Case study - Gough Map settlements on the roads in Surrey

Figure 14 shows Surrey with the Gough Map settlements plotted on Moll’s 1710 roads. It clearly reveals the importance of roads in the selection of settlements. The image was produced by plotting the Gough Map locations onto a Google map, and adding lines to represent the roads on the Early Modern maps. The Gough Map settlements have been divided into ‘low status’, indicating a single building icon, and ‘high status’ which refers to anything larger, such as a settlement with a church, castle or wall.

Image of Surrey on a Google map with the Gough Map settlements and Early Modern roads
Figure 13. Map data ©2018 Google.

The plotting on Early Modern roads reveals the extent to which the lower status settlements are stages on particular roads that lead to higher status settlements. For example, Figure 13 shows that the road from London to Winchester runs through Kingston, Cobham, Guildford, Farnham, Alton and Alresford, all of which are settlements with single building icons.

All the Gough Map settlements in Surrey – Bagshot, Chiddingfold, Cobham, Croydon, Dorking, Farnham, Guildford, Kingston upon Thames and Reigate – are located on Early Modern roads. To put this in context, it is worth understanding what other Surrey settlements the Gough Map makers could have chosen to include on the map. John Speed mapped the counties in The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain, published in 1612. He did not include roads, but he did map all the settlements. Prominent places were shown with a small icon and partly coloured red. Minor settlements were shown as a circle with a dot in the centre. Counting just the more important red settlements, there are 110 in Surrey (Figure 15). Of the nine Surrey settlements that the Gough Map makers did include, seven were Speed’s red settlements and two (Cobham Street and Chiddingfold) were his minor settlements, but all appear on roads of at least two of the Early Modern maps.

Gough Map settlements on Moll's 1710 roads

Moll's 1710 roads in Surrey plotted on a Google map with the Gough Map settlements
Figure 14. Map data ©2018 Google.

Speed's settlements in Surrey, 1612

Speed's Surrey settlements plotted on a Google map with Moll's 1710 roads and the Gough Map settlements
Figure 15. Map data ©2018 Google.