Land Surveying in Ireland, 1690–1830

Finnian Ó Cionnaith

Hardback €31.50
Catalogue Price: €35.00
ISBN: 978-1-80151-014-1
May 2022. 272pp. Over 50 Black & White images

"From the vantage point of the twenty-first century, land surveying may seem a little specific initially as a book topic. This book, however, convinces that it was fundamental to the spatial design of Ireland, bringing to life the individuals, networks, education and society of the men who measured, apportioned and sometimes valued the country's land ... Placing considerable emphasis on the life, works and practices of three surveyors, Gabriel Stokes (1682-1768), Robert Gibson (d.1761) and John Longfield (c.1775-1833), allows Ó Cionnaith to unite a history of the Irish landscape's formation with that of a profession, tracing precisely its rise and decline over the course of some two hundred years ... The author and publisher are to be commended for producing a book on such a seemingly niche topic that is copiously well-illustrated and thoughtfully and vividly written. The academic community, more broadly, could break further ground by explaining the key geometrical, mathematical and scientific concepts, which indeed might require further well-considered diagrams, equations and formulas, to fully integrate the sciences and the humanities. This book's great delight is showing how the discipline of land surveying so evidently accomplished this with some impressive scientific and artistic intent." Finola O'Kane, Irish Architectural and Decorative Studies, vol. 25


“Finnian Ó Cionnaith’s new assessment of Irish land surveying is very welcome on both sides of the Irish Sea, not least because studies encompassing one or other of the two islands in their entirety are far from common ... Finnian Ó Cionnaith has produced a book which is a pleasure to read, one that is both instructive and thought-provoking. And Four Courts Press are to be congratulated for producing an attractive work at a reasonable price.” Professor Robert Silvester, IMCoS Map Journal, December 2022. No.171


“Ó Cionnaith has written a book that captures well the history of land surveying in Ireland pre-Ordnance Survey and which will, no doubt, be of great value to researchers and students alike for many years to come.” Riaz Dean, The Globe: Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Map Society Inc., No. 92, 2022

“Ó Cionnaith writes well, and his own thorough ‘survey’ is presented in a nicely illustrated hardback .” Joe Culley, History Ireland, September/October 2022