Mappa Mundi

Contributed by Hereford Cathedral

Mappa Mundi, Hereford Cathedral

Drawn a single sheet of vellum, the Mappa Mundi reflects the medieval church with Jerusalem at the centre of the worldThe Hereford Mappa Mundi is an outstanding treasure of the medieval world recording how thirteenth-century scholars interpreted the world in spiritual as well as geographical terms. It bears the name of its author 'Richard of Haldingham or Lafford' (Holdingham and Sleaford in Lincolnshire) and was created around 1300.

Drawn on a single sheet of vellum (calf skin) measuring 1.58 x 1.33 meters, it tapers towards the top with a rounded apex. The geographical material of the map is contained within a circle measuring 52" in diameter and reflects the thinking of the medieval church with Jerusalem at the centre of the world.

Superimposed onto the continents are around 500 drawings of the history of humankind and the marvels of the natural world, including some 420 cities and towns, 15 Biblical events, 33 plants, animals, birds and strange creatures, 32 images of the peoples of the world and 8 pictures from classical mythology.

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Research suggests around 1300


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