George Owen’s map of Pembrokeshire

Digitisation - Posted 21-07-2010

One of the delights of working with the collections here is that you are able to look at some items that are rare and beautiful and of great historical and cultural significance. One such item is George Owen’s Penbrochiae comitatus olim Demetiae regionis descriptio of 1602.

George Owen was a historian, antiquary, and genealogist who lived at Henllys in Pembrokeshire, his map of the county is notable for several innovative features, it shows the roads and has an alphanumeric grid with an index of placenames each with a grid coordinate to locate it on the map.

This image has been cropped to the gridlines and does not show the index and other marginalia. These will appear when the map is properly digitised and made available on the digital mirror as a zoomable image.

Such was the quality of this map that it was used as a basis for the Pembrokeshire map printed in Camden’s Britannia, in preference to the equivalent Saxton map, one of the few maps to achieve this feat.

The Library actually has two versions of this manuscript map the second version appears to be later and has been tentatively dated to 1603. There are slight differences between the two maps, but both are thought to be by Owen. Hopefully both of these maps will be digitised and made available online for comparison.

Huw Thomas

One response

Interested in the comparison of the two maps described above. Very good.

Welsh Culture International

Commented July 21, 2010 / 12:06:40




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