18th and Early 19th Century Mapping of Wales

The Library also holds a large amount of 18th and early 19th century mapping, especially for the Welsh cartographers who flourished at this time, but also for other cartographers producing maps of Wales.

One of the most important is Thomas Taylor’s atlas The Principality of Wales exactly described, published in 1718. This is the first atlas of Wales alone.

Some other interesting examples include:

  • Williams Williams - Denbigh and Flint [ca. 1720]
  • Emanuel Bowen - South Wales [ca. 1729] and re-issued in 1760
  • John Evans - North Wales (1795)
  • George Yates - Glamorgan (1799)
  • Joseph Singer - Cardigan (1803)
  • J C Campbell – Pembroke (1827)


These maps show the move away from mapping individual counties, towards more regional mapping. In the 18th century many atlases only carried maps of North and South Wales, while each English county was mapped. Sometimes Monmouthshire would have its own map.

Later in the 18th century a greater interest was shown in detailed county mapping and some attempts were made to persuade local surveyors to produce maps at 1-inch to a mile or similar scale for each county. This idea met with limited success. It was only with the advent of the publicly funded Ordnance Survey that a comprehensive detailed survey of the country began.