Epilogue : Landscapes and architecture: the Cork & Bandon railway today

2015-11-12T11:10:14Z (GMT) by Richard J. Butler
It is a truism that before humans set foot in Ireland there was land, water, and nature. In a similar way, before railways were planned and built in the nineteenth century, there were hills and valleys, rivers, forests, as well as the hallmarks of centuries of human activity: roads small and large, villages, and towns, woven together by centuries-old economic and social ties. This human activity was at every stage affected by the landscape : rivers dictated settlement patterns, and mountains separated communities. In time this relationship was inverted as the landscape was in turn altered by streams diverted to power mills, forests felled and cut up, estates planned , and so on. The railways continued this process of reforming the rural landscape, and the new specifications so characteristic of the engineering of the period–gradient and curvature–necessitated bolder and more magnificent disturbances of the natural environment. [First paragraph]

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