Seminar on the Pictorial Map of mid-17th Century Galway

Extract from the pictorial map of Galway, mid-seventeenth century, used for the front cover of the new Royal Irish Academy publication Renaissance Galway. It depicts St Bridget’s House and plague hospital, in the area of present-day Prospect Hill.
Oct 02 2019 Posted: 09:22 IST

NUI Galway’s Moore Institute will host a seminar discussing the Pictorial Map of Galway on Thursday, 10 October from 2-5pm. Offering a bird’s-eye view of the city immediately prior to its surrender to Cromwellian forces in 1652, the map records in exceptional detail the life and times of its inhabitants. From the city’s defences, quays, public buildings and private residences to features such as the town gibbet, this map has an extraordinary story to tell.

Printed on nine sheets measuring approximately 2m x 1.4m in total, the map survives in only two copies – one in the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway and the other in Trinity College, Dublin. As part of the seminar, the map will be on display, giving attendees a very rare opportunity to see this treasure of Galway history which was donated to the library in 1852 by Lord Oranmore and Browne.

The seminar celebrates the appearance of the Royal Irish Academy’s publication of Paul Walsh’s study of the map, Renaissance Galway: Delineating the Seventeenth-Century City, which has been produced by the Irish Historic Towns Atlas ( A formal launch of the book will take place afterwards in the Galway City Museum at 6pm, by the Mayor of Galway, Councillor Mike Cubbard.

During the seminar, a panel of experts will describe key aspects of the map. Areas of discussion include the fortifications, Irish-language place-names, conventions of map-making in the period, and the social and political history of Galway in the era in which it was produced.

Speakers include: Professor Nicholas Canny; Sarah Gearty, RIA; Dr Pádraig Lenihan, NUI Galway; Dr Annaleigh Margey, Dundalk IT; Dr Bríd McGrath, Trinity College, Dublin; Dr Nollaig Ó Muraíle, NUI Galway; and Paul Walsh, author, Renaissance Galway.

Director of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, Professor Daniel Carey, said: “The map of Galway appeared in a momentous era of conflict and political change in the city. This seminar gives us a chance to understand this history more intimately with the help of a range of leading figures.”

The seminar will take place in Room G010 in the Moore Institute, Hardiman Building. Attendance is free and open to the public. To register visit For further information contact:


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