Maps Chart Northumberland's History

Article excerpt

A FASCINATING collection of maps which chart Northumberland's ancient history and its modern-day natural assets is about to go on show at a pounds 16m visitor attraction.

The Big County exhibition, which starts at the Woodhorn complex near Ashington this weekend, features many maps which are usually stored in the centre's unique collection of historic archives.

Those on display during the four-month run will range from archaeological maps showing the location of ancient sites to brand new documents which predict the Northumberland coastline and its reaction to climate changes.

Visitors will also be able to see how one community prepared itself for the air raids of the Second World War and the impact of a possible nuclear attack, as well as industrial heritage maps showcasing plans of the rail network, lead mines and collieries.

On display will be a copy of one of the county's oldest maps, from 1595 and produced by one of the greatest map makers of all time, Geradus Mercator. His Northumberland map was one of 107 published as part of an atlas the year after his death. …