Folding and Travelling Maps up to 1845

By 1845 railways and their relevance to travel, were dominating the purpose of those folding maps specifically generated for the traveller. Prior to this period, the network of roads criss-crossing the country were of key importance, along with the intersections where passengers on the coaches could change. Guides were sold that combined county maps with detailed tables of coach routes and their connections. The two key publishers were John Cary and Daniel Paterson and were the equivalent of the Bradshaw’s of the railway era. There was also a market for stand-alone folding or travelling maps. Many mapmakers were keen to include the canal network as an indication of their modernity and their ability connect the cities, along with other features like parks and indications of changes in landscape. As the maps evolved and updated, the density of information included, made the maps complex, with some mapmakers increasing their size to enable inclusion of the extra detail. Others placed emphasis on the packet ship routes which provided alternative means of travel, albeit not without risk.

This lovely example by Robert Sayer from 1789, has a simple road layout and includes the Packet sailing routes with a variety of different styles for the craft, in fine detail. He also included heights for the main peaks, thus blending the purpose of the map with the then keen interest in geography and landscape. Overall, it is a wonderfully simple but effective map with clear purpose.

Illustrated here, is an early version of a travelling map from John Cary dated 1791, that emphasises the main roads and was uncluttered and easy to read. John Cary was one of the foremost mapmakers of his age. The maps developed over time but remained well designed, showing that Cary had a good understanding of the needs of his buyers (as long as they didn’t stray from the main routes!).

Cary’s Pocket Companion to the Roads of Great Britain shewing all the Post and Market Towns

A German variant by Conrad Mannert, is shown below. In the large calligraphic title, Mannert acknowledges the influences of Cary, Kitchin, Sayer and Campbell. An attractive colour map. The publication of this map in 1796 at Nurnberg, was during a period of turmoil in Europe. Markings on the map indicate it was used in Great Britain during this time.

Often the maps were of England and Wales with just part of Scotland: the size limitations made it difficult to include the whole of Scotland without over-compressing England, where much of the travel would be occurring. This example by William Faden from 1801, includes an inset map on a much smaller scale.

A Map of England Wales and Scotland describing all the Direct and Principal Cross Roads

Although not necessarily designed for travel, this large folding map by Charles Smith from 1815 gives an idea of the number and importance of the canal network at this moment in time. Two colours are used to differentiate between canals, where they join. Rivers and roads are in outline, so that the canal network becomes the dominant feature.

Dating from 1818, this map by John Cary of the turnpike roads of Yorkshire, illustrates the importance attached to this particular type of road network. It is a very clear map, of manageable size and easy to follow.

The Turnpike Roads of Yorkshire

Other mapmakers added data to the margins to provide extra detail and a need to stand out in what was becoming a crowded market. This lovely example from Edward Langley dated 1817, had illustrations of London and its bridges alongside data charts of distances from London, market days and postage costs relating to a large number of towns and cities.

Langley’s New Travelling and Commercial Map of England and Wales

This early example by George Cruchley from 1822 shows the density of detail now included on the map face. The routes are greatly expanded but it also includes geographical styling, parks, tunnels and other features considered of note.

A Geographical Companion Throughout England and Wales including Part of Scotland

By 1834, this famous map of steam navigation routes by Edward Mogg illustrates that travel by sea was still important. This enabled the mapmaker to strip back the number of minor routes on the map and focus on those more likely to be relevant to the marine routes. It was therefore crucial to include the whole of the British Isles and part of the continent.

Mogg’s Map of Steam Navigation / Map of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland with the adjacent parts of the Continent

 But train routes were about to dominate the public’s thirst for travel. This example by J & C Walker from 1845, illustrates the speed of their development and importance. Rail routes are already criss-crossing the whole map with future routes included. The impact of them is to relegate all other information. Although the title of the map reads “… Mail Coach, Turnpike, and Rail Roads, the Rivers and Canals…”, the canal system is relegated to an afterthought and roads are visually of lesser importance to the “Rail Roads”. This is the start of the period when railway lines would dominate map design up to the First World War.

England & Wales founded upon The Grand Trigonometrical Survey shewing all the Mail Coach, Turnpike and Rail Roads, the Rivers & Navigable Canals, also the Boundaries and Divisions of Counties the extent of Boroughs, County Election Polling Places under The Reform Act together with the Sand Banks and Soundings around the Coast

Please email for details of these and other early folding maps currently in stock: mmbsandm@gmail.com