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Adam Dant’s Map Of Civil War London

June 23, 2019
by the gentle author

You may recall that Adam Dant & I set out to walk the lines of the Civil War defences from Wapping to Westminster last month, as part of Adam’s research for his map of London in the Civil War which is now complete and published for the first time here.

Adam points out that today is the anniversary of two events which divided the nation. One was the surrender of Charles I’s capital in Oxford in 1646 – concluding the Civil War with his capture, trial and execution – and the other was the European Referendum in 2016. We hope that this account of London in the Civil War will grant our readers a certain perspective and restore a necessary sense of proportion in the current crisis.


Click on this map to enlarge


Adam Dant writes:

“The date of June 23rd will forever mark a key moment in the history of a fractious and divided kingdom – long and protracted vacillation on the part of the powers that be and their favoured agents, a reticent and recalcitrant parliament, and a threat to the status quo triggering any number of schisms, political, familial, religious and regional .

From outside, London was starting to look like a disputed central European town, as if the continent had claimed the island. The people of the capital, men, women and children, took to the streets voluntarily, marshalled and motivated by a fear of omnipotent and conclusive process. Wielding stakes and all manner of  drums and ensigns, they set about digging in and advancing the cause at London. Calculated to divide and defend vested interests, London’s lines of communication were erected as swiftly as they were removed .

As to the great responsibility handed over to parliament in the hope that they would make good and wholesome laws which the people of the nation expected, hopes were abated. Instead of uniting a nation with righteousness and peace (which would have been a glorious thing to have done) what was found was  anarchy, corruption, division and dissatisfaction in what was from the beginning a provisional government, not truly representative of the people.

Enemies of the nation flourished under parliament’s protection. An immovable parliament being as obnoxious as an immovable king, full of drunkards, tricksters, villains, whore-masters, godless self seeking  tricksters, no more capable of conducting the affairs of the nation than of running a brothel. Scum! and a truly elected scum at that. This is no parliament.”


Bibliographical material used in the creation of the map includes, with gratitude and respect –

David Flintham, The English Civil War Defences of London & Civil War

Stephen Porter, London & the Civil War

John Stubbs, Reprobates- The Cavaliers of The English Civil War

The scholarship of Mike Osbourne, Peter Harrington, Donato Spedaliere, Sarah Sulemsohn, Robin Rowles and David Ryan.


Click here to read about our walk

In Search of the Civil War in London


Charles I by Anthony Van Dyck, 1635

Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper, 1656





Adam Dant’s MAPS OF LONDON & BEYOND is a mighty monograph collecting together all your favourite works by Spitalfields Life‘s Contributing Cartographer in a beautiful big hardback book.

Including a map of London riots, the locations of early coffee houses and a colourful depiction of slang through the centuries, Adam Dant’s vision of city life and our prevailing obsessions with money, power and the pursuit of pleasure may genuinely be described as ‘Hogarthian.’

Unparalleled in his draughtsmanship and inventiveness, Adam Dant explores the byways of London’s cultural history in his ingenious drawings, annotated with erudite commentary and offering hours of fascination for the curious.

The book includes an extensive interview with Adam Dant by The Gentle Author.

Adam Dant’s  limited edition prints are available to purchase through TAG Fine Arts

7 Responses leave one →
  1. Georgina Briody permalink
    June 23, 2019

    The subject of Adam Dant’s map of the English Civil War in today’s SL has been quite a wow factor for me and eye opener!! Recently I was talking to a friend, who knows of my Huguenot and Spitalfields connections, and she suddenly said to me did I know she ran a pub a few years back in New Cross. Quite surprised I said no I didn’t!

    She then said but it was haunted! Apparently she was clearing up alone in one of the pub’s bars and she felt that there was someone behind her….she turned to see a cavalier!! She had bar staff living in the pub and they would complain of hearing noise and the sound of people rushing up and down the stairs.

    Adam’s map shows there were forts near New Kent Road and Grange Road, which was so fascinating to me as I was brought up in the Old Kent Road, but the map shows more than likely there were settlements as far south as New Cross.

    Thank you to GA and AD you have solved a mystery!!

  2. June 23, 2019

    Thanks to Adam and the GA we are privileged insiders to a view of a little known history of London. Its been a hard month on my finances with unexpected bills. but I definitely would like to have a copy of this map.

  3. Dave Morgan permalink
    June 23, 2019

    I think Adam Dant has got the location of the Globe in the wrong place.
    The real location, identified in 1969, is here (you can see the outline today in the housing estate in Park Road):

    It’s a common mistake all down to Wenceslas Hollar:
    “Second Globe Theatre, detail from Hollar’s View of London, 1647. Hollar sketched the building from life (see top), but only later assembled the drawings into this View; he mislabelled his images of The Globe and the nearby bear-baiting enclosure. Here the correct label has been restored. The small building to the left supplied food- and ale-sellers at the theatre.[1][11]”—C17%2C_after_Redwood.png

  4. Adam Dant permalink
    June 23, 2019

    Well spotted ! And congratulations on winning the
    ‘Hollar classic ‘ prize . The Globe remains in the wrong place in honour
    of and to consistently bring to the fore the mystery man himself .

  5. Jill Wilson permalink
    June 23, 2019

    Hmmmmm… ‘schisms’…’self seeking tricksters’… ‘scum’… some things never change!

  6. Sarah Johnson permalink
    June 24, 2019

    How exciting. I’m looking forward to getting a copy

  7. Phil Pope permalink
    May 23, 2022

    I love the map of civil war London. I am currently developing a boardgame about the civil war. and wonder if Adam would be interested on collaborating to produce some maps for the game? I don’t know how else to contact him other than hope he reads this. philpope(at)

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