The Nation Survey’d: Timothy Pont’s maps of Scotland

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Edited by Ian C. Cunningham

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Around 1583–1596 Timothy Pont, a young graduate of the University of St Andrews, undertook the remarkable task of mapping Scotland. As far as we know, he was the first person to survey Scotland in any detail, and his maps would later form the basis of the first atlas of Scotland, produced by Blaeu in 1654. Little is known of Pont’s life, and the reasons for the initiative are still obscure. Seventy-seven of Pont’s hand-drawn maps still survive on 38 fragile sheets of paper, and these are among the greatest treasures of the National Library of Scotland. They give a unique insight into the history, geography, landscape and architecture of 16th century Scotland – particularly when assisted by modern digital imaging. On his travels around post-Reformation Scotland Pont recorded, in great detail, natural features such as mountains, rivers, coasts, lochs and trees, as well as settlements, towns, bridges, mills and churches. In one 18 x 12 inch drawing of Lanarkshire, Pont included 1,385 names. The smallest map is a two-inch square drawing of the islands in Loch Maree. Although Pont uses symbols for small settlements, he shows important buildings and towns by individual sketches. Architectural and garden historians believe that these tiny sketches are accurate representations of the buildings Pont saw. Sometimes they are the only depictions we have of these places. In this book, a range of experts from different disciplines shed new light on Pont’s mapping and on the insight he gives into 16th century Scotland, while many illustrations provide a fascinating commentary on the past. Ian C. Cunningham was formerly Keeper of Manuscripts, Maps and Music at the National Library of Scotland.

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SKU 9780859766807
delivery time ca. 5-10 days

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