Clare County Library
Clare Maps
Home | Search Library Catalogue | Foto: Clare Photo Collection | Maps | Search this Website | Copyright Notice | Contact Us

Petty’s Down Survey Barony Maps of Clare (1658-59)

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. He was also to define the boundaries of the baronies within the counties. Petty’s survey became known as the Down Survey, because the measurements were ‘laid down’ as maps.

The Down Survey mapped all the baronies in which there were forfeited lands. Petty appears to have mapped all the baronies of Ireland except those of counties Galway, Roscommon and Mayo (except one barony), and the townlands on nearly 50% of the total area of Ireland. The boundaries of all the baronies were mapped, but in the baronies where there were no forfeituritures, only an outline map was made. The survey did not include details on lands classified as 'Protestant lands.' For Connaught and Clare, and certain areas in Tipperary, the Strafford Survey, made about 1637-38 for a projected plantation of Connaught and adjoining regions, was available. The Clare Down Survey maps, therefore, represent an extrapolation from these separate surveys. The information on landholding gathered in these surveys is available in the Books of Survey and Distribution.

<< Petty's Maps of Clare