[Image: Fragment of the Gough Map]
[Image: Fragment of the Gough Map]

Linguistic Geographies: The Gough Map of Great Britain

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Place-name Records

The record for each place-name includes the following information:

1. Modern place-name.

2. The description of a symbol, used to represent a geographical feature. The descriptions of town symbols are based on a classification of the elements of the map's icons and their description by Bruce M. S. Campbell, published in Lilley, Lloyd and Campbell (2009). The icons on the map are not standardised and there is a degree of interpretation in their description, particularly when they appear in highly damaged areas of the map.

3. The transcript of the place-names and other text on the map. The spelling and capitalization of the manuscript are preserved. Standard abbreviations are expanded in round brackets; abbreviations whose meaning is uncertain are represented by special symbols. Uncertain readings appear in square brackets. Three dots indicate the presence of unreadable text. In longer inscriptions line division is indicated by double bars.

4. Translation of Latin inscriptions.

5. The record of readings found in earlier editions and transcripts of the text on the map. Such readings are quoted when they are different from those adopted in the present edition in a substantial way, and not simply as a result of differences in editorial conventions, such as the use of capitalization. The readings of earlier editors are also quoted when the readings adopted in the present edition are uncertain, because the text on the map is damaged, faded or erased. The identification of geographical features with unreadable names by Parsons and other scholars is also included. The readings come from Gough (1780), OS 1875, OS 1935 and Parsons (1958), which together provide a perspective on the state of the text on the map of more than two hundred years.

The reproduction published by the Ordnance Survey 1935 comprises an earlier black and white facsimile of the map (OS, Southampton, 1870) and a red overprint, giving a transcript of place-names, and an identification of settlements with unreadable or partially readable names. Neither OS 1870 nor OS 1935 indicate whether the readings are transcripts of the text, which was visible on the map at the time when the Surveys were published, or a result of conjecture. Therefore both readings are quoted if the 1870 facsimile differs from the 1935 overlay. In such cases the 1870 reading is given first, followed by a slash and the 1935 reading.

6. Etymology. The main sources of etymology are the English Place Name Society volumes, Broderick (1994-2004), Ekwall (1960), Gelling, Nicolaisen and Richards (1970), Nance (1951), Nicolaisen (1976), Owen and Morgan (2007), Room (1994) and Watson (1926).

7. Attested spellings. This section included quotations of the earliest attested spellings similar to the ones used on the map. The main sources of historical spellings are the English Place Name Society volumes, Ekwall (1960) and Owen and Morgan (2007). The date and the name or type of the document containing the spelling is given immediately after it, whenever the sources provide such information.

8. Early maps. If a place-name appears on the maps Angliae Figura (London, British Library, Cotton MS Augustus I. i. 9) or Totius Britaniae (London, British Library, Harley MS 1808, fol. 9v) its transcript is provided in this section. The readings from Angliae Figura rely on the text published in ‘Appendix: The Place Names’ in Barber (2009), pp. 111-131, but are quoted in the original spelling. The readings from Totius Britaniae are followed by the description of their icons. The description of the icons on Angliae Figura was not included due to their much greater complexity and lack of standardization.

9. The ‘appearance’ section includes information relating to the appearance of the text in the manuscript, including damage, fading, the presence of erasures, unusual orientation and other notable features. The use of red ink is always recorded.

10. Overwritten. This section provides an assessment of whether the text is in the original hand or in the hand of the 15th-century reviser. In damaged areas of the map this often can not be determined. Uncertainty is indicated with a question mark, and no information is provided, if it is impossible to establish which scribe is responsible for the text.



Barber, Peter M., King Henry's map of the British Isles: BL Cotton MS Augustus I i (London: Folio Society, 2009).

Broderick, George, Placenames of the Isle of Man, 7 vols (Tübingen: M. Niemeyer, 1994-2004).

Ekwall, E., The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1960).

Gelling, Margaret, Nicolaisen, W. F. H. and Richards, Melville, The names of towns and cities in Britain (London: B. T. Batsford, 1970).

Gough, Richard, British topography, or an historical account of what has been done for illustrating the topographical antiquities of Great Britain and Ireland, 2 vols (London: Printed for T. Payne and Son, and J. Nichols, 1780).

Lilley, Keith D., Lloyd, Christopher D., with contributions by Bruce M. S. Campbell, ‘Mapping the Realm: A New Look at the Gough Map of Britain (c.1360)’, Imago Mundi 61 (2009), pp. 1-28.

Nance, R. Morton, A guide to Cornish place-names (Marazion: Worden & Son, 1951).

Nicolaisen, W. F. H., Scottish Place-Names (London: Batsford, 1976).

Owen, Hywel Wyn and Morgan, Richard, Dictionary of the place-names of Wales (Llandysul: Gomer, 2007).

The Ordnance Survey, Southampton, 1870.

The Ordnance Survey, 1935.

Parsons, E. J. S., Map of Great Britain circa A.D. 1360, known as the Gough map: an introduction to the facsimile (Oxford: Printed for the Bodleian Library and the Royal Geographical Society by the University Press, 1958).

Room, Adrian, A Dictionary of Irish Place-names, rev. edn (Belfast: Appletree, 1994).

Watson, W. J., Celtic Place-Names of Scotland, (Edinburgh, 1926).