Welcome to Old Kent Maps, a web site for the display and documentation of the printed maps of Kent from 1575 to 1900.  This is not a business site, but the on line publication of over 30 years research into old maps of this wonderful county.

This work was originally styled as a reference book for map collectors, dealers and academics but with the recent decision to publish on the internet it is expected to attract attention from a wider field. To the casual observer the clinical style of a carto-bibliography will seem a little strange. It is the systematic recording of all the known publications and editions of maps within a particular category - in this case the county of Kent.  It is not a history of Kent, nor a history of mapping, but the chronological documenting of all known printed maps of Kent between 1575 and 1900. 

This link provides a very brief, layman's description of the workings of the Carto-Bibliography.
This link provides a very brief, layman's description of features found on old maps of Kent

As an aid to appreciating the maps there are many illustrations and digital reproductions shown on various pages from the 'Images' tab. The main carto-bibliography reference is accessed from the 'Map Reference' tab.

I have chosen to attempt this record as a web publication so that the accumulated information is not lost when I cease to be active. The web publication will also allow me to continue to update the records as new information arises and reported errors are corrected.

Preparing a Carto-Bibliography of county maps is in itself a chore, and in the age of computer catalogue ordering, definitely dependant on the unstinting goodwill of librarians/curators and their staffs for those of us with few IT skills. Fortunately in my experience this is always forthcoming, particularly in the major libraries and this enhances the enjoyment of map research. In addition to the libraries the contribution of dealers who frequently unearth new map states should also be recognised and it would remain incomplete without their help. I have spent many years collecting and researching and in the process have accumulated a wealth of information on Kent maps. Although this work is comprehensive, it is still not considered complete.

This project started simply, as a hobby in the late 1970s.  My early and incomplete notes were meant for my own personal use as an aid to identifying maps in my private collection, but like many hobbies it grew into an all absorbing past time. Through it I developed new contacts, and with my close friend Eugene Burden, who was researching maps of Berkshire, shared much of the footwork and investigation. His assistance and company on our many visits to libraries and private collections across the country has added much enjoyment to both my hobby and my life.
Eventually and reluctantly I accepted that all the accumulated work should not be lost simply because it was for my own use. It was at this point that it became necessary to transfer the data to a computer and to adopt some standard format and working parameters. The map research commences at 1575 with an end point at the year 1900. Much of the map production after 1850 is considered unworthy of mention by most collectors and dealers, but many do have some merit from the historical content and the level of detail missing from earlier publications. Tracing the development of road, rail and urban spread cannot be achieved without this important period of mapping.

The task of publishing on-line has been achieved with the computer expertise of Tony Nicholls, for I myself have little. I dedicate this incomplete project to the friends and acquaintances I have made whilst engaged in my quest for books, maps, plans and knowledge. Should any reader discover new states of Kent maps not listed here, or errors herein, I would appreciate notification.

If anyone is working on, or would like to work on, other bibliographic aspects of Kent mapping e.g. 'Plans & Environs Maps of Tunbridge Wells 1774-1900'  I would be happy to collaborate by combining or linking our existing researches, in order to produce a more complete listing of all known maps/plans for a particular area.  This may take the form of links between all non-commercial sites of such interest. I believe there are many web sites and societies out there researching their own local patch of Kent.
Please contact me if interested.

Since the start of this web site in 2009 I have broadened the spectrum to incorporate a few related projects.  One of these is a carto-bibliography of British Hunt maps. These are maps produced by various fox hunting groups to establish the extent and boundaries of their 'hunts'.

Tony Burgess.       

Web site designed, constructed and maintained by Tony Nicholls

Printed Maps of Kent Tony Burgess 2016