By Federico Pablo-Martí and Jesús López-Requena

 The Gough map

The Gough map is a historically significant but often misunderstood manuscript map of Britain. The map’s most prominent feature, the red lines initially thought to represent roads with adjacent Roman numerals indicating distances, has been reassessed. It is now understood that these lines serve as notional distance indicators between pairs of locations rather than physical roads (Delano-Smith et al. 2017).

Gough_Kaart_(hoge_resolutie).jpg (12224×6021) (

The Gough map features a network of connections between locations but is notable for its missing links and discontinuities. Key hubs such as London, Oxford, Lincoln, and York are prominently featured, while some expected connections are absent. The map’s discontinuities, abrupt terminations, and isolated lines further contribute to its complex nature. Re-evaluating the Gough map and understanding its true purpose and content is crucial for gaining insights into medieval English history and the development of cartography in Britain (Delano-Smith et al. 2017).

The overlap of the routes marked by the red lines with the network of navigable routes (Oksanen 2019) sheds new light on the transport system in late medieval England. The perfect alignment between navigable rivers and roads indicates that these cannot be considered part of a more extensive, complex communication system in isolation.

The information provided on the map is not flawless and is constantly being updated. If you have any inaccuracies or recommendations, kindly utilize the form at the bottom of this page.

 The new Gough map

Full screen 
WMTS (Use this link to connect the Gough map to your GIS).
Source: Lillley et al. (2009), Oksanen (2019), Oksanen and Brookes (2021), Oksanen, Rye, and Brookes (2021), and own elaboration.
© UCL Institute of Archaeology, SCCS-UAH.



Brookes S, Rye E, Oksanen E. Bridges of Medieval England to c. 1250. General Guide. 2019. Available:

Delano-Smith C, Barber P, Bove D, Clarkson C, Harvey PDA, Millea N, et al. New Light on the Medieval Gough Map of Britain. Imago Mundi. 2017;69: 1–36. doi:10.1080/03085694.2017.1242838

Lilley K, Lloyd C, Campbell B. Mapping the Realm: A New Look at the Gough Map of Britain (c.1360). Imago Mundi. 2009;61: 1–28. doi:10.1080/03085690802456228

Lilley K, Millea, N., Vetch,  2023 Project team – Gough Map

Oksanen E. Inland Navigation in England and Wales before 1348: GIS Database. Archeol Data Serv. 2019; 1–21.

Oksanen E, Brookes S. The Routes and Roads of the Gough Map, a Geographic Information Systems database. Early Medieval Atlas Projects, UK Archaeologicy Data Service. 2021 doi:


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