In 1607, William Camden's Britannia described Britain like this:

BRITAINE or BRITANNIE, which also is ALBION, ... the most famous Iland, without comparison, of the whole world; severed from the continent of Europe by the interflowing of the Ocean, lieth against Germanie and France trianglewise, by reason of three Promontories shooting out into divers parts: to wit, Belerium, i. ...

e. the Cape of S. Burien in Cornwall, Westward; Cantium, i. e. the Fore-land of Kent, into the East; and Tarvisium or Orcas, i. e. the point of Catnesse in Scotland, Northward. On the West side, whereas Ireland is seated, Vergivius, i. e. the Western Ocean, breaketh in; from the North, it hath the most vast and wide Hyperborean sea beating upon it; on the East, where it coasteth upon Germanie, enforced sore it is with the Germane sea; and Southward, as it lieth opposite to France, with the British. Disjoined from those neighbour-countries all about by a convenient distance every way, fitted with commodious and open havens for traffique with the universall world, and to the generall good, as it were, of mankind, thrusting it selfe forward with great desire from all parts into the sea. For between the said Fore-land of Kent and Calais in France it so advanceth it selfe, and the sea is so streited, that some thinke the land there was pierced thorow, and received the seas into it, which before-time had been excluded. For the maintenance of which conceit, they allege both Vergil in that verse of his, "And Britans people quite disjoin'd from all the world besides."

Obviously, Britain has changed considerably over the past two hundred years. However, at such general level, very little data can be presented. It is recommended that you search for more specific locations, or go to our pages for England, Scotland or Wales.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, A Vision of Britain through Time | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 14th July 2024

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