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Folklore in the Ordnance Survey Memoirs



It is fortuitous that the Ordnance Survey Memoirs for Co. Londonderry were written before prudence and financial concerns reined in the scheme. Those county memoirs that followed neither so detailed nor so colourful, and they are quite simple the poorer for it. Between 1839 and 1840 the memoir scheme finally collapsed. The government was unwilling to spend further time or money on the project. The House of Commons had requested a survey ‘to facilitate a uniform valuation for local taxation.’ And they got it, what they also got was an unforeseen and invaluable storehouse for the traditions that are our cultural heritage. Finally, should any sceptic reading this think the stories told here more apocryphal that real let me leave you with the thought provoking words of J. Stokes, one of the chief memoir writers for Co. Londonderry; ‘An Irish tradition is a vocal history. It may be corrupted but is never unfounded’.

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