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Old Maps of Cornwall

Old maps are fascinating. Really fascinating. They record a mapped out world as it was in days past, and a historical record of places as they once were. The history of human settlements, their size and perceived location at the time. Maps of "Old Cornwall" show villages and hamlets, perhaps with their old spellings, and the routes between them that were important when they were drawn. Not always has the A38 been there! The old primary routes into and across Cornwall are not as they are now, and even some rivers were thought to flow a little differently - such were the mapping and surveying skills that were still evolving at the time.

There are far too many old maps to illustrate here, but as an example, county maps were often a lot more of a work of art than perhaps they are now, even if the accuracy was still evolving and civic divisions a little different...

Old map of Cornwall - circa 1755
An old map of Cornwall by cartographer Thomas Kitchen, dated from around 1755

It doesn't even take that long in historical terms for place names to evolve. Even in 1804, just over two hundred years ago, the map below shows Liskeard as "Leskeard"! St Austell only has one "l". So easy to get lost in an old map!

South East Cornwall - excerpt from an old map of Cornwall 1804
Excerpt of a map from 1804 by cartographer Charles Smith, showing an area of South East Cornwall

To see some more examples of old maps of Cornwall, there is an excellent page on Rootsweb (hosted by Ancestry.com) that lists and makes available to view a large number of old and antique maps dating from 1564 to 1900...
Rootsweb - Old Maps of Cornwall

For historic Ordnace Survey (OS) maps of Cornwall from over the past 150 years, for search and purchase, see...
Old-Maps

For original or printed old maps of Cornwall by various cartographers that may be for sale, see...
Antique-Maps-Online

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Redgate Smithy Bed and Breakfast
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Redgate Smithy B&B, Redgate, St.Cleer, Liskeard, Cornwall PL14 6RU ~ Telephone: +44 (0) 1579 321578
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Redgate Smithy Bed and Breakfast in South East Cornwall