A former Lord Mayor of Norwich has donated his unique collection of rare and historic maps to the Norfolk Record Office, so the public can see how the county’s geography changed through the ages.

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More than 150 old prints have been donated to the Archive Centre at County Hall by Raymond Frostick, who described map collecting as a “lifelong hobby” which began on his travels around the country during his national service with the RAF.

Dating between 1574 and 1840, his collection of more than 150 maps give a fascinating insight into Norfolk’s history, and the advances in mapping techniques during that period – including extremely rare prints and unusual formats.

The earliest maps show surprisingly accurate locations of towns and villages, pinpointed by their respective church towers, although the shifting coastline was not as well recorded by the rudimentary survey techniques.

Mr Frostick, 81, said: “When you have got a collection which is quite unique, it is difficult to know what to do with it. I think I am getting to the age now where I need to pass them on to someone.”

For more on this story, see tomorrow’s papers.

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