The Gough Map and Its Ghostly Predecessor

The Gough Map
The Gough Map. Wikimedia Commons

An update on the Gough Map Project from Bill Shannon. “The Gough Map Project has reached that ‘interesting’ stage where we are moving from either sitting on the fence and making no decisions, or making lots, but then rejecting them all. It is now time to reach some firm conclusions, and start writing.”

Among other things, the Gough Map appears to be a copy of, and updated from, an earlier (“ghost”) map:

And so, we now have still more questions as we turn over the possible scenarios. If the copying was done in the early years of Henry IV, when was the Predecessor made? And where? And why? And why was our copy madeand where? And, what about that shipwreck? And, especially, what about those red lines previously interpreted as “roads”: it seems quite clear that these were not on the Predecessor, which means it never was a road map. Indeed, as we have progressed, we have realised those red lines are, at best, routes. […] But one thing we feel sure of: Mr Gough’s map was never a high-quality, show-piece display object; it was a back-room, practical, work-a-day thing.

Previously: Understanding the Gough Map.

Understanding the Gough Map

The Gough Map. Wikimedia Commons

Much study has been devoted to the Gough Map, a late medieval map of Great Britain, exact date and authorship unknown, that was donated to the Bodleian Library in 1809 by the map’s now-namesake, Richard Gough. (An interactive version is available online.) A new project led by Catherine Delano-Smith and Nick Millea explores the map on several levels: as physical object, combining hyperspectral imagery, pigment analysis and 3D scanning; the process of how the map was drawn (and redrawn); and a close analysis of the places and names found on the map. Some of the project’s early findings were published in Imago in 2016.

Previously: The Gough Map.