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the HMCMS Map Collection   Map Notes

Norden 1607
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These notes are made from a map of Hampshire by John Norden, engraved by W Hole, 1595, published in the last Latin edition of Camden's Britannia, 1607. The map studied is in the Map Collection of Hampshire CC Museums Service, item HMCMS:FA1996.22.
map type: HantsMap & Norden 1607
Earlier notes about the map have been published in:-
Norgate, Martin & Norgate, Jean: 1997: Notes from Norden's Map of Hampshire: Hampshire County Council Museums Service:: ISBN 1 85975 131 8

Norden's manuscript for the map is in the British Library, part of AddMSS 31.835. An printed version of this drawing may have been published about 1600 but is more likely to be seen as published by Stent or Overton later in the century.
button Norden's ms map -- NORDEN2.txt


strapwork cartouche    

The title cartouche at the top left of the map is decorated with strapwork. This decoration is only on the sides towards the body of the map, right and lower sides, but is continued beside the tables of symbols and hundreds.
image snip from map

Camden's work is arranged by the old british tribes; Hampshire was the land of the Belgae.

compass rose    

Compass rose and scale line are combined, together with an inscription of the map maker's and engraver's names.
Jo: Norden descripsit WHole sculp
image snip from map

The cardinal, half cardinal, and false points of the compass are indicated, north is marked with a fleur de lys. The cardinal points are named:-
Septentriones: refering to the seven stars that make up the constellation of The Bear, or Plough, that is a pointer for the Pole Star in the North
Oriens: from the Latin orior, to rise, where the sun rises in the East
Meridiens: middle of the day, where the sun is then in the South
Occidens: from the Latin occido, to fall or set, where the sun sets in the West

scale line    
old english mile    

image snip from map

The scale line of 10 miles is chequered in half miles. The 10 miles = 66.4 mm, giving a scale 1 to 243300, on the bad assumption of a modern statute mile. The map scale is about:-
1 to 240000
4 miles to 1 inch
An estimate of scale can be made from town positions, comparing known town-town distances, using DISTAB.exe. The map scale is about:-
1 to 380000
6 miles to 1 inch
The map maker's mile is an:-
Old English Mile = 1.24 statute miles

index grid    
This map has no index grid. Calculations have been made to overlay the National Grid system on the map, see:-
button see:- NRD1NGR.txt

table of symbols    
The map has a table of symbols, upper left. Settlements are positioned by a dot and cirlce, and distinguished by additional elements.
image snip from map

MARKET TOWNES [dot, circle, buildings]
Parishes & places of cure [dot, circle, tower or building]
Hamlets & villages [dot, circle, a short vertical line]
Chappels of ease [dot, circle, half cross]
ie a short vertical line, with a horizontal line to one side
Howses of bestericcite [dot, circle, tower either side]
Ordinarie howses of name [dot, circle]
Places ruinate and decaid [dot, circle, cancelled by a slash]
Castles [two towers with a flag]
Old trenches and fortes [hatched circle, and flag]
Monasticall places [dot, circle, and cross]
Beacons or beaukens [posts on a hill]
Norden's manuscript for the map is in the British Library, part of AddMSS 31.835:-
A Chorographical Description of the severall Shires and islands of Middlesex, Essex, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, Weighte, Gurnesey and Jersey, performed by the traveyle and view of John Norden, 1595
His original list of symbols included:-
... Howses of best receite, Ordinarie howses of means, ... Old trenches and fortes, ... Woody Places, Devision for Hundreds, Rivers, Bridges, and Parkes
The 1607 edition is slightly different.

sea area    
sea pecked    
sea monsters    

The sea is pecked. A number of ships decorate the sea area; and there is a monstrous fish N off the Isle of Wight.
image snip from map

coast line    
coast shaded    

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The coast line is shaded.

coastal defence    

The coastal defence castles are drawn and labelled:-
Hurst castle
Calshot cast
Netley cast
St: Androw cast
Ruynes of Haselworth castle
South cast
image snip from map


Rivers are drawn but not named.
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Braiding might be suggested, for example south of Stockbridge. The rivers that are shown can mostly be indentified, and include the major rivers of the county. Bits of some streams look as if they have been detached and joined to others?
A few bridges are marked. For example at Fordingbridge.
image snip from map

The river system at Winchester is more complicated:-
image snip from map

and the stream emerge from the city walls.


