Philips' A.B.C. pocket atlas-guide to London, with new postal areas

Philips' A.B.C Pocket Atlas-guide to London

Philip's ABC Atlas includes information for visitors to London, such as cab fares, underground railways, hotels, restaurants, steamboats, and tramways. There are views of famous places and landmarks, including descriptive notes, and then twenty-five atlas plates. The atlas ends with an A.B.C. Gazetteer of London which is a descriptive list of sites which is followed by an index.

George Philip, born in 1800 at Huntly, Aberdeenshire, was a cartographer and map publisher. He began as an assistant to a Liverpool bookseller, William Grapel, and then set up a business as a bookseller and stationer and then expanded to produce books. His interests lay in geographical and educational materials. He had one son, also named George, that became a partner in the business in 1837, and a nephew, Thomas Dash Philip, who joined the firm in 1851. In 1859, Thomas Philip became partner in the new company called Philip, Son, and Nephew. George Philip died in 1882. The business remained in the family until 1988, and it now is known as George Philip Ltd.

Plan of the road from Hyde Park Corner to Counter's Bridge

Plan oft he road from Hyde Park Corner to Counter's Bridge

Plan of the Road to Hyde Park... is lithographed on thirty sheets from the original drawings. This is a rare first reproduction of a colored road plan of 1811 that was made for the Kensington Turnpike Trustees by their Surveyor, Joseph Salway. These were intended to be a record of drains, but they also provide the ground plan of the road and the elevations of the houses, walls, and other objects. They cover a 2-mile stretch of road from Hyde Park Corner to Counter’s Bridge. Each sheet has two sections measuring 10 ½ x 45 inches plus deep margins. There are 15 sheets and 30 sections making the map just over 56 feet by 20 ½ inches. The original of this facsimile was found in the British Museum in 1872. The scale is one inch to twenty feet. At the top of each sheet are elevation drawings of the structures including trees and foliage. The structures are rendered three-dimensionally. The bottom section of each sheet is an aerial plan of the street. Sewer grates, cisterns, and drains are depicted on the sheets. Lampposts are numbers throughout the sections from one to 132.

Turnpike trusts were established by parliament to maintain the roads and collect tolls. The turnpikes were gates set across the road blocking access until a fee was paid for the use of the road. In 1706, turnpike roads began to be built by trusts. These turnpike trusts made the improved roads by straightening, leveling, and performing repairs; tollgates and bridges were added. All trusts used surveyors to organize labor and materials and keep track of expenditures. Milestones on the main road into London from the west were measured from the Standard at Hyde Park Corner. The Kensington Turnpike Trust was formed in 1725 to care for several roads to the west of London. In 1811, they commissioned Joseph Salway to create a detailed record of the streets under their management. East of the Kensington Road Trust, the remainder of the Bath road as far as Hyde Park Corner was controlled by the Hyde Part Trust. Tolls had been levied there since 1653. A turnpike gate was erected near Hay Hill in 1725, but was moved to west of Hyde Park Gate in 1741. Hyde Park Corner Gate was thought to be the busiest gate in London. In 1792, a new gatehouse was built with a weighing engine platform in front of the gate. There were Neoclassical gatehouses on both side of the highway with ornate lamp standards in the center of the road and two gates across the carriageways. The gate closed in 1825 and the two tollhouses and gates were auctioned off for building materials.

Cary's Survey of the High Roads

Cary's Survey of the High Roads

Cary's Survey was first published in 1790 with further editions in 1799, 1801, and 1810. The publication was designed to help the traveler by indicating not only the rivers and hills, but the Gentlemen’s seats (ancestral homes), turnpike gates, and public inns. The book starts with a “general plan for explaining the different trusts of the turnpike gates in the vicinity of the metropolis” followed by a General Map of London and the surrounding area. There are 80 road colored maps with Gentlemen’s seats indicated by small houses. 

The 1870 version has 44 engraved plates including an explanation, advertisement, general map, general plate, and forty plates of the road. The general map is an oval in a rectangular frame with London at the center. The Thames, London and the county boundaries are in color. There are two maps per page. Roads, towns, parks and commons are colored. Each route begins with the title at the foot and a list of inns, by-roads, towns, villages, Gentlemen’s houses with the names of the owners, parks and commons, hills, streams, and rivers, milestones, turnpike gates, and inns.

John Cary, born in 1755 at Corsley, Wiltshire was a cartographer. He apprenticed with the engraver William Palmer. His first known engraved plan was from 1779 and he is known for his style of stark and plain design. He established an engraving workshop and went into the publishing business with his brother William Cary. This business dominated British map production for a generation.  He died in 1835.

Cary's Survey of the High Roads Georeferenced File