Townpark

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In the history of land use in Ireland, a townpark or town park was a smallholding near a town and farmed by someone resident in the town.[1] Typically, a major landowner provided a contiguous area near the town which was subdivided into multiple townparks, each rented on a short-term lease, for a higher rent than that paid by a full-time resident farmer.

Townlands[edit]

The Boundary Survey of 1825–44, associated with Griffith's Valuation and the Ordnance Survey of Ireland, set down the names and denominations of subdivisions of land. Griffith often erected a contiguous block of townparks into a single townland named "Town Parks" or "Town Parks of [name of town]". The 1901 townland index recorded such townlands by the following towns: Ballycastle, Larne, Ballymena, Antrim, Ballymoney, Ballyhaise, Cavan, Cloyne, Midleton, Lifford, Ballyshannon, Newtownards, Skerries (Holmpatrick civil parish), Swords, Ballinasloe, Galway, Portumna, Castledermot, Athy, Birr, Daingean (then Philipstown), Carrick on Shannon, Longford, Newtown Forbes, Ardee, Dundalk, Navan, Athboy, Kells, Borris-in-Ossory, Mountmellick, Roscrea, Carrick-on-Suir, Cahir, Lismore, Delvin, Wexford, Lismore, Tallow, Tuam, Donaghadee, and Killeshandra.[2] There were also "Town Fields" (Borrisokane), "Town Lands" (Clonakilty), "Town Lot" (Tipperary), "Town Lots" (Bantry), and "Townplots" (Kinsale and Killala).[2] Town Parks was also the townland containing the centre of Belfast; it is listed in the 1861 index,[3] but was entirely within the county borough boundary by 1901.[2] Thurles Townparks is the townland, now almost entirely urbanised, around the historic centre of Thurles.[4]

Land Acts[edit]

The Irish Land Acts of 1870 and 1881, which were designed to enable tenant farmers to purchase their holdings from landlords, specifically excluded townparks from their terms.[5][6] This led to case law interpreting the Acts' definition of "townpark",[7] which had three components:

  1. That they adjoin or are near a city or town;
  2. That they bear an increased value as accommodation land beyond their ordinary letting value for merely farming purposes
  3. That they are occupied by a person living in a city or town or its suburbs

A "town" need not be a municipality with town commissioners or other government, and conversely a place within the municipal boundary might yet be too far from the built-up area to be considered a townpark. Population was suggestive but not definitive: Portglenone with 800 people was held not to be a "town", whereas Timoleague was, with only 366.

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Crawford, W. H.; Foy, R. H. (1998-01-01). Townlands in Ulster: Local History Studies. Ulster Historical Foundation. p. 97. ISBN 9780901905840. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c 1901 Census of Ireland: General topographical index. Command papers. Cd.2071. HMSO. 1904. pp. 886–7. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  3. ^ General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns, Parishes, and Baronies of Ireland: Based on the Census of Ireland for the Year 1851. Command papers. 1861. p. 874. 
  4. ^ "VII. Area ... and population, together with the valuation ... in 1901; Thurles Urban District". Census of Ireland 1901; Area, houses, and population; Volume II: Munster; No.5: County of Tipperary. Command papers. Cd.1058-IV. 1902. p. 83. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Landlord and Tenant (Ireland) Act, 1870, Section 15 (1)". Irish Statute Book. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "Land Law (Ireland) Act, 1881, Section 58 (2)". Irish Statute Book. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  7. ^ Stubbs, William Cotter (1895). "Land Law (Ireland) Act, 1881". The Irish Law Times Digest of Cases 1867–1893. Dublin: John Falconer. cc268–274; §§214–252. 

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