New book maps out Norfolk’s past

Library-goers in Norwich will be able to find out what the city and the rest of Norfolk looked like in the 16th century after a book of more than 100 illustrated maps of the county was presented to the service.

The Printed Maps of Norfolk 1574–1840: A Cartobibliography, which contains 121 illustrated maps of Norfolk dating from the 16th to 19th century, has been given to the Norwich and Norfolk Millennium Library.

A copy of the book, which will be available in other libraries across the county, was also given to Shelagh Hutson, chairman of Norfolk County Council, at a presentation at the Forum yesterday.

She said: 'It's a wonderful book – he's put so much work into it.'

The book was handed over by its author Raymond Frostick, a map enthusiast and former solicitor who has served as a city and county councillor as well as holding the posts of Lord Mayor of Norwich (1976-77) and county council chairman (1983-84).

He said: 'I was a former chairman of the county council and thought it would be appropriate to give it to the current chairman.' Mr Frostick, 80, who lives in Norwich, said the book had been the culmination of an interest which started many years ago.

He said: 'It goes back to university days when you could buy maps for very little money. Over the years I've been collecting maps as time and money has permitted and in the past few years, when I've been retired, I've been able to give more attention to writing about maps.

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'The last book to do this was in 1928, so it's been a long time coming. This, I hope, will be some standard work for the future. I hope people will enjoy it and make use of it for historical purposes as well.'

Mr Frostick said he was grateful to the help given to him by the library service, particularly community librarian Clive Wilkins-Jones, in completing the book. Mr Wilkins-Jones said: 'Raymond has been using our maps since the 1980s at least to do what he's done, but he's also got a big collection himself.'

Jennifer Holland, head of Norfolk County Council's library and information service, said they were 'absolutely thrilled' to have received the book.

She said: 'It's been a huge amount of work, but a very valuable book which has got such a wide collection of maps in it.

'We're very pleased to be able to have a copy of it here.'

Have you got a story? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436.