Children’s Map of London

The Children’s Map of London (sometimes called the Children’s Pictorial Map of London) was first published by Bartholomew in 1938, the edition here is a minor update in 1955. All royalties from the sale of the map went to the Hospital for Sick Children in Great Ormond Street (aka GOSH) which appropriately does itself appear on the map. The decorative style brings to mind a much older time – perhaps the 1920s, when decorative maps were popular and the Beck tube map had not yet appeared – or perhaps even a map from the 1800s. Despite this, it was likely a good map to navigate by, as it includes most of the street network, and doesn’t distort the geography. A lot has changed of course, since 1955 – Euston station, for instance, looks a lot grander on the map, as this was before it was pulled down and replaced with a giant shed in the 1960s. It looks more grand than St Pancras even, on this map!

University College also gets a nice drawing in, above. We liked also the appearance of the “Cheshire Cheese” on Fleet Street. A pub these days, and back then too, so a slightly curious choice for a map aimed at children, even if it is very historic:

It’s a shame also the Zoo doesn’t make it in – the map stops just south of it, but does at least include a note “To the Zoo”. Hamleys doesn’t appear either – another institution that was certainly going strong at the time of this map.

It’s a lovely map to have – to navigate or to have as a wall picture – and it’s a shame that it was not kept updated to the present day.

The best online copy of the map that I have found is at Copernicus. This allows you to zoom right in.

All images of the map from and © Copernicus.