Where Is Maghera?

Maghera is a townland in County Clare, in the west of Ireland.  It is seven miles northeast of Ennis, the largest town in County Clare, and three miles northwest of the village of Tulla.

Above is a portion of the 1887 Ordnance Survey map of County Clare, focusing on the Barony of Bunratty Upper.  On the left of the map, marked with the letter E, is the town of Ennis.  On the right of the map, marked with the letter T, is the village of Tulla.  The townland of Maghera lies between them and to the north, and is marked with the letter M.

In Ireland, a townland is the smallest geographical area noted on maps.  A townland usually doesn’t contain a town, but  is a collection of houses and farms in the countryside.  Maghera is a rural community, and even today it is only accessible via narrow country roads.  After turning northeast off the Tulla Road (the main road from Ennis to Tulla), you would travel approximately three miles before reaching Maghera.  (Incidentally, mail sent to where my father lived is first routed through another nearby village, Crusheen, so the postal address would be written as “Maghera, Crusheen.”) 

The name Maghera comes from Machaire, a word in the Irish language meaning a “flat field.”  The name appears throughout Ireland, and is hardly exclusive to the townland where my ancestors lived.

If you want to see an enlargement of the map above, click here.  Warning: the map on that page is a large file, and may take a few minutes to load in your browser, depending on the speed of your net connection.

Below is an extreme close-up of the 1887 map showing precisely where the Nestor house was located.  The British cartographers working for the Ordnance Survey included great detail on their maps, even down to showing the location of houses in the countryside.  On the enlargement of the map below, the house of the Nestor family is correctly depicted just south of Nestor’s Bridge, within the red circle.  


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