More Greenwich Maps

It seems everyone loves old maps – but not all ancient plans of London include Greenwich – for the simple reason that we were always part of the suburbs, rather than the metropolis until very recently.

For those of you who enjoyed the splendours of the Greenwood Map of 1827, I’ve found a couple more. As usual it was because I was looking for something else, completely different – but isn’t that the best way to stumble upon stuff?

I was looking for a map of the town centre before 1829 and I couldn’t be sure which version of the Greenwood Map was online, so I checked elsewhere.

My search led me to the 1818 Cary’s Map of London. which shows Greenwich before the market. Annoyingly the town centre falls in a virtual fold so you can’t view it all at once and it runs out just south of St Alfeges, but it’s still a fascinating view. It’s not wildly detailed, but that may just be because there wasn’t much there…

Last time I wrote about the various maps of Greenwich, Marmoset pointed out a brilliant one, 1862-71. It’s particularly good, because it shows the whole of the town centre, though if you live east of the workhouse (what we now call the old district hospital site – boy, we’ve come a long way…) then you can whistle. Sadly that happens pretty much all the time with East Greenwich and Charlton.

For more sombre reasons Charles Booth’s Poverty Map of London of 1898 to 89 also makes incredible pouring. Find out just how poor YOUR street was at the turn of the last century. I’d be curious to see how the colours dchanged at the cusp of this century…

The weird thing about maps is that although the very old ones are incredible, it really doesn’t really matter how old they are – even ones from just a couple of years ago can be enjoyed for all the minor (and sometimes major) changes to be spotted.

This one, Greenwich 1940 – is particularly cool as it was made just before the real Blitz damage was done. No A102M and, even more interestingly, no big gaps in streets – yet…

Much grimmer is the LCC map made just after the war listing all the bomb damage in the area. There used to be a copy of this on the wall in Waterstones as you went up the stairs, but it seems to have gone now.

Of course if you’re really into that kind of thing, Latt told me about a googlemap of V2 rocket hits.

But without doubt, the Mecca for Greenwich map-lovers is the magnificent Ideal Homes site, which is just fantastic. Bookmark it, visit it, love it, folks.

I never managed to find what I was looking for – but hey – it’s the journey, not the destination, isn’t it…


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