31 May '17, 11am

A view of London through its maps

John Rocque’s map of London is quite different; its fine black and white engraving reflects the values of the Augustan age – the age of Reason. It was published in 1747 after ten years of work and is an incredibly detailed masterpiece. You can see the trees of Gray’s Inn gardens marching in their regular lines, the three-masted ships at anchor by London Bridge and every tiny alleyway of the City and the Inns of Court. The stippling of the blocks and the finely-etched capital letters suggest that London has at last been reduced to a rational plan; but the street names show a different, older and rougher London – Antelope Alley, Blowbladder Street, Chitterling Alley, Do Little Alley, Labour in Vain Yard and my favourite, Dirty Lane.

Full article: http://velvetescape.com/travel-london-maps/

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