Historic maps to go on display in Swanage

An exhibition featuring a private collection of maps and charts of Dorset, the world and the universe, is to open for just two days at All Saints Church Hall in Swanage.

The reproduction maps to go on display, date back from around 1250 and chart how place names have changed through the centuries. The exhibition runs from 3 pm to 7 pm on Friday 16th September and 10 am to 4.30 pm on Saturday 17th September 2022.

Dorset Map

The County of Dorset published 1st July 1796 by W Faden, cartographer to the His Majesty and to HRH the Prince of Wales

Many featuring Swanage and the Isle of Purbeck

There will be about 30 historic maps to view from elaborately decorated large maps to a selection of “little and lovely” ones, many featuring Swanage and the Isle of Purbeck.

Map collector Gwenda Yeomans said:

“There’s really no substitute for seeing these maps printed on paper – yes, many can be viewed on a screen but either you see the whole thing and no detail, or see the detail but not the whole map!

“I’ve got one map from the 16th century which I’d be very surprised if anyone in Dorset has seen printed out before.”

“There’s also a collection of what I call the little and lovely maps that people can view sitting down at a table.”

Entry to the exhibition is free but visitors are invited to make a donation to Swanage Action for Refugees.

Collection of maps
World map

The collection of historic maps depict Dorset, the world and the universe!

“I’d recommend bringing reading glasses!”

Gwenda, who’s always been interested in maps and got the bug from her father, said:

“I hope people will pop in and I suspect they will probably wish that they had allowed more time. Looking at maps can be very absorbing and I’d recommend bringing reading glasses!”

Many of the maps have been reproduced by local printing company Fine Art Inkorporated. Gwenda added:

“I really must thank Andy Farrer and Carlo Wiggins – they have really done a good job. The print quality is excellent.”

Dorset trig point map

A 19th century map of Dorset trig points or as it’s titled, Triangles for the Survey of Dorsetshire

Dorset Map

Can anyone solve the mystery of why this map calls a stretch of the South Purbeck Coast, St Andries Land? The origin of the name is so far unexplained

Further information

The exhibition is called Beautiful and Fascinating Maps and Charts of Dorset, the World and the Universe from the 14th century to the 20th century.

  • All Saints Church Hall, Ulwell Road, Swanage BH19 1LL
  • Friday 16th September 2022 from 3 pm to 7 pm
  • Saturday 17th September 2022 from 10 am to 4.30 pm
Dorset Map

In this map, Swanage is identified as Sandwich. From The County of Dorset published 1st July 1796 by W Faden

Dorset Map

However an earlier map prefers Swanage to Sandwich! From the County map by J Cary 1st September 1787

Share this story

Contact us

Do you have anything to add to this story?

We like to keep everything up-to-date, so if you know more, please help us by getting in touch.


Top stories

Flying Scotsman locomotive to make return trip to Swanage The most famous and iconic steam locomotive in the world is to return to Swanage Railway for a visit this autumn. 1 month ago Climber dies after fall near Dancing Ledge 2 weeks ago Swanage’s seafront road to stay closed to traffic this winter 7 days ago Planning starts for revamp of Swanage seafront 2 days ago Huge queue for Swanage Town Council toilet meeting 4 weeks ago

Most recent

Purbeck Cider Company back from the brink of disaster Two years after fearing his business wouldn’t survive, founder of Purbeck Cider Company Joe Hartle is now looking to expand. 18 hours ago Planning starts for revamp of Swanage seafront 2 days ago Entries open for new Purbeck business awards 3 days ago Tractor and power tools stolen from Wareham beauty spot 4 days ago Pick up energy saving tips by visiting Purbeck’s eco homes 5 days ago