Land use and settlement in Ballcroy National Park, County Mayo
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The settlement patterns and land use designs from the end of the eighteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century in Ballycroy National Park, County Mayo are the concerns of this study. The geography, history, archaeology and ruins of seven case study sites are discussed in this study. The literature relevant to this study was reviewed and a number of key issues highlighted. These include the lack of scholarly attention devoted to these remote mountainous townlands (Nephin Beg mountain range) and the lack of scholarly documents relating to the townlands studied in this research. Generally, this applies to the whole of the Erris region, with the exception of the work of Dr. Séamus Caulfield in the Céide Fields project of north Mayo. A number of methodologies are utilised in this study, including architectural surveys of ruined buildings and comparative analysis. Original primary source material was integrated into this study, although the deficiency in written sources for the Erris region in Ireland (which includes the Ballycroy region) is noted. This study has revealed a wealth of vernacular buildings for the Ballycroy region of Erris as well as farm buildings and techniques used within field system designs along river courses in blanket bog landscapes. The three main components involved in this study are firstly to examine the topography of the landscape within and around Ballycroy National Park, County Mayo. Secondly, to investigate the history of settlement in the area, this is to investigate the social, political and economic circumstances of local people through the time-period involved in this study. Thirdly, to record the human interaction with the landscape by using a GPS (global positioning satellite) device.
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