How much has Essex changed in the last 250 years?

PUBLISHED: 11:18 24 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:25 24 July 2020

Town Street, Thaxted (c) The JR James Archive, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Town Street, Thaxted (c) The JR James Archive, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


Alongside the Essex Record Office, Tim Fransen has put together an interactive version of a map first created in 1777 which you can use to see how our county has changed in nearly three centuries

Due to coastal erosion, the redrawing of county boundaries and the establishment of new towns, the Essex of today is incredibly different to what our ancestors would have known.

The 18th century map by John Chapman and Peter Andre – no not that one - was the first of its kind that allowed local people to place where they lived or worked in relation to their immediate landscape.

Completed to a degree of detail rarely seen in cartography of the time, it even highlighted minor features like watermills, windmills and even identified individual owners of halls or estates.

Tim Fransen, with the help of the Essex Record Office (ERO), has used digitised plates from a 1950 ERO publication to create a digital version of the map.

You can view the online version of the map through this link and it works just like any other browser or mobile map application.

Using the embedded map below, you can track just how much has changed since Chapman and Andre first completed their exhaustive survey.


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