Thursday, October 29, 2009

Map of County Down, 1810, by James Williamson

Found this online today - enormous downloadable JPEGs of what I consider to be the most beautiful map of County Down I've ever seen. Small cropped section below; click to view it at full size.

Townlands are marked on it, and which are of course usually old Irish names. Some people point to this as evidence that the arriving Scots settlers of the 1600s had little or no impact on the landscape of Ulster. This is of course nonsense, because whilst the Scots were happy to use existing townland names, they also introduced endless amounts of what might be called sub-townland names all over Ulster which are clearly of Scottish origin. Here's a personal example - I live in the townland of Ballyhemlin, but the specific area I live in is called Clydesburn (hence the name for this blog). Williamson's map of County Down is available to download here, in four sections. Be warned - each JPEG is around 300mb when opened!