Great Britain 400 years ago

What did Britain look like 400 years ago? These sheets made in preparation for an atlas printed in 1611 show us every county of Great Britain with the towns and villages. The main image here of the whole of the country also gives a clue to the artists’ imagination such as the huge fish-monsters swimming in the sea around the coasts. Click on ‘Open Digital Library’ below and have a look at the county where you live. Was your home town there 400 years ago? What was life like when the population of the whole of Britain was around 4 million people, half as many as live in Greater London today? You can zoom in a long way on this image so have a look around.

If maps are your thing, have a look at this collection of digitised maps:

The theatre of the empire of Great Britaine : presenting an exact geography of the kingdomes of England, Scotland, Ireland…

Printed 1603-1611


Extended captions