Loading Spinner

Maps of the United Kingdom

Many fine maps of Britain and its territories were made by British and other European cartographers by the 17th century. The maps of John Speed are some of the most renowned. Speed began working for the royal customs office under Elizabeth I in 1598. Speed drew up a series of detailed county maps of England and Wales to be included in his atlas "Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain." Master cartographer Gerard Mercator created a map of Ireland in 1606 which featured towns, rivers, lakes, forests and mountains. In 1552, Sebastian Munster used woodblock printing to scale London’s streets. Munster’s map of London shows ships in the Thames River and nobles in the foreground.

A 1650 map of the British Isles by Pierre Mariette and Nicolas Sanson represents England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland with the Orkney Islands added. Cities and topographical distinctions are rendered in profile while a sea monster lurks in the water. Royal hydrographer John Seller created an interesting book of charts mapping the coast in 1698. "Atlas Maritimus" includes a colorful map of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. In the upper left quadrant, Neptune carries the British flag.

Pocket maps became a popular navigational device, helping people get from one place to another beginning in Elizabethan times. Although they could be bought for a few shillings, pocket maps contained fine engravings, tables which described walking distances between towns, and directions to market towns. Pocket maps could be bound with the buyer’s choice of poems, newspaper, or other documents.


Quick Facts

  • "The Kingdom of Scotland, The Kingdom of Ireland" by Pieter van den Keere and John Speed sold for more than $844 at a Lyon and Turnbull auction in 2016
  • Willem and Jan Blaeu’s 1662 atlas containing 49 maps of Scotland, missing the six maps of Ireland, sold for more than $5,628 at Lyon and Turnbull in 2014
  • "An Exact Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster" from 1746 by John Roque sold for $22,778 at Sotheby’s in 2015

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

Map: An 18thC map of Gloucestershire with hand colouring, titled An Accurat
Apr 29, 9:00 AM BST
Map: An 18thC map of Gloucestershire with hand colouring, titled An Accurat
by Claydon Auctioneers
Est: £40- £60
£401 Bid
GREAT BRITAIN -- "THE ISLE OF MAN (…). Described by Tho Durham Ano. 1595
May 08, 1:30 PM CEST
GREAT BRITAIN -- "THE ISLE OF MAN (…). Described by Tho Durham Ano. 1595
by Burgersdijk & Niermans
Est: €240- €300
€2400 Bids
George Hubel engraved map of Suffolke, described
May 04, 10:00 AM EDT
George Hubel engraved map of Suffolke, described
by Marion Antique Auctions
Est: $100- $300
$500 Bids
CARTE NOUVELLE DES COSTES D'ANGLETERRE DEPUIS LA RIVIÈRE DE LA TAMISE JUSQUES À PORTLAND [...].
Apr 27, 1:00 PM CEST
CARTE NOUVELLE DES COSTES D'ANGLETERRE DEPUIS LA RIVIÈRE DE LA TAMISE JUSQUES À PORTLAND [...].
by Arenberg Auctions
Est: €300- €400
€1400 Bids
Maps: A quantity of assorted engraved and hand coloured maps to include Nor
Apr 29, 9:00 AM BST
Maps: A quantity of assorted engraved and hand coloured maps to include Nor
by Claydon Auctioneers
Est: £30- £50
£300 Bids
Map Group
Apr 20, 9:00 AM EDT
Map Group
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$50 Bids
"Dorsetshyre" England 17th century map. 2 sided framing.
May 05, 10:00 AM EDT
"Dorsetshyre" England 17th century map. 2 sided framing.
by Tremont Auctions
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
Map: An 18thC engraved and hand coloured map of Buckinghamshire after Rober
Apr 29, 9:00 AM BST
Map: An 18thC engraved and hand coloured map of Buckinghamshire after Rober
by Claydon Auctioneers
Est: £20- £40
£200 Bids
Map: An 18thC engraved and hand coloured map of Northamptonshire, with desc
Apr 29, 9:00 AM BST
Map: An 18thC engraved and hand coloured map of Northamptonshire, with desc
by Claydon Auctioneers
Est: £20- £30
£200 Bids
Map: A 19thC engraved map titled Gloucestershire from the Best Authorities,
Apr 29, 9:00 AM BST
Map: A 19thC engraved map titled Gloucestershire from the Best Authorities,
by Claydon Auctioneers
Est: £20- £40
£200 Bids
Map: A 17thC engraved and hand coloured map of Bedfordshire after Robert Mo
Apr 29, 9:00 AM BST
Map: A 17thC engraved and hand coloured map of Bedfordshire after Robert Mo
by Claydon Auctioneers
Est: £30- £50
£300 Bids
Map: An engraved and hand coloured map titled The Countie of Nottingham des
Apr 29, 9:00 AM BST
Map: An engraved and hand coloured map titled The Countie of Nottingham des
by Claydon Auctioneers
Est: £30- £50
£300 Bids
Map: A 19thC engraved map of West Riding, titled A Map of the North Part of
Apr 29, 9:00 AM BST
Map: A 19thC engraved map of West Riding, titled A Map of the North Part of
by Claydon Auctioneers
Est: £40- £60
£400 Bids
Maps: A 20thC Map of England and Wales on two folding cloth sheets North Sh
Apr 29, 9:00 AM BST
Maps: A 20thC Map of England and Wales on two folding cloth sheets North Sh
by Claydon Auctioneers
Est: £20- £30
£160 Bids
MAP OF ENGLAND BY A. WHITBOURN, 1819.
Apr 27, 10:00 AM EDT
MAP OF ENGLAND BY A. WHITBOURN, 1819.
by Amelia Jeffers
Est: $100- $200
$100 Bids
GREAT BRITAIN SURVEY MAPS 1950S
Apr 21, 12:00 PM AEST
GREAT BRITAIN SURVEY MAPS 1950S
by Sydney Rare Book Auctions
Est: AUD100- AUD120
AUD700 Bids
Map: A 17thC engraved and hand coloured map of Scotland titled Strath-Naver
Apr 29, 9:00 AM BST
Map: A 17thC engraved and hand coloured map of Scotland titled Strath-Naver
by Claydon Auctioneers
Est: £30- £50
£300 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Maps of the United Kingdom


Claydon Auctioneers

Claydon Auctioneers

Burgersdijk & Niermans

Burgersdijk & Niermans

Sydney Rare Book Auctions

Sydney Rare Book Auctions

Arenberg Auctions

Arenberg Auctions