Researchers at Trinity College Dublin have released a set of fascinating maps which show wealth distribution in Ireland circa 1300.
The maps by Trinity researchers also show the economic impact of the Great European Famine.
In order to create the maps, researchers used early 14th century parish incomes to gauge local wealth. The research also highlight the wealth depletion caused by British invasions on Irish soil.
According to Trinity News, PhD student Christopher Chevallier, supervised by Dr. Mark Hennessy, led the project.
In this incredible piece of research, PhD candidate in Geography in @TCD_NatSci, Christopher Chevallier, mapped the medieval wealth of Ireland by using papal tax assessments from the 1300s. Read more at: https://t.co/wftlwNbUDu pic.twitter.com/gz9MQTYWpn— Trinity College Dublin (@tcddublin) July 26, 2018
The publication outlines that Chevallier traveled to archives in Armagh, Paris, Kew, and the Vatican Secret Archives, to “gain a greater understanding of medieval papal taxation and the surviving sources”.
Chevallier explained to the paper that these sources “offered a unique opportunity to map and quantify the economy of medieval Ireland; superseding the cultural, political, and economic divides of the island”.
Chevallier’s maps show that Gaelic areas circa 1300 were defined by isolated parishes, low tier wealth, and environmental constraints such as high elevation, mountainous terrain, and land suited for pastoralism.
In stark contrast, the medieval English colony was shown to be a network of wealthier urban cores surrounded by hinterlands, positioned to make use of the best soils for intensive agriculture thus contributing to the generally higher density and wealth of the colony.
The newspaper states that Chevallier (above) hopes to continue to use papal taxation records to study many medieval European economies - maybe one day even creating a digital economic atlas.
To view the full report, visit the findings on tcd.ie here.