Statistical Survey of the County of Clare, 1808

By Hely Dutton

Chapter V - Section 29

Whether the county has been actually surveyed?

THIS county was surveyed in 1639 by order of the Earl of Strafford, and the map is esteemed tolerably correct. Some years since an actual survey was made by Mr. Pelham, by order of the grand jury; from what I have seen, and from the report of the inhabitants of the county, I am induced to think it is generally correct; some trifling omissions or inaccuracies may be preceived, but in general it is such as to do credit to Mr. Pelham, especially if the gentlemen of that day were as little alive to any thing, that would benefit their county without exclusively serving themselves, as I found those of the present day.

The engraver has taken great liberties, and laid a very heavy hand on his graver, when delineating the hills; to a stranger the county must appear a dreary mountain, destitute of verdure or cultivation, and of inhabitants. The barony of Bunratty for instance, whose gentle hills are either grazed or tilled to the summit, appears almost as gloomy as the eastern part of Tullagh, or Moyferta, or Burrin. Many of the names of places are very incorrect, (as I suppose mine are,) not only from the ignorance of the Irish lanuage, and the quick manner the natives pronounce many words, but from the want of correction by the gentlemen of the county, few of whom but would rather laugh at than set one right.

Though there is an act of parliament directing, that a map and survey shall be kept constantly hung up in the grand jury room, this useful regulation is evaded; perhaps it would detect jobbing too much, and is therefore suppressed. There is also another act for providing barony maps; if these were on a scale large enough, they would be of great use in laying out new roads, but then this would take too much money from the road-jobbing.

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