John Speed map of 1610

Please see the Gallery section for another map of historical interest showing our region dated from the John Speed atlas dated 1610.

Perry Bridge is once again clearly marked,  as are Wrington and Burrington. However, there is no mention of Langford on this map.

John Speed (1552–1629) was a historian and cartographer, whose maps of English counties are often found framed in homes throughout the United Kingdom.

He was born at Farndon, Cheshire,  and went into his father’s tailoring business where he worked until he was about 50. While working in London, his knowledge of history led him into learned circles and he joined the Society of Antiquaries where his interests came to the attention of Sir Fulke Greville, who subsequently made Speed an allowance to enable him to devote his whole attention to research. As a reward for his earlier efforts, Queen Elizabeth granted him the use of a room in the Custom House. It was with the encouragement of William Camden that he began his Historie of Great Britaine, which was published in 1611. Although Speed probably had access to historical sources that are now lost to us he certainly used the work of Saxton and Norden, his work as a historian is considered mediocre and secondary in importance to his map-making, of which his most important contribution is probably his town plans, many of which provide the first visual record of the British towns they depict.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Bristol Turnpike 1818

A map of the Bristol Turnpike road from Langford to Redhill has been added to the Gallery section.  This map has a series of numbers which relate to  road widening schemes. The schedule that accompanies the map, which  marks the location of houses and buildings along its length is also shown in the Gallery section.

Benjamin Donn Map of 1769

Another local map that shows Langford and the surrounding area in the 18th Century is the Benjamin Donn map. This map, which is available for viewing in the Bristol Museum, is a circular one based on a 12 mile radius from the centre of Bristol.  As the 12 miles comes to the Langford brook, the Burrington part of the village  is covered.

The map is available for viewing in the Gallery section.

John Ogilby Map of 1675

The earliest cartographic reference to Langford that we have found to date is that appearing in John Ogilby’s linear road map of 1675. This was entitled “Continuation of the Road from London to Bristol…Continued to Huntspil”. You can see a picture of the map in the Gallery section.

Essentially the map shows the old coach route from Bristol to Exeter passing through Bridgwater approximately following the route of today’s A38. It is possible to make out Perry Bridge, and Burrington Church, and of course the ford that gave the village its name.

It was, as we now know the passing of the coach route through the village of Langford, that put us on the map! The 1636 Langford Court survey has two flourishing coach inns in the village, The White Hart Inn ( now the Langford) and The Green Dragon Inn ( formerly on the site of Richmond House). More information on the Inns appears in the Research News section.