Re: River

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Posted by gt on May 24, 2002 at 16:17:42:

In Reply to: Re: River posted by JDP on May 24, 2002 at 00:09:05:

Depending on the seasonal inundation of the flood plain of the river, Castlebar may have developed at a small but safe distance from the river. No one is going to build a house in a location that will get flooded every year. So Castlebar could have developed close to but not exactly beside the river.

Rivers in England and Ireland have been diverted in the past for a number of reasons.

1. To further secure a military installation.
2. To reclaim some of the land in the adjacent flood plain.
3. To direct the river towards some form of industrial or agricultural activity.

There probably are more reasons.

The task of diverting a river whilst significant would not have been impossible. The river that runs thru Castlebar now is certainly deeper than it would have been because of the modern constraints on the bank.

So how would you divert a river. Well the new path would probably follow a natural dip in elevation but would probably require some deeping or bank reinforcement so therefore we should see the soil excavated and placed elsewhere. Then a dam would need to be constructed, probably in late summer when the levels are lower. I guess the excavated soil from the new river bed could be used for the dam. So I guess there should be some remnants of a dam, this is another thing that could be looked for.

The task more than likely would have been undertaken by military or perhaps prisoners. Some mention of this should exist in military or other records.

The more I think about it the less likely it is that the river was diverted, or if it was it probably happened long before 1798 and any topological evidence has been since destroyed.

This would be a good school project from some leaving cert history/geography students.

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