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Victoria L. McAlister

period. The small size of tower houses meant their construction was within the financial reach of many, including lords, ecclesiastics and merchants. They were also popular with the emerging gentry class. As prominent features of both rural and urban Ireland, they can be used to understand not only the people who lived inside them, but also the individuals who lived and worked around them. Few studies have looked at Gaelic-Irish, Anglo-Irish and early modern building forms as a unified whole. Fewer still have sought to locate tower houses within a wider tradition. Ó

in The Irish tower house
Victoria L. McAlister

( 2007 )). These same port towns align with a high incidence of tower houses, although, as described in the preceding chapter, many of these survive as documentary references only. As Ireland's closest geographic neighbours, England, Scotland and Wales always exerted economic influence. This was particularly so in those parts of Ireland closest to these countries and depended on ethnic make-up, with those identifying as Anglo-Irish more likely than the Gaelic-Irish to trade with England rather than the continent. The degree of involvement was

in The Irish tower house
Lifeblood of the tower house
Victoria L. McAlister

to underestimate the importance of [arable] agriculture and correspondingly overestimate that of pastoralism in the Irish economy of the later Middle Ages; but this conclusion itself is probably derived from the conditions of the sixteenth century, when cultivation declined owing to the increasing violence and disturbance of the period’ (1972: 114). Even at the same time as the Anglo-Normans were consolidating the manorial system, references to mills and grains in Gaelic-Irish areas show that this ethnic group did not solely practice pastoralism (McNeill, 1980

in The Irish tower house
The tower house complex and rural settlement
Victoria L. McAlister

and intensively studied DMV, but notable attention has also been paid to Piperstown in County Louth, Newcastle Lyons in County Dublin and to Rindoon in County Roscommon. An added complexity to the study of rural settlement in Ireland is that we cannot presume that all of it was nucleated. In fact, it is very likely that a significant proportion of the population of medieval Ireland, especially in Gaelic-Irish areas, lived in dispersed settlement. Even in the old Anglo-Norman areas there have been suggestions that Gaelic-Irish tenants lived separately from the main

in The Irish tower house
Ireland, the Nine Years’ War and the succession
Rory Rapple

glance the main social distinction was between two ethnic identities – the Gaelic-Irish and the English-Irish – each of which contained a wide degree of political and cultural diversity. The former (the Gaeil) traced their existence to a single progenitor, a king from northern Spain Míl (or in Latin, Milesius) who arrived in Ireland at some time in the mists of prehistory, a commonplace since perhaps the seventh century A.D. The second ethnic group (the Gaill) traced their origins to the late-twelfth-century English invasion of Ireland and the widespread colonization

in Doubtful and dangerous
Gaelic poets and the plantation of Ulster
Marc Caball

cattle, fairs have taken the place of hunts, agricultural cultivation has displaced horse racing, and former aristocratic residences have been replaced by new homesteads. Nobody among the Gaelic Irish has cause for joy. Moreover, the cultural rituals of high Gaelic civility have also been submerged. Praise poetry, harp and organ music, dynastic tales and genealogical scholarship no longer appeal to the Gaoidhil such is the severity of the oppression which they endure (‘Daoire na mbreath bhíos orra, gadaidh asda a n-anmanna’). 7 Ultimately, however, the banishment of

in The plantation of Ulster
Environment and economy
Victoria L. McAlister

). The function of rivers as boundary markers also places significance on their crossing points. Bridges and fords frequently were military flashpoints, as is reflected in a cursory glance at the names given to pre-modern battles. During the Tudor Conquest, the Gaelic-Irish O’Neill, earl of Tyrone, constructed many defences along the Ulster Blackwater between counties Armagh and Tyrone. The famous Elizabethan mapmaker Richard Bartlett commented that these were especially concentrated at river fords (O’Neill, 2013 –14). A fortification was constructed in County Tyrone

in The Irish tower house
Tower houses and waterways
Victoria L. McAlister

for distribution of goods inland, including to Gaelic-Irish areas. The coastal port and the navigable river acted in tandem to increase the hinterland and its accessibility. For instance, the River Ilen, flowing inland from Baltimore in County Cork, enabled a ‘two way trade between the terrestrial and coastal communities’, since the larger sea-going vessels would communicate with, and unload to, smaller boats (Kelleher, 2007b : 132). Tower houses along this river therefore had a key role in overseeing the movement of goods ( ibid

in The Irish tower house
A brief survey
Éamonn Ó Ciardha

provide a unique insight into Gaelic Ireland in a period of extraordinary political, socio-economic and cultural change.1 Prior to the Tudor conquest (1543–1603), the organisation of Irish learning had changed little since the middle ages. In addition to the monastic schools, secular ‘academies’ of poetry, genealogy, history, medicine and law operated under the control of an ollamh, a leading scholar of the highest status. Despite successive Tudor and early Jacobean administration attempts to curb the activities of poets, harpers, rhymers, chroniclers and bards,2 the

in Irish Catholic identities
Áine Sheehan

The study of the history of medicine in medieval Ireland has been dominated by the translation and interpretation of the medical manuscripts produced by a small group of hereditary medical families in Gaelic Ireland between the late fourteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The aim of this chapter is to broaden the discussion of the experiences of these families by placing them in the social and political context of sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Ireland. To that end this chapter will look at three key

in Early Modern Ireland and the world of medicine