02:51AM, Friday 27 September 2013
A map has been created to show how Windsor and Eton looked 153 years ago - and will form the basis of the Windsor Walkway.
The launch of the Historical Map of Windsor & Eton About 1860 took place at the Windsor and Royal Borough Museum in the Guildhall on Monday night.
It has been published by Old House Books and developed by The Historic Towns Trust in partnership with The Outdoor Trust.
The trust is planning to open a walkway in 2015 to mark the Queen becoming the longest reigning monarch in history.
Windsor historian Dr David Lewis, of Kings Road, spent 10 years researching history from earliest times to the mid-19th century and said the map is 'definitive'.
"I have enjoyed getting to grips with the archival evidence to produce this map and hope my work will help improve the accuracy and quality of the two towns' histories, dispelling some of the myths frequently attached to them," he added.
The map is based on the 1860 Ordnance Survey and includes a brief history of Windsor Castle and Eton College and an outline history of Windsor and Eton.
On the back is a gazetteer explaining the development and stories behind important buildings, streets and sites, and explaining the origin of some street names.
It features illustratrations with engravings and views of buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries.
David said much of Windsor and Eton's history before the 17th century is still debated, as historical archives housed in the old Guildhall were destroyed.
"Medieval archives which were housed opposite Windsor Castle were destroyed, possibly because a lack of space," he explained.
"I used medieval archives from Eton College and St George's School to compile the map that have never been used before."
The map is a taster for a Historical Atlas of Windsor and Eton - a comprehensive history of the towns from 1180 until the present day which is due to be published in March.
Hugo Vickers, chairman of The Outdoor Trust, said: "It will help us make sure the story we share with visitors and residents connected by the walkway in the future is both accurate and interesting."
The map costs £7.99 and the atlas is set to cost £70-90.
Visit www.shirebooks.co.uk or any bookshop.
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