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Last Updated: Monday, 20 March 2006, 21:42 GMT
Campaign to save ancient town map
Old map of Diss
The old map of Diss is made out of six sheepskins
A campaign is under way to raise thousands of pounds to help to save a rare centuries-old map.

The manorial map, which is made from sheepskins, shows the layout of the market town of Diss in Norfolk in 1637.

The existence of the map was known but it was only rediscovered a few months ago and has now been offered to the Norfolk Record Office.

It is hoping to raise what it describes as a substantial sum to buy it and ensure it stays in the county.

The colours on the parchment remain vivid on the map which is made up of six sheep skins glued together.

Experts believe the ink used was probably made from oak apples.

Norfolk county archivist Dr John Alban said the map did not need much restoration work.

"As far as restoration is concerned, the document is in a reasonable condition. It is slightly dirty - and there is some very slight nibbling by rodents, mice we think - but otherwise it requires very little treatment," he said.

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