The Map of Early Modern London (MoEML): The Agas Map

This is a link that forms the basis of several seminars I teach on Early Modern London, on space, on urban geography, on sociological readings of space- lots of ways in which I use this link.

In a nutshell, the link leads to a site which makes a high resolution, searchable and annotated version of the so-called Agas Map available. The map dates to 1561, and captures a bird’s eye view of Early Modern London. The map was so successful, it got reissued in 1633.

Now there is so much that could be said about the map, but as regards using this link as the basis for teaching, it allows me to work through questions about maps in seminars. I focus a lot on the text on the map- while the map bears the caption Civitas Londinium, for example, the text panels at bottom left and right are in English, and those panels tell of the History and foundation of London. There might be very little that is written there, but analysing this can lead to a whole range of discussions.

The map itself is interactive, and brings up information about location of prisons, guildhalls, neighbourhoods etc etc (can I admit that I sometimes look at the map when reading, say, C.J. Sansom’s Shardlake novels, just so that I know where something takes place? Trust me, the map is invaluable for that…)

But what makes this so invaluable as a teaching link is that the entire project’s research and bibliography is made available online too.


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