In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described County Galway like this:
Galway.-- maritime co. of Connaught, and the second largest in Ireland; is bounded N. by co. Mayo, NE. by co. Roscommon, E. by river Shannon (which separates it from King's co. and co. Tipperary), S. by co. Clare, and W. by the Atlantic Ocean; greatest length, E. and W., 96 miles; greatest breadth, N. and S., 54 miles; area 1,569,505 ac. (90,272 water), or 7.6 per cent, of the total area of Ireland; pop. 242,005, of whom 96.7 per cent, are Roman Catholics, 2.9 Episcopalians, 0.3 Presbyterians, and 0.1 Methodists. ...
The coast, along which are numerous creeks, bays, and islands, measures about 217 m. The co. is naturally divided into two sections by Lough Corrib, which is navigable from Cong by its outlet to Galway Bay, a distance of about 30 miles. The western section (the three divisions of which are known as larconnaught, Connemara, and Joyce's Country) is barren and mountainous. The chief summit is Benbaun (2395 ft.), in the group named the Twelve Pins. There are numerous small loughs. The region abounds in wild and beautiful scenery, and is frequented by great numbers of tourists. The eastern section ia nearly flat. The soil generally consists of a light limestone gravel. Numerous flocks of sheep and herds of black cattle are reared. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) Iron, lead, and copper occur; but limestone and marble are the chief minerals. The fisheries are very important. Coarse linens and woollens are manufactured; kelp is made from seaweed. The co. comprises 18 bars.: Aran, Athenry, Ballymoe, Ballynahinch, Clare, Clonmacnowen, Dunkillin, Dunmore, Galway (co. of a town), Kilconnell, Killian, Kiltartan, Leitrim, Longford, Loughrea, Moycullen, Ross, and Tiaquin; 110 pars.; Galway parl. bor. (1 member), and Ballinasloe (part), Loughrea, and Tuam, towns. It returns 4 members -- 4 divisions, viz., Connemara, North, East, and South.
Vision of Ireland presents long-run change by redistricting historical statistics to modern units. However, none of our modern units covers an area close to that of County Galway. If you want trends covering a particular location within the county, find it on our historical maps and then select "Tell me more".
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of County Galway | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Ireland through Time.
Date accessed: 12th December 2013
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