A Representation of the Bride Valley in Ireland during the eighteenth century

Patrick O’ Flanagan


This research is a brief analysis of one of
the earliest and most comprehensive estate
surveys made in Ireland. An estate was a very
large landholding unit sometimes exceeding
5,000 hectares created under the auspices of
English colonisation mainly in the first half of
the seventeenth century. It was conducted by
a surveyor in the early years of the eighteenth
century, hired by the estate owner and it
consists of individual maps for different
‘townlands’. Each one of which has an
accompanying paper description known as a
‘terrier’. An overall plan of the entire survey area
was also produced. An attempt is made here
to assess the nature of farming and landscape
representation by essentially focusing on
the characteristics of the areas landesque
capital. By landesque capital, I mean the
man-made farming and settlement
infrastructures represented on the surveyors
maps such as houses and outbuildings,
embankments and roads. This evaluation
confirms that different forms of land
colonisation and enclosure were then
in vogue: firstly, large scale systematic
improvement involving planned enclosure
and settlement and secondly spontaneous
small-scale improvement mainly associated
with more marginal and less productive land.


Ireland, estate survey, landscape representations.

Texto Completo: