Map king of the castle

1st February 2008 at 00:00
The governor's house at Edinburgh Castle has been identified as the birthplace of the modern map by Historic Scotland's principal historian.

It was here that William Roy, father of the Ordnance Survey, and Paul Sandby, who was a major influence in British watercolour painting, are believed to have collaborated on their first map-making enterprise in the 1740s. From this flowed the surveys that are the essence of the maps, road atlases and street plans that are vital to so many aspects of modern life.

Chris Tabraham, Historic Scotland's principal historian, said: "We know that Roy spent his summers in the field with the survey teams, then headed back to Edinburgh Castle, where the maps were made. But that begged the question of where in the castle they worked. Find that and you find the spiritual home of OS and all that has resulted from the remarkable work it has done for more than 200 years."

Dr Tabraham researched the issue after being invited to contribute a chapter for The Great Map, a recenly published volume that convenes for the first time all the maps Roy and Sandby produced at the castle. He has put together clues which point to the governor's house - which incorporated the lodgings of the storekeeper and the master gunner - as the most likely location.

www.nls.ukmapsindex.html. The Great Map: The Military Survey of Scotland 1748-55 (Birlinn pound;200).

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now