Author(s): John Blake
Travelling along the British coastline, Sea Charts of the British Isles showcases a beautiful collection of charts containing a wealth of information about Britain's maritime history and the story of charting and surveying itself. The great names in British chart-making are all included, such as Captain Greenvile Collins, Professor Murdoch Mackenzie and his nephew of the same name, Graeme Spence and William Bligh who between them created the first structured attempts to survey and chart particular areas of the coast of mainland Britain as well as the more remote islands. Examples include several from Collins' 'Great Britain's Coastal Pilot', such as charts of Edinburgh and the Forth, the Orkney Islands, the coast of Ireland and the River Thames; the Chart of the Coast of Wales in St George's Channel and that of Milford Haven by Lewis Morris; The River Clyde and Glasgow by John Watt; and the Observation by Trinity House Pilots and Surveyors of the Downs covering the coast of Kent and the Goodwin Sands, as well as charts by other well-known European chart-makers such as the magnificent example of the Coast of England from Dover to the Isle of Wight showing the Cinque Ports by Lucas Janszoon Wagenaer that dates from 1583. The author has researched maritime archives such as the Admiralty Library, the National Maritime Museum, the Pepys Library, the UK Hydrographic Office and the National Archives to reveal their unseen nautical records and portray the development of the sea chart.
Though beautiful contemporary maps and charts, the book explores sea ports, harbours, naval bases and dockyard that have supported local life in Britain.
Lieutenant-Commander John Blake, FRIN, spent twelve years in the Royal Navy. He has worked extensively with the UK Hydrographic Office, the producers of Admiralty Charts, and is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation. John is the author of the acclaimed The Sea Chart (new edition 2016), Charts of War (2006) and Titanic: a Passenger's Guide (2011). His research interests span the maritime world, from nautical charts and surveying to merchant shipping.