Britannia Depicta was an illustrated road atlas for Britain. It was printed in numerous editions over many decades from 1720 into the 19th century and updated with engravings by many artisans who worked from drawings of other artists.

Road from Bristol to Banbury

The atlas was based on the earlier work of John Ogilby who published the first British road atlas in 1675. Britannia Depicta was printed in 1720 by Emanuel Bowen and John Owen's firm Bowen & Owen. It was one of Bowen's earliest works. The atlas contained over two hundred road maps together with a miniature county map of each of the counties of England and Wales. It followed on John Ogilby's original with updated style of historical and heraldic detail. It was an unusual feature of the atlas that the maps were engraved on both sides of each page, and this resulted in a handier-sized book.

Cadell & Davies editions

Matlock, Derbyshire church from a painting by Joseph Farington

Cadell & Davies published its own editions of the Britannia Depicta atlas over many years, with accompanying descriptions by Samuel Lysons.[1] Engraved plates for their Britannia Depicta are dated 1803–1818.[1]

View from Matlock High Tor from a painting by Joseph Farington

Landscapes by Joseph Farington were included in Cadell and Davies' six-volume "modernisation" of the illustrated atlas. His contributions include topographical Views in Cornwall (1814) and other views. He also depicted Devon for a 7th edition and had his drawings engraved but they were never published.


Engravers who worked on the Cadell & Davies editions include:


Illustrations in the Cadell & Davies editions were made by artists including:


  1. ^ a b Maj, Yale Center for British Art, Lec. "Britannia depicta :". collections.britishart.yale.edu.