The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

Read more about the RIA

IHTA Galway/Gaillimh now available online

23 February 2021

Irish Historic Towns Atlas no. 28 Galway/Gaillimh by Jacinta Prunty and Paul Walsh, published by the Royal Irish Academy in 2016, is now available to browse and download for free as part of IHTA Online. 

Galway/Gaillimh joins twenty-seven other Irish Historic Towns Atlas fascicles available online for download. The atlas has histories of over 2,500 urban sites with Ordnance Survey maps, thematic text maps and historic images in the text section. The atlas was originally launched in Galway City Museum by President Michael D. Higgins in 2016. 

View of Galway from the Claddagh, 1820 (Hardiman, 1820, frontispiece).

Galway/Gaillimh is grouped under 'Towns of Anglo-Norman Origin' on IHTA Online and it may be compared with the other Anglo-Norman towns from the IHTA series of no. 2 Carrickfergus by Philip Robinson (1986), no. 5 Mullingar by J.H. Andrews with K.M. Davies (1992), no. 6 Athlone by Harman Murtagh (1994), no. 10 Kilkenny by John Bradley (2000), no. 13 Fethard by Tadhg O'Keeffe (2003), no. 14 Trim by Mark Hennessy, no. 23 Carlingford by Harold O'Sullivan and Raymond Gillespie (2011), no. 24 Sligo by Fióna Gallagher and Marie-Louise Legg and no. 27 Youghal by David Kelly and Tadhg O'Keeffe. There are thousands of histories of significant topographical sites and maps of the development of each Anglo-Norman town from mills, quays, churches, streets, bridges and town walls and gates to water fountains, market places, theatres, schools and smithies.

Claddagh Bridge and fish market, c. 1885 (Lawrence Collection, National Library of Ireland).

A complimentary resource, the Digtial Atlas of Galway, created in 2017 as a collaboration with the Royal Irish Academy, Ordnance Survey Ireland, Maynooth University and the Irish Research Council, is an interactive map using layers of mapping and data from the topographical information on an ArcGIS database and is available to search and explore here

IHTA Online

Included with each online atlas is:

  • The cover, general abbreviations, introduction and select bibliography.
  • Word searchable essay, text maps and topographical gazetteer. 
  • Map 1 (mid-19th cent. OS, 1:50,000), Map 2 (mid-19th cent. OS, 1:2500), Map 3 (modern 20th cent. OS, 1:5000) and legend sheet. Galway/Gaillimh also includes Map 4 (mid-20th cent. OS, 1:5000), Map 5 (historical compilation map), Map 25 (1855 valuation) and Map 28 (growth of Galway to 1895).

The loose sheet manuscript maps and views are not included due to copyright restrictions. 

Extract from map 5 Galway c. 1200 to c. 1900

Additional resources

Michael Potterton, editor and lecturer in Maynooth University, offers his take on the Anglo-Norman town here with an analysis across a number of IHTA towns. 

Available also, is the chapter on the Anglo-Norman town from Reading the maps: a guide to the Irish Historic Towns Atlas by Jacinta Prunty and Howard Clarke (Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, 2011) where the town type is contextualised and case studies given. 

Renaissance Galway: delineating the mid-seventeenth-century city (Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, 2019) by Paul Walsh was published as an ancillary publication to the atlas and focuses in on the magnificent Pictorial Map of Galway and is available to purchase here

Galway c. 1200 to c. 1900: from medieval borough to modern city by Jacinta Prunty and Paul Walsh is also part of the pocket map series and can be purchased separately here

Extract from Map 2, Galway 1839, reconstructed from OS town plan. 

To view IHTA, no. 28 Galway/Gaillimh online click here

To purchase the full paper copy of Galway/Gaillimh click here

For a full list, or to purchase any of the IHTA publications, click here.

Cover image, Prospect of Galway, 1685, by Thomas Phillips (National Library of Ireland). 

Stay up to date with the Royal Irish Academy newsletter

Sign up now