chilvers coton maps
Dr. Steve Hindle — formerly Director of Research at The Huntington Library in San Marino, California, and now an Endowed Professor of History at Washington University in St. Louis — will soon be publishing “The Social Topography of a Rural Community”, a detailed study of the English parish of Chilvers Coton as it stood in the 1680s.
To assist in his research, he hired me to assemble fragmentary historical evidence into a comprehensive map of the parish, including the outlines of the roads, streams, and parish bounds, and the approximate location of every household recorded in a 1684 survey. The mapping project required about 36 months of work, a small part of the nearly two decades of work that Dr. Hindle has put into this study.
The evidence from which this map was compiled included hand-drawn, surviving maps from the 1680s-1700s, Ordnance Survey maps from the 1800s and 1900s, and satellite imagery from Google Earth. We also used extensive written documentation of the roads, paths, and streams, as well as the survey of households, to determine the locations of unmapped elements. Lastly, after transcribing a handwritten inventory of the parish’s trees and stumps, I used it to determine where many of the trees on this map should be placed, and in the correct numbers. Where contemporary maps showed wooded areas or individual trees, I did my best to copy the distribution and number. Some elements of this map are speculative, but to a relatively high degree of certainty.
When Dr. Hindle’s upcoming book is published, high resolution versions of these maps will be made available on an Oxford University Press web portal. I will update this page with links to the text and OUP site once they are available.
The first image below is a low-resolution version of the primary map, a highly-detailed exposition of the key information included in the 1684 survey and other records, followed by two insets from that map. In addition, I developed several alternative versions of the primary map to highlight specific occupations, map regions, resident classes, and other information. Insets from the maps of freehold landowners and common rights holders are shown at the bottom of this page as an example.