Today’s the first day of National Map Reading Week. To mark the occasion, we’re re-blogging one of our 50 Treasures, an amazing map of Risley and Breaston dating from 1722. To find out about local map reading events, or to see if you can beat my score on a special maps quiz (75%), visit the Ordnance Survey’s Map Reading Week page.
This wonderful map was purchased by Derbyshire County Council in 1966 for £20. It was surveyed by Matts [Matthias] Aston, in 1722, and the man standing beside the scale on the map is presumably Matts Aston himself. The scale is 20 perches:1 inch; a perch was an old form of measurement (also called a rod or pole) equal to 5 1/2 yards.
In the top left corner is the coat of arms of the baronets of Aston in Cheshire, so this map must have been made for the 3rd baronet, Sir Thomas Aston (1666-1725). It measures 60 x 30 inches (about 150cm x 75cm) and is made of parchment which has been backed with linen. These are two very long-lasting materials, which explains why the map is still in such good condition.
Paula Moss, our Artist in Residence between 2011 and 2013 chose the map for our 50 treasures. She says: “I love the fact that…
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