The Agas Map

What is the Agas map?

Civitas Londinum is a bird’s-eye view of London first printed from woodblocks in about 1561. Widely known as the “Agas map,” from a spurious attribution to surveyor Ralph Agas (c.1540-1621), the map offers a richly detailed view both of the buildings and streets of the city and of its environment. No copies survive from 1561, but a modified version was printed in 1633. In the later version of the map, the Stuart coat of arms replaces the Elizabethan one, and the Royal Exchange, which opened in 1571, occupies the triangle created by the convergence of Threadneedle and Cornhill Streets.
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Agas map used by permission of the City of London, London Metropolitan ArchivesA1A2A3A4A5A6A7A8B1B2B3B4B5B6B7B8C1C2C3C4C5C6C7C8D1D2D3D4D5D6D7D8
Click on a square to zoom in.

MoEML and the Map

MoEML v. 5, launched on 9 December 2013, retains the map tiles from our 2006 site while we work on rebuilding the map interface. For MoEML, the map is a Graphical User Interface (GUI) that allows us to visualize literary and historical data, a material object with its own historical and aesthetic interest, and a text in its own right.

Future Plans for the Map

We are currently working on a new edition of the Agas map, freshly scanned by the London Metropolitan Archives and then stitched together and edited by the MoEML team to create an ideal text. We are redrawing all the streets, sites, and boundaries in SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) and will be launching it in an OpenLayers platform to provide maximum interactivity and drawing capabilities to our users. Our edition of the map will include critical materials about the genre, accuracy, provenance, preservation, and subsequent adaptations of the map.
© The Agas map is used on this website by kind permission of the City of London, London Metropolitan Archives. Copyright law prohibits further reproduction of these images in any form under any circumstances. More information.
For site identifications, we are particularly indebted to the work of Adrian Prockter and Robert Taylor, A to Z of Elizabethan London (London: Harry Margary, 1979).