A map of London, as it was during the era of the Tudor monarchs, give or take a few decades has been released by Layers of London.

It lets you add a layer to a standard modern map, and then zoom in and around London as the Henry’s and Elizabeth would have known it.

Particularly visible on the map is the huge “moat” that ran around the outside of London. This was the often-forgotten counterpart to the Roman wall (and it’s later civil war equivalent) that added a large ditch in front of the wall. That made attacking the wall doubly difficult as it’s now twice the height it would otherwise be, and harder to get up close to.

Also look for Ludgate and the then still open Fleet river, and as you zoom around you’ll probably start to realise why parts of London have such odd names.

Most of what is the LSE today is Ficken’s Field. St Katherine’s Dock is still a hospital. The Barbican is still Le Barbycane and Liverpool Street station is still the Bedlam Hospital.

Winchester Palace is here in Southwark, from whence the Winchester Geese, a nickname for prostitutes who worked the area outside the control of the City of London authorities.

You can find the Tudor map, and others, such as the Morgan map of 1682 or the Rocque Map of 1746, at Layers of London.

Another mapping website of more modern, but equal value is the Side-by-Side map from the National Library of Scotland which covers most of the UK in 1914.


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One comment
  1. Tom says:

    St Katherine Docks. Do I win a prize?

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