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East Mayo estate maps from 1800s lost from National Archives

MAPS on parchment relating to the Dillon Estate in east Mayo have been lost from the National Archives.

It had been planned to host an exhibition in Charlestown around them, but it was found that only 20 of the 70 documents are left.

It is hoped those lost can be recreated, Councillor Gerry Murray told a meeting of Mayo County Council's heritage committee.

Each individual townland was mapped, coloured, on parchment paper, featuring the different soil types and the various holdings from the the mid 1800s, he explained.

The plan had been to mount an exhibition featuring the 70 townlands that make up the civil parish of Charlestown.

Unfortunately, when local researchers went to the National Archives they discovered that over the years people have gone in and ripped out their own townland map.

All that is left in the archive is about 20 of the 70 maps.

Councillor Murray said they were told it might be possible to restore those lost using the information contained in the Griffiths Valuation. But he didn't think it would be possible to do the very colourful soil types, etc.

Each individual holding had been mapped, with the house, and on the lefthand corner was a list of all the tenant farmers.

“It was,” he said, “an act of vandalism.”

Copies are held locally of the 20 originals still in the National Archive.

Councillor Murray said any assistance and guidance from the council's heritage office on the matter would be appreciated.