Greenwood's large-scale map of Devon
By GREENWOOD, Christopher , 1827

Map of the County of Devon from an Actual Survey made in the Years 1825 & 1826. By C. & J. Greenwood. Most respectfully Dedicated to the Nobility, Clergy & Gentry of the County.

British Isles English Counties
  • Author: GREENWOOD, Christopher
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: By The Proprietors Greenwood, Pringle & Co., Regent Street, Pall Mall
  • Publication date: Febr[uar]y, 20th, 1827.
  • Physical description: Large engraved map, fine original full-wash hand-colour, dissected and mounted on linen, in three sections, edged in green silk, view of Exeter cathedral lower right, housed within, tree calf pull-off slipcase, red morocco label to spine, lettered in gilt, rubbed.
  • Dimensions: 2020 by 1950mm. (79.5 by 76.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 1316


The maps by Christopher and John Greenwood set new standards for large-scale surveys. Although they were unsuccessful in their stated aim to map all the counties of England and Wales it is probably no coincidence that of the ones they missed, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Oxfordshire, all except Cambridgeshire were mapped by Andrew Bryant in a similar style and at the same period. From a technical point of view the Greenwoods’ productions exceeded the high standards set in the previous century though without the decoration and charming title-pieces that typified large scale maps of that period.

The Greenwoods started in 1817 with Lancashire and Yorkshire and by 1831 they had covered 34 counties. Their maps were masterpieces of surveying and engraving techniques, and in view of the speed at which they were completed, their accuracy is remarkable. They mark the boundaries of the counties, hundreds and parishes, churches and chapels, castles and quarries, farmhaouses and gentlemen’s seats, heaths and common land, woods, parliamentary representatives and distances between towns. The price of 3 guineas each compares with the the first edition Ordnance Survey sheets of 7s 6d, though the latter did not relate to complete counties.