Civitas Londinum
Civitas Londinum
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Civitas Londinum
Collage 346463
London Metropolitan Archives: Main Print Collection
Civitas Londinium (written as Londinum) is thought to be the first surviving map of London, engraved on eight wooden blocks between 1561 and 1570. This version was printed c1633 and is one of only three known copies.

It is believed to have been based on the Copperplate Map which was produced in the 1550s but from which only three of the estimated fifteen copper plates survive. Although previously credited to the Elizabethan surveyor Ralph Agas (1545-1621), the creator of the map remains a mystery.

The blocks were updated to insert the Royal Exchange, which opened in 1570, and to replace the Tudor coat of arms with those of the House of Stuart in 1603 following the accession of James I to the throne of England.

The map is one of the most important early map-views of London. Various buildings on the map are marked with a letter or number suggesting that it may have been accompanied by a table of places which has not survived.
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