Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Bacon's Excelsior Map of Ireland

Many years ago when the Fair Hill was an open air market I bought Bacon’s Excelsior Map of Ireland from a stallholder. I paid £10 for it and although more than one person told me I'd been robbed, I've never regretted it.

I'm not sure how old it is but it definitely pre-dates partition. Now at that time the public house my father was born in stood as did this one I'm sitting in now. Daddy's birthplace is still a pub. It sits halfway between Antrim and Ballymena on a busy dual carriageway. When my old map was drawn this was not the case. Byrne's public house sat at the side of a cart track. I wonder if they did as much business then.

As the map shows the main route between Antrim and Ballymena in those days went through Kells. You will also see that the railway went through Kells too. It was a busy little village then with at least three textile factories so it probably needed a good rail link. I wish it still had one so I didn't have to drive to work.

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