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A Pictorial Map & Notes on the Historic City of Bath

  • Author: BULLOCK, Leslie George
  • Engraver: Fyson & Co Ltd, Printers, Bath
  • Date: [1941] c1951
  • Dimensions: Unfolded sheet: 77 x 57 cms / Map: 71 x 52 cms


Leslie George Bullock’s uncommon & decorative pictorial map of Bath, dated 1941, but probably published a decade later

About this piece:

A Pictorial Map & Notes on the Historic City of Bath

Colour printed map on folded sheet with detailed description & notes to verso. Some slight surface wear, foxing & light paper toning to title panel & adjacent areas of verso (not affecting recto image) with a couple of barely visible pinholes at fold junctures. The map with wide margins. Old ownership inscription in ink with date ’54 at right centre of verso. With all a well-preserved and attractive example in original condition.

This large & highly decorative pictorial map of Bath is the handiwork of Leslie George Bullock [1895-1971]  one of the finest decorative mapmakers of the mid-20th Century and perhaps best known for his long-time association with Edinburgh map publishers, J G Bartholomew & Co. Their partnership resulted in a series of superbly designed historical & pictorial maps of the British Isles and its cities which appeared over several decades.

Bullock’s life and work were the subject of one of our earliest map blogs in May 2015.

This map of Bath appears to have been an independent production, perhaps a commission from the local Tourist Association. The artwork appears to have originally been completed during the War, in 1941 (as indicated by Bullock’s signature & the date in the lower right of the map). However the actual printed map would seem not to have been published until some years later. The undated verso text bears the imprint of a local printers, Fyson & Co. An ownership inscription dated (19)54 clearly suggests the map was in widespread circulation at that time.

The verso text contains detailed notes on the history of Bath and important information for tourists.

The map itself is combines Bullock’s highly assured draughtsmanship with numerous decorative coats of arms, literary quotations and inset vignette views, the whole girded by a pillared & stonework frame, reflecting Bath’s unique architectural heritage from Roman & Georgian times.  It must have been designed & compiled during the period when Bullock was working for the wartime Ministry of Supply and before he moved to specialist Civil Defense duties in Tunbridge Wells, Kent in 1942.

At the top of the map is a central vignette of the King’s Spring, beside which are fine vignettes of Bath Street & Spring and Holborne House. Panels of quotations expound the legend of Bath, lines from Alexander Pope, and verse penned on the Opening of the Pump Room in 1706. With decorative coats of arms of Gloucester, London, Bristol and Salisbury, the design is completed by two further vignettes of Bath Abbey and the Great Roman Bath lower left & right respectively and the armorials of Bath itself lower centre. These are accompanied by lines from the English poet, Young:

This Ancient City,

How wanton sits she amidst Nature’s smiles!

Nor from her highest turret has to view

But golden landscapes and luxuriant scenes:” 


Despite its relatively recent date, this remains a rather uncommon map and bibliographically little known. It is undoubtedly a fine example of the decorative cartography that marks out Leslie George Bullock as one of Britain’s finest 20th Century pictorial mapmakers.

Refs: David Rumsey Collection