The Mapping of Wales

The Mapping of Wales

Though there were no maps of Wales available at the time Gerald made his tour, maps are now considered to be essential kit for anyone undertaking such a journey. Alan had access to both paper maps (OS maps, the official route maps for the Wales Coastal path and local maps) and electronic maps on mobile devices. The same raw data, i.e. the physical landscape, has been mapped and presented in myriad ways over the centuries, and diverse designs and styles of map have proliferated exponentially since the arrival of satellite imagery, GPS and Google mapping. Maps are, and always have been more than straightforward representations of topography, and issues of space and mapping have been a personal interest of Alan’s for many years:

Map of Wales, hand-drawn by Esther

Map of Wales, hand-drawn by Esther‌

‌The Roderic Bowen Library and Archives holds copies of some of the earliest European printed maps including examples by the 16th Century Flemish mapmakers Gerhard Mercator and Abraham Ortelius and the English historian and cartographer John Speed. Early 19th Century mapmakers are represented here by Joseph Nightingale and Thomas Dix while examples of marine charts and geological section drawings, by Lewis Morris and Roderick Murchison respectively, illustrate the development of mapping techniques in the emerging spheres of hydrography and geology.

St. David’s, Pembrokeshire  Arrowsmith, Aaron, (1750-1823) Map of England and Wales: The result of fifteen years labour. Dedicated by permission to his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, by H. R. Highness's dutiful servant and hydrographer, 1815

St. David’s, Pembrokeshire - Pope Calixtus II decreed that two pilgrimages to St David's were equivalent to one to Rome. Detail from Arrowsmith, A Map of England and Wales : 
The result of fifteen years labour / Dedicated by permission to his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, by H. R. Highness's dutiful servant and hydrographer, A. Arrowsmith. 1815. Additions to 1816. 1818.Sheet 10