Tel 44 (0)20 7589 4325
Fax 44 (0)20 7589 4325
Email:[email protected]



John Piggott-Smith: Map of Birmingham

Map: WARKS339
Cartographer: John Piggott-Smith
Title: Map of Birmingham
Date: 1828
Published: Birmingham
Width: 50 inches / 127 cm
Height: 52 inches / 133 cm
Map ref: WARKS339
Monumental folding wall map of Birmingham, generally acknowledged to be the finest plan before the Ordnance Survey.

Born in 1798, Piggott-Smith had a long and distinguished career as a land surveyor and later as an expert in street paving. He became Surveryor of Birmingham although this was after he published this fine plan of the city. His experience as a commercial surveyor, especially of an earlier plan of Brighton, served him in good stead. This plan of Birmingham is generally acknowledged to be the finest map of the city available until the Ordnance Survey plans of the 1850s. It catches the city after its first explosive spurt driven by the Industrial Revolution and the Midlands Enlightenment, when it became a manufacturing hub and an industrially creative powerhouse. The plan is richly detailed and a small inset on the upper left shows the size of the town 1731 as a contrast to its size and importance in the “present” day.

The map is dedicated William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth, Fellow of the Royal Society and Member of the Society of Antiquaries and published by the local firm of Beilby, Knott and Beilby. Folded. [WARKS339]