Review of ‘Sanderson's Map 1835’, by Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire Libraries

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, on 25th February 2002, and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.


Strictly speaking, this is a map review and the rest of the title should read 'Twenty Miles around Mansfield'. If your initial reaction is that this comes nowhere near the Peak, forget road distances and think 'as the crow flies'.

That 20-mile radius west of Mansfield encompasses, for example, Matlock, Wirksworth, Bonsall, Youlgreave, Winster and much of Baslow and Bakewell.The map shows turnpike roads with toll bars, canals with tunnels and wharves, and features such as the Cromford and High Peak Railway with its engines and wharves. The smaller detail is quite fascinating. On the local scene we have field names, a gibbet post, hot baths, lime kilns, Druidical Circles and the occasional windmill. As for industries, the map shows mines and lead smelting mills, bleachworks and mills for cotton, slag and corn.

Sanderson's consistent mapping of every field boundary over a 40-mile tract of countryside is a triumph for a single surveyor. Many of his patches of woodland are still to be seen on current maps exactly the same shape as they were when Queen Victoria came to the throne.

Overall, Sanderson's map is an invaluable record of a lost landscape. How much of this can still be seen today? Anyone who spends time with this map will want to take it out into the countryside and look again at the landscape through Sanderson's eyes. The complete map was circular to a scale of 'about half a mile to an inch'. This compares very closely with modern Ordnance Survey 1:25 000 maps.

Sanderson's Map is reproduced in book form in two parts - east of Mansfield (ISBN 0-902751-43-3) and west of Mansfield (ISBN 0-902751-42-5). The complete set, in a slip case, costs £8.99. ISBN 0-902751-42-5. Available through the library service or local book shops.

Review by Julie Bunting

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