Sussex — Figg’s rare imprint of Greenwood’s large-scale map of Sussex

By GREENWOOD, Christopher, 1861 

Map of the County of Sussex from an Actual Survey made in the Years 1823 & 1824. Corrected to the present time By William Figg, F.S.A. Surveyor. Presented to the subscribers to The Sussex Express, Surrey Standard & Kent Mail. By the Proprietor William Edwin Baxter.

British Isles English Counties
  • Author: GREENWOOD, Christopher
  • Publication place: Lewis
  • Publication date: 1861.
  • Physical description: Large lithograph dissected and mounted on linen, edged in green silk, housed in green buckram solander box.
  • Dimensions: 1880 by 1290mm. (74 by 50.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 12831

To scale:


The maps by Christopher and John Greenwood set new standards for large-scale surveys. Although they were unsuccessful in their stated aim to map all the counties of England and Wales it is probably no coincidence that of the ones they missed, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Oxfordshire, all except Cambridgeshire were mapped by Andrew Bryant in a similar style and at the same period. From a technical point of view the Greenwoods’ productions exceeded the high standards set in the previous century though without the decoration and charming title-pieces that typified large scale maps of that period.

The Greenwoods started in 1817 with Lancashire and Yorkshire and by 1831 they had covered 34 counties. Their maps were masterpieces of surveying and engraving techniques, and in view of the speed at which they were completed, their accuracy is remarkable. They mark the boundaries of the counties, hundreds and parishes, churches and chapels, castles and quarries, farmhaouses and gentlemen’s seats, heaths and common land, woods, parliamentary representatives and distances between towns. The price of 3 guineas each compares with the the first edition Ordnance Survey sheets of 7s 6d, though the latter did not relate to complete counties.

The map would late be republished with numerous corrections and additions in lithographic form during the years 1858 to 1861. As the publication was a gift to the readers of the three newspapers named in the title, it was mainly issued in loose sheets and sold separately as printed, although a few complete copies were published. Considerable extra information was added for the benefit of readers up to 1861. Originally published at 6 guineas, it was then presented to the qualified subscribers of the newspapers at the new cahrge of 6 pence for each part”. The newspapers agreed to publish 5000 copies of the work, with the work being carried out by the surveyor William Figg. The regularity of the sheets being sold separately obviously influenced the availability of the complete map and copies of the latter are comparatively scarce.