Type details for Irish Town

Type:Irish Town
Description:Settlements of 20 houses and upwards, as defined by and reported on by the early Irish censuses.
Number of units in system: 1285
Geographical Level: 12 (sub-Parish)
ADL Feature Type:countries, 4th order divisions
May be part of: Poor Law Union , Irish County , Barony , Irish Civil Parish

Full Description:

The early Irish censuses, as well as providing data for legally defined units including Parishes and Townlands, reported on "Towns". The 1851 General Report says this about them: "As regards the extent of towns not having their boundaries legally defined, the same area has been used as was assigned to them in 1841. For those towns which appear for the first time in the Tables, we have had areas computed from the Ordnance maps, of which tracings have been kept for reference. The word town, in the Tables, has been used to denote a collection of twenty houses and upwards, as in the census of 1841." (pp. viii-ix) Given this definition it is unsurprising that many of the census's "Towns" were described in contemporary gazetteers as "Villages" or even "Hamlets". Despite what the 1851 report said about boudaries and areas, it is notable that the 1851 General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns of Ireland lists acreages for townlands but not the towns.