Record of The Month

Add Mss 2857 Estate Map of the Manor of Prinsted (1640)image1

In previous blog posts on West Sussex Record Office map collections,  we have touched on a number of estate maps, and I feel that the Prinsted Manor Estate map of 1640 is definitely worth an entry as Record of the Month. On it you can see houses are drawn in perspective view, its occupiers are identified by elaborate colours and symbols and tiny little gates are shown between the fields.

Estate maps usually date between the 16th and mid-19th centuries and were compiled by landed gentry and estates such as Petworth, Goodwood and Wiston. In this particular instance it is the estate of the Right Honourable Sir Richard Lumley, kt., Lord Viscount Lumley of Stansted, who appears to be owner of the estate from 1609 – 1686.add-ms-2857-prinsted-village-a4-detail

Historic maps are normally made from parchment or vellum and the Prinsted map is an example on vellum; you can still see the tiny hair follicles on the back of the map! Evidence of conservation can be seen on the original as well, with repairs around the edges.

Like other maps in our collection, estate maps are a great source for establishing the history of a property or the local landscape. JH Mee in his description of the Prinsted map (WSRO Lib 15601) points out that nothing much has changed in nearly 400 years, however, when compared to a modern map you can see that the village of Southbourne is non-existent and we don’t start to see its beginnings until the late 1890s.

Imogen Russell

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