists 41 other places indicated in the map through letters and numbers.
Some of places are still familiar like the castle, St. John’s Abbey Gate, High Street, Head Street and other names that are no longer in use that includes Grub Street, Hog Street and Cat Lane. Grub Street corresponds to Balkerne Hill and Middlebrough while Hog Street is known today as Military Road. Cat Lane has been upgraded to Lion Walk.
Rodwell who is detailing the research on the website of Essex Record Office has stated that the detailed observations contained in the map could lead to some hidden gems. Aside from detailed study, the map includes a number of charming details none of which exist today. These details include middle row where a narrow row of shops and a church in the middle of High Street used to exist. Three windmills can be found on the southern edge of the map while ships sailing in the River Colne at the Hythe are illustrated at the southeast corner of the map.
London City Illustrated Map shows the major landmarks of the city including prominent parts of the landscape, green spaces, museums, famous buildings and places of cultural interest. The map provides the user with immediate familiarity and a sense of identification which cannot be generated through the traditional maps used to point directions.