Date(s) - 08/03/2017
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Lackagh Parish Centre

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The Down Survey of Ireland, with Jimmy Laffey

Wednesday 8 March, 8:00pm

Lackagh Parish Centre

At our March meeting, Jimmy Laffey of Skehana spoke about his research on the Down Survey of Ireland.

The 17th century ‘Down Survey’ resulted in the first systematic mapping of Ireland, with unprecedented levels of organisation and accuracy. It proved a milestone in Irish and world cartography and its maps were used as a record of land tenure until the advent of the Irish Ordnance Survey in the 1820s.
Jimmy’s presentation outlined the historical context which brought about the survey, its planning and measurement and its hugely significant resource for us in the form of maps, Books of Distribution and Survey and the information now merged and contained online in the Down Survey site.

Jimmy Laffey is Public Relations Officer with the Skehana & District Heritage Group and supports the Heritage Section of Galway County Council in the delivery and implementation of its many and varied projects. In the very recent past these have included numerous events relating to Galway’s 1916 Rising Commemorations and in particular its award winning Decade of Commemorations website, Cumann na mBan publications and seminars and the highly acclaimed Farming & Country Life event at Teagasc Headquarters in Mellows Campus, Athenry.

Much information on the survey is available online from the TCD Down Survey Project:

Taken in the years 1656-1658, the Down Survey of Ireland is the first ever detailed land survey on a national scale anywhere in the world. The survey sought to measure all the land to be forfeited by the Catholic Irish in order to facilitate its redistribution to Merchant Adventurers and English soldiers. Copies of these maps have survived in dozens of libraries and archives throughout Ireland and Britain, as well as in the National Library of France. This Project has brought together for the first time in over 300 years all the surviving maps, digitised them and made them available as a public online resource.

Down Survey Maps

March 2017 Meeting: The Down Survey of Ireland, with Jimmy Laffey