A cosmoramic view of London
By BANKS, J[ohn]. H[enry], by and after , 1825

A Cosmoramic View of London

British Isles London
  • Author: BANKS, J[ohn]. H[enry], by and after
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: Published as the Act directs by E. Wallis, 42 Skinner St. Snow Hill, & by J.H. Banks, 31 Tonbridge Place, King's Cross, Ackerman & Co. 96 Strand & T. Houlston, 154 Strand.
  • Publication date: 1843
  • Physical description: Copper engraving with aquatint.
  • Dimensions: Image: 398 by 995mm (15.75 by 39.25 inches). Sheet: 550 by 1160mm (21.5 by 45.5 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 12484


Aerial view from a point just south of the Elephant & Castle and valuable therefore in depicting the topography of South London. On the left edge are Vauxhall Bridge, Hyde Park Corner and Regents Park; on the right the Tower and West India Docks; in the foreground Lambeth Palace and the Elephant & Castle; and on the far horizon Highgate Archway. Street names appear on the image as they would on a map. About 300 buildings carry reference numbers.

Shows Hungerford Suspension Bridge though it was not completed until 1845, and the Houses of Parliament though they were not completed until 1860. A compass features in the centre of the title.

This, the second state of the print (with the addition of Ackerman and Houlston in the imprint), carries the title ‘Cosmoramic View’, one presumes because its proportions and presentation of subject were similar to those of the views exhibited in the Cosmorama Rooms, 209 Regent Street. Later views are entitled ‘Panoramic View…’. It would be intriguing to know the circumstances for the title change.

The print was originally accompanied by a single-sheet key or by a 16-page booklet entitled, Key of Reference to the Cosmoramic View of London (London: E. Wallis, J.H. Banks, Ackermann & Co., and T. Houlston 1843), printed by J.H. Banks. Birmingham Public Library’s single-sheet key is entitled: ‘Key of Reference Banks’s Cosmoramic View of London 1844.’ its imprint reads: ‘London: published as the act directs, by E. Wallis, 42, Skinner Street, Snow Hill; J.H. Banks, 31, Tonbridge Place, King’s Cross; Ackermann and Co., 96, strand; and T. Houston, 154, Strand.’ Guildhall Library’s single-sheet key is entitled: ‘Key of Reference to Wallis’s Panoramic View of London, 1845.’ its imprint reads: ‘London: published as the act directs, by E. Wallis, Skinner Street, Snow Hill.’

An advertisement for this print appears in ‘Brighton As It Is’ (London: Wallis 1844): ‘London at a Glance. Extraordinary Curiosity! A Cosmoramic View of London. Engraved on steel and exhibiting at one view every Public Building, with the Docks, Railroads, Parks, Bridges, Squares, Palaces, and every object worthy of notice; equally interesting and useful to the resident, stranger, or foreigner. Especially adapted for Coffee Rooms, Hotels, Libraries, and Public Buildings. Price 5s. Plain, or 15s. Coloured. Published by E. Wallis, 42 Skinner St. London.’