Monday, October 26, 2015

Caveat Emptor

Some 40 years ago I bought a facsimile copy of John Speed's Welsh maps, it cost a remaindered £2.50.  Over the years I've wondered how many of the supposedly original, hand-coloured Welsh county maps you see in antique shops were actually sourced from that book. Anyway caveat emptor.

Here's the town plan of New Radnor taken from the book, the earliest plan of any Radnorshire town dating to around 1610.  Nothing much has changed except that the castle masonry has disappeared, the perspicacious Radnorians seeing such monuments as a source of building materials.

New Radnor would have had a population of 500 or so and was at that time a Welsh speaking place. No doubt there was a degree of bilingualism since it lay so close to -  what were even then  - thoroughly English-speaking parishes within Herefordshire.

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