General Charles Vallancey (1731-1812) Survey Report 1778

He was sent to Ireland to assist in a military survey, remained and became an authority on Irish antiquities.

He fathered at least 15  children by three wives. He learnt Irish and became fluent in it.  Some of his theories are now regarded with a degree of scepticism.   He wrote a report on the West Cork area which should also hold true for Durrus at the period: ‘There was only one road between Cork and Bantry; you may now proceed by eight carriage roads beside several horse tracks branching off from these great roads, from Bantry the country is mountainous and from the high road has the appearance of being barren and very thinly populated; yet the valleys abound with, corn and potatoes and the mountains are covered with black cattle. In 1760, twenty years ago it was so thinly inhabited, an army of 10,000 men could not possibly have found subsistence between Bantry and Bandon.   The face of the country now wears a different aspect:  the sides of the hill are under the plough, the verges of the bogs are reclaimed and the southern coast from Skibbereen to Bandon, is one continued garden of grain and potatoes except the barren pinnacles of some hills and the boggy hollows between which are preserved for fuel’   This would suggest that the major population expansion may have dated from c 1775. Wakefield in 1809 estimated the number of houses on the Muintervara peninsula occupied by Catholics and Protestants at 600.  In the 1831 Census the population of Durrus East is 1,620.  In 1838 the population was 8,340 of whom around 800 were Protestant