I’ve been working on this for a couple of weeks now as a follow-on from my ‘Map of Brighton from the Latest Discoveries.’ I was interested in this area of London – Cornhill and Exchange Alley (now Change Alley) – partly due to an old map I found online showing the extent of a fire in the 17th century. The buildings were so packed together and the map described who lived in each place and what each person did. In 1652, the first coffee houses sprang up in the area and they became pivotal to the spread of information through discussion, lectures, newspapers and pamphlets, to the start of the stock exchange and insurance and to the fields of science, literature and politics in Restoration England. The map was aesthetically beautiful and I liked the shape the roads and alleys made and the feel of the lettering itself. All things are built from layers, including history and geography and ‘An Incomplete and Probably Inaccurate History of Coffee and a Map of the First Coffee Houses that began in Exchange Alley, London in 1652’ layers both the history of coffee and the geography of London to make a whole.
To see an interactive version of the map that is easier to read, click here.