Christopher Saxton's Atlas of England and Wales

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Map Man, Series 1 Episode 7 of 8

Duration: 30 minutes

Can modern explorer Nicholas Crane use Christopher Saxton's exquisite map of Norfolk to lead him safely through some of the wildest waterland landscapes of today?

In just five summers, Saxton produced the first national atlas, providing Elizabethans with 34 beautifully engraved, hand-coloured county maps. But maps are created for all sorts of reasons and as he motorbikes across Norfolk, Saxton's first map, Nick discovers that Saxton's survey was as much about identifying possible political troublespots as rivers and windmills.

Nick comes up with fascinating evidence that Norfolk was the heartland of Catholic conspiracy-making in the late 1500s. He also tries to solve the puzzle of Saxton's amazing omission of the Norfolk Broads.


Nicholas Crane
Richard Klein


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