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Source material: Topographical surveys

Over a period of several hundred years surveys, gazetteers and guide books have been published, often of national origin, which provide a great deal of information about specific localities and whole regions. They may take the form of travel memoirs, highlighting the striking features of towns and villages situated along the route of travel, or present the topographical information in the more systematic form of alphabetically arranged entries.


Early examples of such surveys include William Camden's Britannia (1586, English translation 1610), Celia Fiennes' Journeys (1698) and Daniel Defoe's Tour through the whole island of Great Britain (1724), all of which provide vivid descriptions of the Halifax area. During the 19th century gazetteers became more common, supplemented in the 20th century by official guide books published by local authorities. Increasingly, these surveys came to be produced for tourist information purposes.

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