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    That same year [1727] Sir Edward O'Brien of Dromoland granted the timber and underwood of Crattelaghkeale for six years to John Scott. This possibly levelled the last old timber of the last remnant of this great forest. On the other face of Slieve Bernagh, a bad custom prevailed (it is a striking fact that it falls almost exactly in the same decade of the eighteenth century) which cleared away the woods of the beautiful valley at the southern end of Lough Derg, where that great lake narrows into the outflow of the Shannon. When a son of the Purdon family was about to marry, his father settled the timber of certain townlands on the prospective wife and children. The woods were then cut, sold, and the money invested. I have met with two such deeds, of which unfortunately I seem to have kept no note. Another — perhaps one of those named — is cited by Simon Purdon of Tinneranna in his will in 1721. The settlement of his son George, by which Simon gave him £3,000 worth of timber on certain lands, reserving that on Island Coskora, is first named. Then the testator, by a codicil of the same date as his will, 28th February, 1720 (1721), charges the lands and woods of Aghnish and Carhugare, giving them in mortgage for £500 to Richard Harrison, to whom Purdon had given also those of Ballyorly for £500, for the uses of the will; but if his son George pays off both charges, the grants shall have no effect.

    Thomas J Westropp, 1909

    Detail from the Pinkerton map of Ireland, 1813.
    Above: detail from the Pinkerton map of Ireland, 1813.
    Map © Cartography Associates, from the Rumsey Collection.

    Left: detail from satellite photo (click for larger version).

    Charon (MIT Project) 1989, James Coleman ©