Mapping Ireland in Detail

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Local Maps

This next section looks at how maps of specific locations in the Ireland developed over time. Local maps were of particular interest to landowners and to local authorities, rather than to travellers just passing through.

Grand Jury Maps

Grand Juries were important local authorities in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Their role included the management of local taxation and services, and so they needed accurate maps.

In 1779, the Co. Clare Grand Jury commissioned Henry Pelham to map the county. Henry Pelham (1749-1806) was from Boston, Massachusetts, but his mother was from County Clare.

The map was completed in 1787 and measured approximately 2 metres x 2 metres. The map included roads, rivers, lakes, large houses, hills and mountains. Barony and parish boundaries and some townland names were also included. Clare County Library have an excellent collection of Grand Jury maps available to view on-line. To see more click here.

Grand Jury maps exist of every county in Ireland, dating typically from 1780 onwards: 1 inches to the mile was a typical scale.
These maps often still use unusual ways of representing hills and other features.