179. Ernest George Ravenstein 1899


For many years the Philips family firm had been selling folding maps based on their original County Atlas maps of 1862 (141). However, these were becoming increasingly out of date by the end of the nineteenth century and Philips engaged E G Ravenstein to engrave a new plate of England and Wales, Philips' Topographical Map Of England And Wales on 33 sheets, which was completed c.1895 and used to produce county and local area maps. This was advertised as three miles to the inch and contained useful cycling information such as dangerous hills, distances to London and distances between road junctions.

Ernst Georg Ravenstein was born 30th December 1834 and moved to England where he carried out work for the Topographical Department of the War Office and the Royal Geographical Society as well as for companies such as H G Collins, Stanfords, Blacks and Philips. He edited a number of geographical works for A K Johnston (the younger) from the 1880s. He anglicised his name to Ernest George. Ravenstein and died 13 March 1913.

This map was produced at the more modern scale of 1:200,000, or 3.15 statute miles to the inch; (nearly) all larger maps of Devon up to this time had been produced at some scale relative to the inch. The county map of Devon covers an area from Dodman Point in Cornwall to Blackford just east of Highbridge and includes Lyme Regis and Lundy Island (although Prawle Point breaks the border). The Philips' Topographical Map Of England And Wales is advertised on the inside cover with the area covering Devon on three sheets. The Devon cycling map did not exactly coincide with the area covered by the three sheets but was a specially taken transfer. The railways to Lynton, Bude and Yealmpton are included (all 1898): although the line from Ashton to Exeter is complete, the Exmouth connection is not completed to Budleigh (both 1903) and there is no line to Northam and Appledore (1901). Copies were made on both plain paper and on Pergamoid paper, i.e. a specially treated semi-waterproof paper.

In the twentieth century, further transfers were taken and exploited by local traders. Varnam, Mitchell & Co. Ltd, of the Weekly News Offices, (at the rear of 9 High Street) in Ilfracombe were selling their Tourist And Cycling Map Of North Devon District,a folding map in yellow covers, for 3d about 1908. Their map covers the coast line from Hartland Point to West Porlock, and south as far as Bude and Morchard Bishop (270 mm x 405 mm).

Philips' Ten-Sheet Road Map of England & Wales (at a scale of 3 miles to 1 inch) was also based on the Ravenstein map. Sheet 1 (size 720 x 870 mm) of the series covered everything west of Uffculme and Whimple.

Size: 600 mm x 700 mm.                                                                                 Scale: 1:200,000 or 3.15 Statute Miles to 1 inch (10  = 80 mm).

Philips' Cycling Map Of The County Of Devon With Parts Of Somerset & Cornwall (Ee) with scale and REFERENCES. Signature: E G Ravenstein Dir (AeOS) and G Philip & Son, 32 Fleet Street, London.(EeOS). Imprint: Philips' Topographical Map Of England & Wales, Cycling Edition (AaOS). All railways to 1898 are included but no lines between Bideford and Appledore (reached Northam by 1901). The line to Exmouth from Budleigh Salterton (actually Knowle Sta.) is shown as complete (1903) but the line Ashton to Exeter is not shown (also 1903).

1. 1899 Philips' Series Of District Maps – County Of Devon ... (cover title)  
    London & Liverpool. George Philip & Son. (1899).1 MW.
    Philips' Series Of District Maps – County Of Devon ... (cover title)  
    London & Liverpool. George Philip & Son, Ltd. (1899).                                                KB.


[1] This variant has a cover with THE COUNTY OF DEVON on the spine. The back cover has the note: SPECIAL EDITION ON PERGAMOID WATERPROOF CLOTH and Price Two Shillings and Sixpence. The map is laid down on linen. The second issue is only on pergamoid cloth, has neither of the additions noted above, but has Limited in the publisher’s address on the inside cover list of other publications.