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Mapping Ulster

60’ documentary, broadcast 22nd April 2013

Four hundred years ago, one of the most intensively mapped regions in the entire world was not the new territories of the Americas, or the exotic spice trails of the far east. It was a place much closer to home: Ulster, the first official state colonisation of a brand new Britain.

Jerry Brotton’s fascinating journey through Northern Ireland’s history unearths a treasure trove of maps and stories dramatically revealing the foundation of Ulster and the origins of Northern Ireland, tracing the arrival and impact of Scots and English migrants in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. From the first settlements on the Ards peniunsula, to the London Companies’ corporate development of the lands around Derry, each map tells its own story: of war and conquest, of an influx of entrepreneurs and adventurers and of a wild landscape transformed into a network of towns. Collectively, the maps provide an extraordinary eye witness guide to one of the most turbulent periods in Ulster’s history.

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