A note on Maps – particularly Irish Ordnance Survey maps (OS maps) and this probably goes for most OS maps worldwide
We all have a mobile phone today, we all have internet connections and we all think that’s going to do us as regards a map for the area we are looking at – mobile phones are great, I’ve headed off over to Galway looking for graves with my mobile showing me how to get from A to B – and then………..then the phone went and bloomin’ died on me and there I was “lost” in Galway and sin and all as it is I had all the Galway OS maps – at *home* and what good were they to me there?
I have all the OS maps for Laois, I’ve even had a few of them a few times, meaning that I buy the map, sit on the floor going through it marking off all the graveyards, churches – I have even marked the Mottes (would I know a Motte if I was standing in front of it – not on your life!!). So, I buy the map, sit down, mark off all the places I’m interested in, get into the car and set off to where-ever. I used to work it that I’d put a circle around where-ever it was I was going to go and once I’d been there then I’d put an X over the circle. Then I used to have a yellow glow marker and I’d draw along the road I’d been so that I’d know not to go there again. Gradually, when you have a map that’s handled like I handle them they disintegrate and when they do that, then all your info on the map disappears.
These Discovery Series Ordnance Survey Maps and what they tell you.
1. Churches are marked – and ones with the word church written in yellow I think. After that you get a black cross for a functioning church.
2. Graveyards are marked – Except they don’t tell you if there is a graveyard around a church, the marking is for places where the old church has disintegrated and now we have a graveyard remaining. Sometimes, you find nothing there or little there like at Ballybuggy in Rathdowney. Some graveyards are actually just an empty field
3. ‘Burial Grounds’ are marked. Thing is for the most part when you go to a Burial ground site, then all you see is a field with nothing in it.
4. Historical sites are marked, so you have castle written where a castle or it’s remnant’s stand. Mottes like I’ve mentioned are shown, also Standing stones – anything like that.
5. Caravan sites, Hostels, Public Telephones (do we still have them??), Picnic sites, camping sites, Tourist information , Viewpoints, Nature Reserves, Guards (Policemen – wow, I thought our numbers of them were decreasing!!)
6. National Monuments, Enclosures, Battlefields
I think that’s about it.
If you just look at the excerpts of the maps that I have scanned above then you will get an idea of how everything is marked on these maps. OS39: Graveyard, Bullaun stone, Church & Cross. OS46: a cillin, Church, Friary. OS37 : The black lines that show you the county line, a Holy well and Churchs. OS38 : Churches, County line, caravan park, Camping site. Google maps doesn’t show you these areas – they don’t show you where there are Churches or graveyards and I know these may not be of interest to you but then the monuments and other bits and pieces you want to see might be of interest.
How many people know of Dunamaise in County Laois? What does Google tell us of Dunamaise – one of the most incredible sites that there is in county Laois, if you come to Laois, if you are even just passing by Portlaoise, then you HAVE to fit Dunamaise into your schedule. It is incredible.
There are a number of different maps for each county. Each map will cover some or all of a bit of the county and then some of the county next door. With these maps you get to see graveyards that would lie in the county next door close to your own area of interest, these are places that you might like to visit just in case any members of your family got buried there.
Of all the maps you can get when you come to travel in any county, to my mind, these are really the maps you need. They show you everything.
For County Galway we have the following Discovery Series Ordnance Survey Maps: I’m giving you the map number, the counties it covers and the Amazon link for purchase if you wish.
37 Galway & Mayo
38 Galway & Mayo
39 Galway, Mayo & Roscommon
40 Galway, Roscommon, Westmweath, Longford
47 Galway, Roscommon, Westmweath, Offaly
52 Galway & Clare
53 Galway, Tipperary, Offaly