'Lost' map of Cornwall found in collection

Map Image copyright Cornwall Council/PA
Image caption The map of Cornwall was discovered in the private collection of a historian who died in June

An important map which was lost for generations has been found more than 300 years after it was drawn.

The map of Cornwall was discovered in the private collection of a historian who died in June.

Mapmaker George Withiell created it in 1690 to keep track of the new town of Falmouth, which was rapidly expanding.

It was last on public display in the 1880s and will be made available to the public by the county's record office.

David Thomas, archivist at Cornwall Record Office, said: "It is one of the most significant early Cornish maps to emerge into the public domain in recent years and we are delighted to have it in our collections, where it will help researchers further understand the growth and development of Falmouth."

'Extremely excited'

The map was discovered in the private collection of Alan Pearson who bought it from a manuscript dealer in Bristol about 10 years ago.

His widow, Mollie, said he was "extremely excited" when he discovered the map, but did not tell her how much he paid for it.

She said: "Alan was so passionate about the history of Falmouth, and of course Cornwall in general.

"It's a lovely legacy that the map is now safely stored in its rightful place; somewhere safe where its long-term security is assured and other people can make the most of the information it contains.

"I know Alan would be delighted by this result."

The map, titled A True Map of all Sir Peter Killigrew's Lands in the Parish of Mylor and part of Budock Lands, was last on display in the 1880s when it was kept in Arwenack House - the oldest building in Falmouth.

The map was commissioned by the Killigrew family to record the land they owned.

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