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'The Monks' Map’

Photo credit: Abingdon Town Council

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The map of the river between Abingdon and Radley has colloquially been known as 'The Monks’ Map' since it was given to the town over 100 years ago. Recent research, since the publication of John Steane’s article in 'Oxoniensia', indicates the map probably originally dates from the period 1550–1556 but there have been amendments and overpainting on at least two subsequent occasions. Although the name of the original map maker is not known, the names of the landowners from this period have been found on the map. It is thought that the map was used by the Blacknall family during their long-running court case with their neighbours over water rights. The Blacknalls had purchased the site of the demolished Abbey and the Abbey Mill and were probably trying to establish the same riparian rights as those previously held by the Abbey.

Abingdon County Hall Museum



'The Monks' Map’




tempera on vellum


H 41.5 x W 265 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

presented by Sir Edmund Verney, 1907

Work type



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Abingdon County Hall Museum

Market Place, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 3HG England

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