Tag Archives: maps

The Boundary of Jurisdiction

The Shannon Navigation Act of 1839 required the Shannon Commissioners to define the boundaries of the navigation. They did so, describing the limits in a manuscript with illustrations and showing the Shannon and all structures therein in a series of 45 maps. Here is a brief piece about the undertaking.

Big it up for the OSI

I don’t know whether there is any official award scheme for contributions to historical research but, if there is, I reckon Ordnance Survey Ireland should get one. By making available, free, online versions of the OSI 6″ [~1840s] and 25″ [~1900] maps, they have provided amateur historians with an invaluable resource.

Using their public viewer, you can go to somewhere like Lecarrow, on Lough Ree, and look at what it was like before the Famine, around the start of the twentieth century or, using the Ortho options, in 1995, 2000 and 2005. As well, of course, as a bang-up-to-date map of Lecarrow today.

The most recent map was updated recently and the site fell over altogether for a while, then operated without the historical maps for another while. I suspect that I wasn’t the only person to realise, while it was down, how valuable the site was (and how far superior, at least for historical study, to the godawful Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland version).

So big it up for Ordnance Survey Ireland: delighted it’s back up again.

Ordnance Survey historic maps

I am delighted to say that Ordnance Survey Ireland has kindly given me permission to use extracts from their historic maps to illustrate articles on this site as well as in any talks I give. The complete maps are free to view on the OSI website; choose 6″ for around 1840 (different sheets were surveyed and published in different years) and 25″ for around 1900. You can zoom in to see details and even overlay a modern map on an older one. The OSI maps are invaluable to anyone interested in history or heritage. I am very grateful for permission to use extracts on this site.

Ordnance Survey maps

Let joy be unconfined. The OSI has further improvements to its online maps, with a beta of a street map application and the return (I think) of the 25″ 1900s maps. Start from here.


Online maps

Much of what I’ve learned about old Irish waterways has come from studying the Irish Ordnance Survey maps of the ~1830s and ~1900s (the tilde shows that the dates are approximate: individual sheets were surveyed and published on different dates). However, I had to pay a subscription to get access to them online, so I couldn’t refer visitors of this site to them. Instead, I suggested that visitors consult the free Google Maps and the Griffiths Valuation online maps.

Now, however, the Ordnance Survey maps are available, free of charge, online. “Historic” is the ~1830s maps in colour and “Historic 25i” is the ~1900s maps. Contemporary orthophotographic maps are also available and, best of all, you can overlay a modern map on an old one. Hours of innocent enjoyment and highly recommended.