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London Google Earth 1666

Adding to our first post on London in 1690 in Google Earth using image overlays we are now publishing London in 1666. The above image illustrates the layout of London in 1666 by Wenceslaus Hollar.

Hollar was appointed by the King to make exact plan and survey of the City after the Fire on London in September 1666. The fire destroyed 373 acres inside the city walls and 63 acres outside, 87 churches destroyed (including St. Paul's Cathedral) and 13,200 houses.

Aligning historic maps is notoriously difficult - here we have aligned the road network and the north bank of the river to provide a overview of the City as viewed by Hollar.

You can download the kml file to fly into the overlay in Google Earth here


  1. Anonymous4:07 PM

    I have just excitedly found your blog, having been aware of CASA's virtual London project for some time now.

    Can I ask if there are any plans to combine historical mapping with the 3Dd Model? Maybe by extruding the maps and detailing them from visual records. Then they could be compiled into an animated sequence.

    I can only imagine the amount of work and research required and the questions of accuracy involved. However, the thought of a three dimensional time-lapse film reconstructing the birth and succesive periods of growth and decline of London as an organic thing seems tantalising to me.

    There is also the clear possiblity of adding the planned development along the Thames gateway to create an overview of the projects and the scale of their demands on the environment. There-by making a theoretical 3D map of London and it's wider context fifteen years or so in the future.

    Well, it's only a thought.

  2. Anonymous9:02 AM

    I've tried this map overlay, but it doesn't seem to display anything in Google Earth. It zooms me into central London, but nothing new is displayed. I've tried changing the opacity, and the 1690 map overlay works fine for me.

  3. Anonymous3:24 PM

    Awesome guys! Good job! I love historical maps and now I have them on Google Earth! *Does a little dance

  4. Anonymous1:51 PM

    I love both the 1690 and 1666 maps but the overlay for 1666 doesn't go opaque with transparency set to 100% like the 1690 maps does. Its a pity because it makes reading the 1666 map quite difficult.

  5. Anonymous8:02 AM

    The Growth of London 1666 - 1799 translates the visual information of Hollar's maps (1666) into Horwood's record (1799) - resulting in a less 'distorted' 1666 London... (There is also an animated version.)