Another from my archive of the Illustrated London News – this time a really good one!

In 1845, the newspaper gave away a hand drawn panorama of the Thames running roughly from Vauxhall in the West to just past Greenwich in the East.


An original document is quite rare and when one comes up for sale, they usually go for prices that would deplete my wallet. Fortunately, a reprint made for the newspaper’s 150th anniversary, tends to be more affordable, and I recently acquired a copy – which has been annotated with additional explanatory text.

The scanned copy is huge (6GB) – sadly too huge for my feeble computer to cope with, but I have managed after some pleading with the laptop to deploy a moderate sized version.

The drawing itself is presented as two separate drawings, and I have joined them together in the middle to form a single long strip.


I present several versions.

Firstly is this Google Maps style presentation.

Click to open this in a new window

The software used to create the above display was supplied by the ever excellent Digital Urban blog.

More conventional formats

(click on images for larger versions)


The full panorama as a single image

Panorama of London

The Top Half

Panorama of London

The Bottom Half

Maybe one day I will be able to upload the really high resolution version – after I get a deluxe computer (and a pay rise to pay for it). Thanks to my flatmate and a friend who works at an office with a good scanner for assisting in preparing the images.

Other blog posts you might like:

Map of London and its Toll Gates from 1857

A Map of Westminster from 1593

Map of London in 1787

The genius of Cecil Court’s “find us” maps page

  • Share this on Reddit26
  • Share this on Linkedin0
  • Share this on Google+0
  • 116
« « Previous Blog Post Next Blog Post » »

Sign up for my free weekly email newsletter

Sample Issue


  1. amazing, thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks.

    Not labelled in Deptford we have the Royal Dockyard, St Pauls Church (by the railway) and you can just faintly see the tower of St Nicholas Church.

  3. Patricia

    A treasure trove! Thanks indeed for sharing.

    Great job of putting it up like this – fascinating exploring the sections on computer.

  4. roym

    awesome effort! there used to be copies of these up on the wall of a rarely travelled corridor at Kings College. I could never go past without stopping for a look.

  5. Great effort! That’s a neat thing. Zoomify would allow you to put that monster online, at a fraction of the size. You could add hotspots if you wanted to highlight certain things or you could even run a tour, pausing at selections for a few seconds before moving on to something new. Let me know if you are interested or need help.

  6. IanVisits

    It’s not deploying the images onto the internet that is the problem – its editing them on my computer to align separate images and clean them up that kills my little laptop.

  7. Andrew

    Oooh, you’ve been boingboinged!

  8. I love this, now see future london from st pauls

  9. this is excellent. I own an original panorama, from the same series, of Dublin (the annotations are not so good.) I would like it to get this same treatment. I want to use both in a forthcoming book: are you interested in digitising my map and sharing rights on both images or some such deal? If not, I would like to know where and how you got this digitised.

  10. Warwichspursfan

    Brilliant map and great effort labelling the prominent features

    thanks for making this available.

  11. Peter Joyce

    What do you, or indeed anyone else, know of the artist – Frederick James Smyth – about whom I could find nothing on the web?

Trackbacks / Pings

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Email Guide to What’s on in London

Step out of the ordinary with my weekly list of cheap and unusual London events.