Deep Maps: West Cork Coastal Cultures investigates the biological, cultural and historical context of the south west coast of Ireland from 1700 to 1920.

The focus is on the rich maritime environment that is found along the arc of Cork’s Roaring Water Bay, from Clonakilty to Bantry Bay, as it is shaped by sea and land and as it is imagined within 18th -19th century cultural texts.

The period to be researched begins with the emergence of wide-ranging antiquarian inquiries and poetic responses to the Cork coast and ends with the start of serious biological field research in this area.

By advancing a transdisciplinary understanding of this coastline, the project forms a link between its cultural history, scientific research and environmental priorities while communicating a sense of cultural identity and fostering ownership of maritime heritage.

This project is funded by Irish Research Council New Horizons Award.  It is led by Professor Claire Connolly (School of English) and Dr. Rob McAllen (Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences).


Environmental Priorities Past and Present

The coastal marine environment is one of the most biologically diverse and resource-rich environments on the planet.  Throughout history, humans have been drawn to the coast, relying on it for their continued survival.

In recent decades, however, the  marine environment has been placed under new and increasing pressures, many of which relate, directly or indirectly, to human activity.

We have identified six environmental priorities for the West Cork coast.  Discover how they have affected the coast, both now and in the past.

Aquaculture Seal
Aquaculture Biodiversity & Conservation
Fishing Boat, Cape Clear
Climate Change Fisheries
Policy and Legislation
Policy & Legislation Pollution


Maps & Timelines

What does the West Cork coast mean to you? Our research shows that people value this rich maritime environment for a wide range of reasons – cultural, environmental and historical.

We have researched and analysed these different aspects of the West Cork coastline as it stretches from Clonakilty to the Beara Peninsula.  Using digital technologies, we have created visualisations of this rich and multi-faceted marine environment.

Maps and Timelines

Lough Hyne: Deep Map
Interactive Map of
Lough Hyne
Scientific Timeline
Lough Hyne Story Map
StoryMap of
Lough Hyne
West Cork Travellers
1700 to Present