Monday, March 5, 2007

Map of The Hog's Back, Surrey

This scrap of map is courtesy of the Ordnance Survey, the official map-making entity of the British Government. Originally created during the Napoleonic Wars to completely map the whole kingdom for military purposes, it now produces the best-known and best-loved general purpose maps in Britain. This map is on a scale of 1:50,00 ; that means that one blue grid-square represents one square kilometre of land. On this section, a "mile" scale should be visible at the bottom edge.

This particular bit of Britain happened to be part of my undergrad dissertation all those years ago, and I'm putting this up now to show you a couple of things. The first is that big thick green line that goes from east to west across the map . It's the A31 road and it follows the line of a chalk ridge called The Hog's back. To the north of this road is the parish of Wanborough; I hope you can see that there are very few houses in this parish ( houses and other buildings are little beige-y blocks). There's very few buildings because it's all chalk up there- awful for building, and not much use for growing crops- in theory! but as you will see in the next pic, it contains an enormous old barn.

Other interesting things on the map- some prehistoric tumuli, a Roman villa, and that red diamond thingy- an ancient medieval trackway known as the Pilgrim's Way. You can probably find public phone booths, brown wiggly contour lines that show the Hog's Back ridge , a set of parallel dashed lines at Wanborough showing another very old unpaved road, red dashes for footpaths, black crosses and black dots with crosses on them (church with no spire/church with spire) MS (milestone) and PC (public convenience) What else would you need on a map?:-)