Clare County Library
Clare History
Home | Search Library Catalogue | Foto: Clare Photo Collection | Maps | Archaeology | Folklore | Museum | Search this Website | Copyright Notice | What's New
Old Territorial Divisions & Land Measures

Counties and Baronies

The Triocha Céts

Units of Land Measurement

The Parish

The Tuath

Termon Lands etc.




<< History

In the inheritance which you will hold in the land . . . . you shall not remove your neighbour's landmark, which the men of old have set. Deuteronomy 19:14

The administrative divisions that underpin the way our society is regulated today have evolved in various ways, some of them over a long period of time. Others are of comparatively recent origin, brought into being in response to altered demographic patterns, changes in local and national government structures, or, more frequently, in order to facilitate the collection of local rates and taxes. The district electoral divisions, (DEDs), for instance, were instituted in the 1830s to provide a convenient framework for the administration of the Irish Poor Law.

Generally speaking the most commonly recognized boundaries are those of the provinces, counties, baronies, civil parishes and townlands. The Irish term for province (cúige) derives from the Old Irish coigead (= a fifth); this implies that Ireland originally had five provinces, but Meath (Midhe, the 'Middle One') is now incorporated in Leinster. The provinces were sometimes divided regionally as, for instance, Desmond (Deas Mumhain) and Thomond (North Munster or Co. Clare).

By Michael Mac Mahon

Clare County Library wishes to thank Clare Local Studies Project for preparation of raw text for this publication.