MAP OF THE BOROUGH OF SHREWSBURY
as extended and settled by Act of Parliament, July 15th 1832
Cartographer: A HITCHCOCK
Size: 730 mm x 550 mm. Scale: approx. 1 cm = 100 yards.
Shropshire Archives ref: 4756/1/20
Hitchcock was a land surveyor who published this finely executed map in response to the boundary changes of the Great Reform Act of 1832. The description of the boundary ‘as given in the Boundary Bill’ is presented as a paragraph in one corner of the map and the new boundary, following stream courses, fences and footpaths is clearly drawn. The great advantage of this map is the large area covered, since the borough was much more extensive than the urban core in 1832. This means that the farmland, shown in such detail, is now the built-up area of the town and it is possible to pick out the previous land-use of areas now under houses. As well as field boundaries, Hitchcock used special symbols for orchards, detached gardens, woodland and landed estates. He labelled plant nurseries, brickfields, bowling greens, turnpike gates, water mills and a host of other distinctive features, in addition to isolated farms and cottages. He used fine hachuring to depict the physical relief, so that river terraces and former river channels stand out. The same detail was not possible at this scale for the town core, tightly packed inside the wall and within the river loop, but Hitchcock managed to show which streets were lined with houses and where there was open space. Churches, chapels, factories and public buildings were labelled. The major suburban tentacles, stretching through the neck of the meander and over the two bridges, were depicted in some detail.
The map is clear and detailed and conveys the impression that Hitchcock had a thorough knowledge of the borough. Our copy of this map is faded, so that the parishes are difficult to pick out. So, for detailed research on parishes, it might be better to use the Tisdale map of 1875.