Greenwood's large-scale map of Lancaster
By GREENWOOD, Christopher , 1818

Map of the County Palatine of Lancaster from an actual Survey made in the Years 1818, By C. Greenwood, Wakefield. Drawn by R. Creighton, 38 Lisle Street London.

British Isles English Counties
  • Author: GREENWOOD, Christopher
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: Published by the Proprietors, W. Fowler & C. Greenwood, Wakefield, Leicester Square
  • Publication date: Dec. 1st, 1818.
  • Physical description: Large engraved map on six sheets, dissected and mounted on linen, in two sections, original outline hand colour, edged in linen, James Wyld publisher's label pasted to map, housed in original quarter calf slipcase, brown marbled paper boards, lettered in gilt to spine, rubbed and scuffed.
  • Dimensions: 2100 by 1390mm (82.75 by 54.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 1263


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.