Sunday, July 29, 2018

Work of the Bog Commissioners

Map of the Bog of Allen by Bog Commissioner Richard Griffith.
This particular event is a bit of an outlier for the Diary, both in subject and location terms, writes Brian Byrne.

But for those of us who used to occasionally cycle out onto the Bog of Allen after school in Newbridge, the talk scheduled in September by Dr Arnold Horner is worth a slot on our calendars.

'Mapping Ireland 200 years ago: the work of the Bogs Commissioners and their engineers 1809-1813' will describe the context for, and activities of the Bogs Commissioners, established in 1809 to assess the nature and extent of Ireland’s bogs and the practicability of reclaiming and cultivating them.

Over a four-year period a small task force worked across 22 counties to produce maps and reports about the principal bogs. Many of the records associated with this activity are preserved in the National Library of Ireland, and offer valuable insights on both environmental conditions and the human impact in Ireland 30 years before the Great Famine.

Dr Arnold Horner was formerly a senior lecturer in the Geography Department in University College Dublin. He has published widely on various aspects of the history of mapping in Ireland. His books on 'Mapping Laois: from the sixteenth to the 21st centuries', and on documents relating to the Bogs Commissioners are due to be published later in 2018.

The talk will be from 6:30pm on 10 September in Engineers Ireland, 22 Clyde Road, Dublin 4. And admission is free.

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