How Ireland Was Mapped

Posted by admin on Oct 15, 2009

Wild wolves, fearsome chieftains, forts, castles and sea monsters – one could be forgiven for thinking this a fairytale. But it isn’t – this was the serious business of State map making – four centuries ago. Today, for the first time, The National Archives of the UK is launching a digitised collection of Early Irish maps (c.1558 – c.1610) from the ‘State Papers Ireland’.

The collection comprises more than 70 different maps , amongst the earliest cartographic representations of Ireland, depicting plantations, fortifications and townships during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I.

Attractive and colourful, these maps include the famous 1567 map of Hibernia by John Goghe, and are normally held in our safe room. But now, as a result of our digitisation programme, these valuable treasures are accessible to millions globally.

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