Stunning new maps will outline what Irish land Cromwell stole – and who owned it
Trinity professor hails ‘staggering’ results of world’s first land survey
Reckon Oliver Cromwell stole your family’s land back in Ireland – now you can find out thanks to Trinity College in Dublin.
The Sunday Independent reports that a ‘staggering’ collection of maps at TCD reveals the exact ownership of the lands plundered by the Cromwellian Plantation of 1670.
The despised English leader stole the land and presented it to landlords, many of whom still control the properties in Ireland today.
The land survey carried out on Cromwell’s orders, the first of its kind anywhere in the world, have been deeply researched and reproduced by the Dublin college with stunning results.
The Down Survey map website will be unveiled today and is expected to draw huge interest from all across the globe.
Trinity College historian Professor Michael O Siochru told the paper: “We have never been able to do it to this level before – parish by parish, barony by barony, county by county.
“If you are going to redistribute lands, then the first thing you have to do is map it and that is what happened,” said Prof O Siochru, who is associate professor of Modern History at TCD.
“So the land survey – the first of its kind in the world – was carried out on Cromwell’s orders. The results are amazingly accurate for the time.”
The report says the ‘Down’ refers to the chains that were literally ‘put down’ on the ground to measure every inch of Ireland from the smallest parish to the biggest of the 32 counties.
The survey produced an incredibly detailed view of Ireland of the time and also provided a set of beautiful maps that have historic and artistic significance.
The professor added: “It’s such an exciting event. Putting it all back together was like a detective mission. The 1670 parish maps are amazingly accurate.”
The maps have now been digitised and loaded on to modern-day Google maps to give a complete picture of ‘who owned what.'
Prof O Siochru revealed: “With the aid of ‘Books of Survey and Distribution’ which categorised the huge transfer of land from Catholic families to the new Protestant ascendancy, the result is that people all over Ireland will be able to research the ownership of lands in townlands going back to that time.
“From a historical point of view it is mind-boggling. We have been left amazed at the scope of the project.
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