In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described County Meath like this:
Meath, a maritime co. of Leinster province, bounded N. by cos. Cavan, Monaghan, and Louth, E. by the Irish Sea, SE. by co. Dublin, S. by co. Kildare and a small part of Kings co., and W. by co. Westmeath; greatest length, NE. and SW., 45 miles; greatest breadth, NW. and SE., 40 miles; average breadth, 28 miles; coast-line, 7 miles; area, 579,861 ac. (3244 water), or 278 per cent, of the total area of Ireland; Eop. 87,469, of whom 9374 per cent, are Roman Catho-cs, 671 Protestant Episcopalians, 074 Presbyterians, and 071 Methodists. ...
The coast is low and sandy, and is broken only by the estuary of the Boyne on the border of Louth. The surface is level or slightly undulating; and the soil, varying from deep rich loam to the lightest sandy soil, is generally fertile. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) Limestone and clay slate are the prevailing sub-strata. The county is beautifully diversified by numerous fine seats and luxuriant demesnes, while the ruins of old abbeys, castles, and other objects of antiquarian interest frequently occur. The principal river is the Boyne, dividing the co. into two nearly equal portions; its chief tributary is the Blackwater. Agriculture is the industry of first importance. The mfr. of coarse linen and woollen is carried on. The co. comprises 18 bars.- Deece (Lower and Upper), Duleek (Lower and Upper), Dunboyne, Fore, Kells (Lower and Upper), Lune, Morgallion, Moyfenrath (Lower and Upper), Navan (Lower and Upper), Ratoath, Skreen, and Slane (Lower and Upper); 146 pars.; and the towns of Navan, Kells, and Trim (the co. town). Meath gives the title of Earl to the Brabazon family. For parliamentary purposes the county is divided into 2 divisions - viz., North Meath and South Meath, each returning 1 member.
Vision of Ireland presents long-run change by redistricting historical statistics to modern units. However, none of our modern units covers an area close to that of County Meath. If you want trends covering a particular location within the county, find it on our historical maps and then select "Tell me more".
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of County Meath | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Ireland through Time.
Date accessed: 22nd August 2014
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