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

Town and country

by  Sarah GeartyMichael Potterton
€ 30.00

Book Details

Published by Royal Irish Academy

November 2023


Number of pages: 300

ISBN: 9781911479819


PDF icon ai_town_and_country.pdf

Out now! Town & country: perspectives from the Irish Historic Towns Atlas edited by Sarah Gearty and Michael Potterton

The interconnection between town and country is the central theme in this new volume. It is based on a seminar held in 2021 where contributors used and compared historic town atlases to understand how the urban landscape interacted with its suburban surroundings and rural hinterland through time. Four essays focus on Ireland, looking at the enduring and complex relationships between the urban and the rural from monastic times through to the nineteenth century. More broadly, an introduction (by Michael Potterton) gives the international context and a concluding essay (by Chris Dyer) discusses the study of town and country as two very complementary fields of research.

Town & country is dedicated to the historical geographer and renowned cartographic historian, J.H. Andrews, who died in 2019. It includes Andrews’s seminal essay on the topographical development of the town of Kildare, from the first publication of the Irish atlas series in 1986, alongside essays on his life’s work and a bibliography of his extensive writings.

The book is full colour and illustrated with over 60 maps and images.

For further information on IHTA (Irish Historic Towns Atlas) research programme, go to

Read about the launch of Town and country

Cover image: View of Armagh, looking west, 1863, by W.H. Unger. © Armagh County Museum Collection, ARMCM.185.1959.

'The excerpts of historical maps are feasts for the eyes, and readers with a general interest in Irish history will find much to interest them.' Tadhg O'Keeffe, Professor of Archaeology, University College Dublin. Review in Irish Arts Review March 2024


J.H. Andrews, H.B. Clarke, Frank Cullen, Mary Davies, Chris Dyer, Jim Galloway, Raymond Gillespie, Richard Haworth, Arnold Horner, Ruth Johnson, Colm Lennon, Keith Lilley, Ruth McManus, Margaret Murphy, Séamas Ó Maitiú, Michael Potterton, Brendan Scott, Anngret Simms.


Sarah Gearty, Michael Potterton.

About the authors

Sarah Gearty

Sarah Gearty is cartographic and managing editor of the Irish Historic Towns Atlas project. She has overseen the production of over 15 town atlases and several ancillary publications/projects. She was co-author on the atlas of Longford (2010, with Fergus O'Ferrall and Martin Morris) and co-editor of Maps and texts: exploring the Irish Historic Towns Atlas (with H.B. Clarke, 2013).

Michael Potterton

Michael Potterton is a Lecturer and Director of the MA in Local History in the Department of History at Maynooth University. He is Chair of the Irish Historic Towns Atlas and one of two Irish representatives on the International Commission for the History of Towns. He is a member of the editorial board of Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, is the Series Editor of Maynooth Studies in Local History and is Principal Investigator on the RIA-funded Moynagh Lough Project. Michael worked for seven years as a Senior Research Archaeologist with the Discovery Programme and a further seven years as Editor with Four Courts Press. He is a Director of Dublinia and the Medieval Trust and in 2011 he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. Among his extensive list of publications are (with Margaret Murphy) Dublin Region in the Middle Ages (2010) and (as co-editor with Christiaan Corlett), The town in medieval Ireland in the light of recent archaeological excavations (2020).