Relief is suggested by hillocks.
image snip from map

which are grouped in various ways.

Beacons are shown as a hill with posts or ?flames on top. Three of the beacons are named on the map:-
Selborne beak [SU2500]
Toothillbeac [SU3818]
3 Parow beacons [SU5044 = Three Barrows]
image snip from map

The other beacons shown are:-
W of Hythe [SU3703]
W of Pitt [SU4230]
WNW of Boteley [SU4712]
SW of Burghclere [SU4758]
NW of Extone [SU5723]
W of Farlington [SU6504]
SE of Bramshott [SU8754]
This map was drafted in 1595, only a few years after the Armada, whose presence off our shores was signalled by beacons. Norden must have been aware how important beacons were for defensive communication. The number of posts is always three; though on other maps the number varies and is thought to show how many beacons there were in a sophisticated system.


Forests are indicated by groups of outsize pictures of trees.
image snip from map

A number of these are labelled, eg:-
New Forrest
Forrest of Beare
which is East Bere Forest
Weste Forrest
which is West Bere Forest
One single tree is named, the:-
Lomer Ash

Parks are shown by a fence of palings in a ring; there are several examples around Basingstoke.
image snip from map

Most parks can be identified, and some are lebelled, eg:-
Fremantle pk
Barne pk
which is Beaurepaire Park

swash lettering    

The county boundary is a dotted line.
Swash lettering is used to fill space outside Hampshire, naming the adjacent counties. Eg:-

table of hundreds    

image snip from map

The hundred boundaries are shown by dotted lines, and the areas numbered to a key at the side of the map. Beware that some hundreds have detached parts. The key is just a list, eg:-
Crundall hundred -- 1
Odiam -- -- -- -- - 2
Alton -- -- -- -- - 3

Norden has put Bosmere over the top of what is now Bermondspit. Bosmere, today, is Hayling Island which has no number on the map, plus part of Portsdown.
Norden has 13 on the map where it should be 31 in central Hampshire.
Someone has coloured the hundred boundaries on this copy of the map, opinion is that this is comparatively recent, wrongly in places - be careful how you follow the lines.
Further notes:-
button see:- NRD1HUN.txt

Settlements are positioned by a dot and circle; additional elements grade place by type, as described in the table of symbols, see above.
city     image snip from map

Town walls and towers can be seen around Winchester, as also Portsmouth and Southampton.

town     image snip from map

village     image snip from map

hamlet     image snip from map

house     image snip from map

of best reception, and:-
image snip from map

an ordinary house.

ruins     image snip from map



image snip from map

A post mill is drawn at Clanfield.


The table of symbols has a symbol for earthworks:-
Old trenches and fortes
image snip from map

This is a hatched circle much like the tumulus symbol commonly used today, plus a flag. Some of the sites are named, eg:-
Dunbury hill
Other sites can be identified, eg:- Bury Hill site, Hengistbury Head site, Beacon Hill site at Burghclere, etc.

roman towns    

image snip from map

Some roman sites are named, for example:-

religious houses    
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Monastical places, a cross on a place mark.
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Chapels of ease, half a cross on a place mark.

copperas works    
Copperas mines are drawn and labelled at:-
Alomechine Copperas house
Bascombe Copperas house
image snip from map

button map type Norden 1607 -- menu of resources
button source item -- HMCMS:FA1996.22 -- map

button list of map notes

HantsMap Notes -- NORDEN1.txt
MN: 24.5.1996
last edit: 6.10.2002