Our Down Survey maps have been created in DjVu
format, and are also available via MapBrowser. To view these maps in DjVu
formatyou will need to download and install a
DjVu Browser Plug-in - the primary means of viewing DjVu documents.
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DjVu version of the Petty Online
When you have the DjVu plugin installed,
Click here for the online
Mapbrowser version of the
Petty Maps (Down Survey & Hiberniae Delineatio)
These maps can also be viewed via MapBrowser,
our new integrated online maps system which runs in most browsers without
the necessity to install plugins.
Tip: click on the slider to zoom in and out, and select the pan cursor
button to move
around the map.
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The Down Survey
Following the Cromwellian Conquest of Ireland at the beginning of the
1650s, the Commonwealth government was indebted to many private individuals
– adventurers – who had advanced sums of money to finance
the war in Ireland. In addition to this, many soldiers who fought in the
war were owed large arrears of pay. Both classes were to be repayed by
the granting of confiscated lands in Ireland. To facilitate this extensive
transfer of land, William Petty was appointed, in 1654, to measure and
map, within 13 months, the forfeited lands, the crown lands, and the church
lands in the 22 counties set apart for the soldiers.
About the Down Survey Maps
The maps record townland names, acreages, territorial boundaries
and quality of land: pasture, mountain, arable, bog etc. Features such
as rivers and mountains are noted, as are castles, churches and important
houses. The scale used was generally 40 perches to an inch, one perch
equalling 21 feet (6.4 metres). The Down Survey also preserves many 17th
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Delineatio’ County Map
Sir William Petty used the Down Survey as the basis of his atlas of Ireland,
‘Hiberniae Delineatio’, commonly called Petty’s Atlas.
It was the first printed atlas of Ireland, and contained a map of Ireland,
maps of the provinces, and maps of the counties of Ireland. The atlas
was engraved sometime about 1663 but not published until c. 1685. The
county maps were drawn at a scale of two Irish miles to an inch and show
the barony boundaries. The Clare map is given here, preserving some of
the lost information from the destroyed parish and barony maps.
William Petty (1623-1687) was an English economist, scientist
and philosopher. At the time he was appointed to map the forfeited lands,
he was employed as physician general to the Commonwealth forces in Ireland.
Petty gained fame, and considerable personal wealth - including 30,000
acres near Kenmare, Co. Kerry, as payment for completing the Down Survey.
He left for England after the survey and was knighted by Charles II, but
returned to Ireland in 1666 where he remained until shortly before his
death, in 1687.