Drawn on sheepskin, the Gough Map was donated to the Bodleian library in 1809 by the antiquarian, Richard Gough. It dates to the late 14th century (it depicts a wall around Coventry which was not constructed until 1355), and departs from the conventions of contemporary maps produced by clergy, typically framed around sites of religious significance. Whether it is actually a ‘road’ map is a matter of dispute. There are route lines with mileages between many major towns but, if this is its purpose, it has glaring omissions (no road is marked from London to Canterbury, for instance). The level of detail and accuracy is variable, with northern Scotland and western Wales crudely drawn, whilst the precise portrayal of Lincolnshire may indicate the map’s creator was a local. The scale also deteriorates along the periphery, with islands such as Man and Anglesey oversized. Recent research shows the map was a composite of three different drafts.
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