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    I shall now proceed to state the result of my observations, and of the information which I have gleaned from different sources, respecting the condition of the district of the country between Woodford and the county of Clare, being along the borders of Lough Derg, and bounded on the north by the mountains of Derrygoolin and Bohatch, and which comprises an area of about twenty-two square miles.
    The soil is for the most part a stiff clay, overlaying clay slate, except in a few places where the limestone crops out; it is consequently cold and tenacious, and does not permit the free percolation of the rain. In the year 1849, the population of this district was represented by 665 families, numbering 5,713 persons; in the present year the number of families is 576, and the inhabitants 3,036. Comparing the breadth of land under tillage in 1849 with that of the present year, we find that there has been no sensible decrease commensurate with the diminution of the population.

    Henry Coulter, 1862

    Detail from Arrowsmith map of Ireland, 1844.
    Above: detail from Arrowsmith map of Ireland, 1844
    Map © Cartography Associates, from the Rumsey Collection.

    Left: detail from satellite photo (click for larger version).

    Charon (MIT Project) 1989, James Coleman ©