Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mapping London's 17th Century Coffee Houses

We don't often review non-interactive maps on Google Maps Mania but I love Adam Dant’s Map Of The Coffee Houses. In part this is due to my own fascination with the role of the coffee house in the life of 17th Century London. However Adam Dant's map, in the shape of a coffee pot, is also a beautifully drawn map, full of interesting information about the coffee shops of 17th and 18th Century London.

In their heyday there were over 2,000 coffee houses in London. Much has been written about the importance of the coffee house as providing a public sphere for discussion and debate that was largely free from class distinction. Many of modern day London's most important institutions were formed from meetings that first took place in the coffee houses of this time, including the Stock Exchange, Lloyds of London and the Royal Academy.

You can view the full map and learn more about the Map Of The Coffee Houses in this interview with Adam Dant on the Spitalfields Life website.

A few years ago I created my own Google Map of London Coffee Houses of the 17th & 18th Century. Looking at Dant's map it looks like I got a few of the coffee shop locations wrong on my map, but it is still worth a look if you want to learn more about the pivotal role of the 17th Century coffee shop in the development of modern London.

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