Thursday, October 21, 2010

Templepatrick, Donaghadee - the Taylor and Skinner maps of 1777

This map of the road from Portaferry to Donaghadee and Newtownards is from Taylor & Skinners Maps of Ireland, 1777. It has some interesting features:

- the road south of Donaghadee turns inland at where today's Millisle is, and goes through where Carrowdore is, but neither Millisle nor Carrowdore were signficant enough to be marked on the map, if they even existed at all

- the coast road south of Millisle (which today goes through Ballywalter, Ballyhalbert, Portavogie and Cloughey) wasn't significant enough to be mapped either. So perhaps that eastern part of the Peninsula was relatively underdeveloped or primitive compared to the upper and western parts

- the close-up is of the Donaghadee area, which shows "Temple Patrick" where St Patrick was reputed to have landed (having sailed from Portpatrick in Scotland, directly across the 18 miles of open sea), but which has been missed by all "official" versions of the Patrick story. It also shows the ruined church which was within the walls of Temple Patrick graveyard, and the house and orchards which had been founded by Patrick Montgomery who arrived from Scotland around 1606, which were big enough to be visible from the sea.

The Montgomery family had deep connections and commercial interests at Donaghadee, Newtownards, Greyabbey and Portaferry going back to 1606. This may be why these particular roads were so well developed and which by the time Taylor and Skinner mapped them had become the most important routes on the Peninsula.

You might be able to see a dotted line running across Strangford Lough just south of Newtownards - "Rd to Comber when the Tide is out" - there's a suicide mission! (Click the images to enlarge)

NB: Taylor and Skinner's Maps are available online here.