Living Beyond the Pale

Old Galway Map

Old Galway Map (Click for larger view)

As Cindy said, Galway is an old city.

Galway’s recorded history begins in 1124 AD, when the Irish Monarch “King of Connacht” founded a Fort, Dún Bhun na Gaillimhe (‘Fort at the Mouth of the Gaillimh’).” — Profile of Galway, Ireland

But it was inhabited long before that. Several examples of Middle stone age (Mesolithic: 10,000 to 5000 BCE) tools were on display at the Galway museum along with Bronze age (3200-600 BCE) spear heads and a few Iron Age (1200 BCE – 400 AD).  But to my mind the coolest displays were the maps — I am a sucker for a map. There are several copies of a very early 1600’s map of Galway.  While this map is interesting it seems to be based on an older map at the NUI Galway library.  The library provides a scanned online version that is easily navigable as well as a discussion of the history of the map and what it depicts.

Another source of interactive maps old and new is the Ordinance Survey Ireland website. While perusing their collection I came across the 1837-1842 map of our area.  Here is a link centred on the location of our house.

Map of the Pale (Click for larger image)

And what does all this have to do with “Beyond the Pale?”  Well it seems that the The Pale was a term applied to the part of Ireland that was not under control of the English crown during the late Middle Ages (1300–1453).  There is a 1488 map showing the boundaries of the pale which clearly shows that the Pale was an area around Dublin.  So we are indeed living beyond the pale with the wild Irishmen (and women) of the west coast.  And I for one am loving it.

But now, the sun is out and I am looking forward to another adventure Beyond the Pale.

— Claude


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