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Knight 1799
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These notes are taken from a chart of part of the Coast of Hampshire from Portsmouth to Southampton Water, extending to the eastern approach to The Solent, by Captain John Knight RN, published by William Faden, Charing Cross, London, 1799. The map studied is in the Map Collection of Hampshire CC Museums Service, item HMCMS:FA1998.289.
map type: HantsMap & Knight 1799
The map includes the north coast of the Isle of Wight which is pretty much ignored in these notes which concern Hampshire.


map maker    

Printed lower left is:-
CHART OF THE COAST OF HAMPSHIRE from PORTSMOUTH to SOUTHAMPTON WATER with PART of the ISLE OF WIGHT from CULVER CLIFF to WEST COWES including the ROADS of SPITHEAD, ST. HELENS, STOKES BAY &c. SURVEYED and SOUNDED by CAPTAIN JOHN KNIGHT R.N. LONDON Published by W. Faden Geographer to His Majesty and to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales; Charing Cross Janry. 1st. 1799

scale line    

Printed lower left is a:-
Scale of One League
chequered in quarter miles then miles, labelled at 1 mile intervals. The 1 league = 3 nautical miles of 6082 feet = 138.8 mm gives a scale 1 to 40068. The map scale is about:-
1 to 40000
1 1/2 inches to 1 [land] mile

lat and long scales    
Latitude and longitude scales are not shown. There is a printed remark:-
Longitude of the Royal Academy at Portsmouth 1[d].6[m].15[s] West from Greenwich
Latitude ... ... Do. ... ... 50[d].48[m].00[s] North

up is N    
magnetic variation    

Printed lower right of centre is a north point; or rather two north points, each with half a fleur de lys, with the magnetic deviation:-
Varn. 23[degree] W.
between them. Up the page is current magnetic north.

sea plain    
depth soundings    
sea marks    
leading lines    

The chart is a map of the sea. The sea area is plain. Some sea areas are labelled, eg:-
Depth soundings are marked across the sea areas, figures giving depth in, I assume, fathoms and sometimes to the half fathom. The soundings are arranged in irregular lines, as they were made by short exploratory trips across the seas.
Sandbanks are shown as pecked areas, the pecking denser towards the edges, which is counter intuitive. Soundings continue across the shallows, and are sometimes given in feet. Some shallows are labelled, eg:-
Long Middle
which has one sounding of:-
16 feet
presumably a warning of least depth. It is not stated what the state of the tide is when soundings are made. The present day convention, reading off a Hydrographic Office chart, is at the 'level of Lowest Astronomical Tide' which presumably means spring tide low, without wind or other weather effects.
Many buoys are marked, drawn by a cone symbol which probably represents the shape of buoys at the period. These are labelled with colour, eg:-
at the west and southeast edges of the Bramble. And:-
Horse / Black
Elbow / Black
Third / Black
Dean / Black
Outer / Black
round the west edge of the Horse and Dean Sands.
Some shallows are also marked by a post with a flag, for example at the south edge of Calshot Spit.
Leading lines are drawn, for example lining up Southsea Castle with the headland at Fort Monckton to avoid the Middle shallows.
Some wrecks are marked, eg:-
Wreck of the Royal George
Boynes Wreck
An anchorage is marked by an anchor symbol between Spithead and the Spit Bank.
The two harbour areas:-
are labelled. Channels within the harbours are made clear by the drawing of shallows, sand banks or foreshore areas. And some islands are shown, eg:-
Horsea I.
Whale I.
in Portsmouth Harbour.
IN a channel just north of the dock yard there is an array, 2 by 4, of ship shapes, presumably marking a naval anchorage.

coast line    
coast appearance    

The coast is drawn with foreshore shallows, drawn by pecking as sandbanks. The coast appearance is suggested by hill hachuring in places, for example north of Stokes Bay.

coastal defence    

The chart shows the old coastal defence castles:-
Calshot Castle
South Sea Castle
More modern defences are drawn as artillery style angular fortifications, at:-
Fort Monckton
Fort [Lumps?]
Cumberland Fort
But also notice the heavy fortifications around Gosport, Portsmouth, and the Dock Yard. And notice the associated:-
Haslar Hospital
Magazine [still fairly new at Priddy's Hard]
Dock Yard
The Lines [Portsea Island shore at Ports Creek]
Hilsea Barracks

hill hachuring    

Relief is indicated by hill hachuring. What is shown is what concerns a mariner at sea, ie what is a useful land mark. So the ridge of:-
is drawn, with a:-
Clump of Trees
Wind Mill
marked in position.


A few trees are drawn on Horsea Island and Portsdown.

street map    

Settlements are not important. Both Gosport and Portsmouth are drawn by areas of buildings and streets making a street map - I have not made any comparison to reality. Although a road is shown leading out of Gosport, drawn by a double line, very few roads are shown. The road across Ports Creek is not drawn, for example. Fareham is plotted as a few blocks for buildings on a road junction.



Windmills are shown by a post mill symbol at Southsea, on Portsdown with a flag, and at Fareham. Windmills make good landmarks.

roman forts    

The rectangular outline of:_
Porchester Castle is drawn, with buildings within, and the great tower obvious. Somewhen about this period the fort was in use as a Prisoner of War camp for captured French.

Marked by Southsea castle is:-

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HantsMap Notes -- KNIGHT2.txt
MN: 26.2.2002
last edit: 26.2.2002