Book published by the Society
in the 1760s and 1820s:
Prior to the publication of the first Ordnance Survey maps in 184? there had been a long tradition of map-making in the County. Jefferys and Bryant, the two cartographers featured in the BAS’s new publication, were two of the greatest in this tradition. Their maps are not only extremely beautiful and very accurate but are also important sources of much valuable information about the county. For instance, some place names featured on the maps had disappeared even before the first OS maps. Others have changed, whether due to error or other reasons is sometimes difficult to establish. Bryant records the hamlet, near to Cuddington, now called Gibraltar as Trafalgar! Roads have changed their alignments, particularly in the period immediately after the publication of the maps as a result of the enclosure of the open fields that covered so much of the county. More generally the maps illustrate South Bucks prior to the development of Slough. (In a way which John Betjeman would have approved!)
The Atlas is a full-scale facsimile of the two maps that were published on scales of 1in.and 11/2 in. to the mile. Pages are A3 size opening to A2 to give views of large areas of the county at one time. How, and to what scale, copies could be made was initially challenging as the Society's copy of Bryant measures over 6ft in length and Jefferys is over 4ft. It was decided that the most appropriate format in which to reproduce the maps would be in book form. By working from folded copies of the originals, and using modern computer skills, this has been achieved.
The idea of reproducing both Bryant's and Jefferys' maps for sale was born in 1997, when an exhibition entitled "Buckinghamshire Landscapes 1444 1997" was held at the County Museum in Aylesbury. The Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society's copy of Bryant's map hung at the entrance to the gallery and aroused a great deal of interest; many visitors expressing a wish to obtain a copy.
The Society’s Hon. Librarian and Archivist, Diana Gulland, who was responsible for the publication, said "It is appropriate for the Society to publish this book in the Millennium year, adding its contribution to the large number of local historical works currently being produced. The Atlas will be of benefit to researchers including family and local historians"
Dr.David Thorpe, convenor of the Bucks Local History Network, observed that "I may have to move house in order to find a wall sufficiently large to house a mounted copy of the maps."