Wyld’s Bicycle Map of England, Wales and Scotland


Cycling map reflecting the latest fad in Victorian Britain, issued by an early automobile manufacturer.

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England has long been at the forefront of Europe’s road infrastructure. The island nation’s compact size, history of open trade borders, and longstanding national security concerns prompted the development of improved roadways, toll roads, and turnpikes decades and often centuries earlier than counterparts on the continent. Benefits were initially limited to wealthy travelers, some freight, and the postal system, but in the late 19th century a cycling crazy swept the nation.

‘Wheelmen’ (and women, as cyclists were called) were taking to Britain’s country roads in ever greater numbers, necessitating the publication of maps to assist with their journeys. This is an excellent example created by Geographer to the Queen, James Wyld, in London around 1880.

According to the explanation in the lower left corner, the image presents principal roads, turnpike roads, cross roads, and rail roads using different styles of lines; with mileage markers between major points along each. Cities, market towns, and villages are distinguished by their font, and an inset map in the upper right extends the image to include the rest of Scotland, north of Edinburgh.

The front cover features a gilt embossed image of a penny farthing, along with the name Singer & Co. of Coventry. The bicycle manufacturer was founded in 1874, eventually switching to the construction of motor vehicles in the first years of the 20th century.

Map Details

Publication Date: c. 1880

Author: James Wyld

Sheet Width (in): 26.4

Sheet Height (in): 30.9

Condition: B

Condition Description: Issued folded into 40 segments and affixed to original brown cloth covers. Moderate to severe wear along fold lines has resulted in several small areas of image loss and some discoloration. Several spots in the upper left quadrant of the sheet. Covers are intact and in good condition, with a manuscript owner's inscription dated 1880.


1 in stock