2.1 The Watering Places

 The guide to the Watering Places of the South of England was advertised as A guide to the health and pleasure resorts of the South Coast (title page) and covered all the eight counties on the south coast from Kent around the coast clockwise ending in Gloucestershire.[i] The first edition was a comprehensive work with over 700 pages devoted to describing the counties followed by an advertising section with 200 more. With the changes in holidays and the affordability of train travel they endeavoured to answer the question “Where shall we go?” To meet this want we have endeavoured to prepare a work which shall be ... a guide, and a directory. The plan was to re-publish the guide from time to time as occasion may require, i.e. there was no strict schedule for issuing an improved edition. Consequently, only one later edition appeared as Eyre Brothers’ Watering and Visiting Places of the South and West of England including South Wales, published in (July) 1880[ii].

Each section included a map of the county (see below) and the towns selected for inclusion were described in terms of their History, Places of Worship, Walks, Public Buildings etc., Places of Amusement (actual entries depending on the town) and this was usually followed by an Official Directory and a Trades Directory. The Index to Principal Places lists well over 100 towns. As is usual with a guide of this sort advertisements abound including coloured page inserts. The whole begins with a section on London as many, from the northern part of England, in journeying to the south coast, must necessarily pass through the metropolis.

In this first edition there are no advertisements to give any clue as to what other publications the brothers were involved in at that time. Their address is given as Paternoster Square, which at the time was a leading hub of booksellers, printers and publishers with Fleet Street just around the corner.[iii]



Fig.2. Cover of Watering and Visiting Places of the South of England – Second Edition

 The company of George Philip & Son was based in Fleet Street and in 1862 they published a successful Atlas of the Counties of England. In 1872 they had exploited the success of this large atlas to produce Philips´ Handy Atlas. The maps from this smaller atlas were prepared for the company by John Bartholomew of Edinburgh who was probably the foremost producer of map plates at that time. Philips took advantage of this and occasionally made their county maps available to others. Early states of the maps were used by the Rev. J P Faunthorpe who used a pre-atlas version for his series The Geography of ....  .  Each map in his series had a specially added title at top “PHILIPS` EDUCATIONAL SERIES OF COUNTY MAPS”. The format was just right for Eyre´s guide and the Eyre Brothers were quick to purchase specially adapted maps from the Handy Atlas for each of the eight counties they presented in the Watering Places (Fig.3.).[iv] These maps had the new title above the top border “EYRE BROTHERS’ SERIES OF GUIDE MAPS“. In addition, in the first edition, there were 32 vignette illustrations produced by Rock & Co., one of the leading producers of views at that time (Fig.1.). As the page size of this volume was 115 x 180 mm this meant each map fitted with one fold and one vignette scene per page could be introduced oriented with title to spine. 


Fig.3. Devon in Watering Places of the South of England from Philips Handy Atlas map.

 The second edition of the guide, now with title Watering and Visiting Places ... including South Wales, had a lavish cover as well as 450 (larger) pages and included 12 county maps plus a map of South Wales by Philips.[v] Again there were 32 illustrations listed but these were a mixture of engravings by Rock & Co., photographs and woodcuts. The twenty views by Rock are not all the same and this time the vignettes were two to a page horizontally (page size now 170 x 240 mm). There were also a number of photographs and the text was interspersed with occasional woodcuts and scenes to advertise hotels etc. The books were bound by E Symmons & Sons of Bouverie Street in Fleet Street.

The section on London is now gone and the whole work is listed with towns alphabetically. With South Wales now included the volume begins with Aberystwith and ends with Worthing. There is no index to towns but approximately 80 towns are chosen for inclusion and there is even a chapter on the Channel Islands. Advertisements are interspersed at irregular intervals and there are even adverts on the reverse of some maps in both first and second editions, e.g. on the back of Cornwall there are adverts for Westwood Park House (school) and Alfred Carver (first edition) while there is an ad for Apsley House school in Torquay “for delicate boys” (second edition) on the back of the map facing the map of Devon.

The brothers had now moved to 26 and 27 Paternoster Square and adverts in the second edition announce that they are sole agents for the Annuaire Didot-Bottin or French Annual Directory (Fig.4.). Other adverts announce the forthcoming publication of the 2nd Edition of Hotels of the UK (see below). Almost the final small advert inside the back cover announces the publication of The Watering and Visiting Places of the North of England and also of the 1st Edition of The Plymouth, Devonport & Stonehouse District Directory (which is promised to be ready in August 1880). 

Fig.4. Advert for the Annuaire Didot-Bottin

 The Introduction to the second edition makes it clear that there was a companion volume The Watering and Visiting Places of the North of England (1878).[vi] This work contains 10 maps of the counties represented and each with the “PHILIPS` EDUCATIONAL SERIES OF COUNTY MAPS” title.[vii] The 19 views are again by Rock & Co. The page size was similar to the southern second edition and it stretched to over 450 pages with Principle Places, History, Public Amusements and Walks and Excursions all included.

A volume concentrating on just Devon and Cornwall also appeared the same year[viii]: Eyre’s Guide to the Watering and Visiting Places of Devon & Cornwall (Fig.5.). The Devon and Cornwall volume also has two county maps with the Eyre imprint. This is the only volume known which has a logo for the Eyre Brothers: an intertwined E and B. This is found in an advertisement for the first edition of the Hotels directory (p.113). 


Fig.5. Cover to Eyre’s Guide to the Watering and Visiting Places of Devon & Cornwall


[i] The counties covered were Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Dorsetshire, Devonshire, Cornwall, Somersetshire and Gloucestershire.

[ii] For a list of institutions holding copies of Eyre´s various works see Part 3 Locations: Table 1 for the 16 editions of Eyre´s Plymouth Directory; and Table 2 for other works.

[iii] Although out of scope of this survey Kathryn Kane´s article on Paternoster Row at regencyredingote.wordpress.com/2019/01/11/paternoster-row-and-the-book-trade-in-britain/ is well worth reading.

[iv] Batten & Bennett; Victorian Maps of Devon; Devon Books; Tiverton; 2000. See entry 149.5. The Second Edition is online and there are illustrations of both Faunthorpe and Eyre maps of Devon.

[v] Besides the map of South Wales there are now maps of Berkshire, Essex, Oxford with Buckinghamshire and Worcestershire, all with No. 10 address.

[vi] The Watering and Visiting Places of the North of England, with the east and part of the west; a guide to the health and pleasure resorts north of the Thames.

[vii] The county maps are of Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Cumberland and Westmoreland, Yorkshire (North and East Riding), Yorkshire (West Riding), Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. Counties outside this area are mentioned, such as Northumberland, Cheshire, Lincolnshire, Cambridge and even the Isle of Man and Roker-on-the-Sea at Durham.

[viii] Incorrectly catalogued as Seaside and Visiting Places. It has 12 plates as well as 2 maps (289 pp).


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