The Bastion of Liberty


This decorative map was published in or around 1946, as a commemorative keepsake for a weary city and a population that had just been through the Second World War, including The Blitz. It was designed by an artist, Kerry Lee. The map map approximately shows the modern-day “Zone 1” of central London, and is surrounded by vignettes of attractions in London and further afield:


The “busy” pictorial design, with numerous colours, gives a post-war London a wonderfully medieval look – even if the bombed areas of London were subsequently built to designs that were anything but old. Despite being a decorative print, it adheres to good cartographic principals, with consistent colours for features, and is approximately geographically correct. Some roads are “obstructed”, however, with shields, people and other ornaments and flourishes.


A bit of trivia – the map includes a vignette for Theobald’s Park, which is to the north of London, which intriguingly shows the Temple Bar, a structure which will be familiar to those who frequent the City of London. It used to be on Fleet Street, but, as a traffic obstacle, it was moved to the park for many years, including the time when the map was drawn, it has now been relocated to Paternoster Square, by St Paul’s Cathedral, much closer to its original location, and no longer anywhere near Theobald’s Park.


We first heard about the map from geographer Dieter van Werkum. He mentions also that there appear to have been at least two slightly different versions, one with a copyright notice of the “Travel Association of Great Britain and Ireland” appearing the right-hand side. There is very little information available about it on the internet, although are a few bits and pieces to be found – for example it is sold by a specialist bookseller, ABE Books (with an impressive $1242 current asking price) and another Old Imprints ($425), and you can buy a print of it on a silk scarf. Here is the complete map:


Thanks to various people: First of, Dieter van Werkum, who first let me know about the map, and supplied information and photography of vignettes. I also previously used images from Old Imprints. However I have now replaced these with extracts of the high-resolution photos from this auction site, the winning bid was by Janne Danielsson who let me know about the images. What a lovely map to have won!


      1. hi ollie i have a copy of this map london the bastion of liberty its 1.0m x 1.2m its on some kind of hard board its very old how much could i put it on ebay for

      2. Hi Ollie, I neglected to give you the size. It is a 40″ x 50″ framed map. It has been in our family possession since 1959 and is in very good condition.

  1. I have an original 40″ x 50″ Bastion of Liberty London map framed. I acquired it thru an estate a few years ago. It is mounted (very nicely I might add) and is otherwise in fantastic condition. No fold lines, bubbles, scratches or stains. It is framed in a 3″ wide brown walnut frame. The wealthy gentleman who owned had it hanging in his game room/ private pub. Very, very nice. I have nowhere to really display it and has been stored in one of my walk in closets. I live in Louisiana near New Orleans. I am willing to entertain offers if anyone is interested. I can provide photos and more details on request.

    [Ed] You can email Roger at Rogerjohnson225 [at]

  2. I was given this map mounted as a school wall map on a roller. It is about 1.25m x 1m. and in excellent condition. It looks like it was seldom used with no tears or folds. I have it hanging on a wall out of direct sunlight and with only a small picture light to accent it. I love its bright graphics.

  3. I have one copy printed 1946 in very good condition, framed,and I want to know how much I can ask for it?

    Mail: pardix [at]

  4. RT @MapLondon: From the Mapping London archives: The “Bastion of Liberty” map of London. Lee, 1946. Drawn to celebrate the capital: https:/…

  5. RT @MapLondon: From the Mapping London archives: The “Bastion of Liberty” map of London. Lee, 1946. Drawn to celebrate the capital: https:/…

  6. RT @MapLondon: From the Mapping London archives: The “Bastion of Liberty” map of London. Lee, 1946. Drawn to celebrate the capital: https:/…

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