Nicholas Lane was an English surveyor and cartographer, active in the early part of the seventeenth century, rising to prominence in his works for King Charles I.
Lane's early work included a plan of Oxdownes, Cobham, Surrey dated 1618, a copy of which is held in the Surrey History Centre.
In the 1620s he mapped land at Chessington belonging to Merton College, Oxford. The area was the subject of a long running manor boundary dispute between the College's land and Royal land of Nonsuch Great Park the part of which that subsequently became known as Worcester Park. Lane's map of 1627 documents the final resolution of the dispute, a decision subsequently re-confirmed by Charles I in 1633.
Charles I commissioned Lane to map the proposed site of his new hunting park at Richmond. This pre-enclosure map of Richmond Park, surveyed in 1632 but completed in 1637/8, depicts the mixture of common land and private holdings and the route of the projected wall to surround the new park. Annotations on the map are believed to be in the hand of Charles I. Charles I subsequently commissioned Lane for the design of the Longford River in 1638–39.
Lane's noble clients included Francis Browne, 3rd Viscount Montagu, who, in 1635, commissioned Lane to survey his holdings at Cowdray, Easebourne Priory and Verdley.
In 1637 Lane produced several maps of areas of fenland including Great Common Fen at Wisbech, others between Crowland and Eye and a sketch map of Laddus Fen near Upwell. He also surveyed fens around Ramsey belonging to Oliver Cromwell.
Lane's surviving work provides a valuable resource for historians. For example, Lane's 1636 plan of Putney, combined with the 1665 hearth tax list provided a key source required to reconstruct a detailed view of life in the London suburb in the late seventeenth century.