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Society, economy and environment, c. 1300–1650

Tower houses are the ubiquitous building of pre-modern Ireland. A type of castle, the tower house was constructed c.1350–1650, and extant examples number in the thousands. This book examines the social role of the tower house in late medieval and early modern Ireland. It uses a multidisciplinary methodology to uncover the lived experience of a wide range of people. This enables exploration of the castle’s context, including how it was used as a social tool and in environmental exploitation for economic gain. By challenging traditional interpretations of the Middle Ages we find new evidence for the agency of previously overlooked individuals, and thus a new insight into the transition from medieval to modern. Each chapter in the book builds on the one preceding, to echo the movement of trade good from environmental exploitation to entry into global economic networks, keeping focus on the role of the tower house in facilitating each step. By progressively broadening the scope, the conclusion is reached that the tower house can be used as a medium for analysing the impact of global trends at the local level. It accomplishes this lofty goal by combining archival evidence with archaeological fieldwork and on-site survey to present a fresh perspective on one of the best-known manifestations of Irish archaeology.

Managing madness in early nineteenth-century asylums

An archaeology of lunacy examines the historic lunatic asylum from an interdisciplinary perspective, employing methods drawn from archaeology, social geography, and history to create a holistic view of the built heritage of the asylum as a distinctive building type. In the popular imagination, historic lunatic asylums were dark, monolithic, and homogenous, instruments for social confinement and punishment. This book aims to redress this historical reputation, showing how the built environment and material worlds of lunatic asylums were distinctive and idiosyncratic – and highly regional. They were also progressive spaces and proving grounds of architectural experimentation, where the reformed treatment practices known as moral management were trialled and refined. The standing remains of the nineteenth-century lunatic asylum system represent a unique opportunity to study a building-type in active transition, both materially and ideologically. When they were constructed, asylums were a composite of reform ideals, architectural materials, and innovative design approaches. An archaeological study of these institutions can offer a materially focused examination of how the buildings worked on a daily basis. This study combines critical analysis of the architecture, material remains, and historical documentary sources for lunatic asylums in England and Ireland. Students and scholars of later historical archaeology and built heritage will find the book a useful overview of this institutional site type, while historians of medicine will find the focus on interior design and architecture of use. The general public, for whom asylums frequently represent shadowy ruins or anonymous redevelopments, may be interested in learning more about the buildings.

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Kathleen Miller

‘medieval fabric’ of the city into the expansive metropolis of the eighteenth century.3 Further clarifying our understanding of Ireland’s landscape in the past is work by the Irish Post-Medieval Archaeology Group, which shares essential information on archaeological excavations in Ireland and literature relating to post-medieval archaeology, also publishing volumes that correspond with the Group’s conference proceedings.4 Never before have scholars had such a lively and complete impression of how early modern Ireland may have looked. Cultural and literary historians are

in Dublin
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Phillipp R. Schofield

student of the medieval English peasant and we can think of some startling and significant instances of the medieval archaeological study of the medieval peasantry. Some of these have been discussed already in this volume. 14 Important examples of archaeological engagement with medieval peasantry include, most obviously, showpiece investigation of deserted medieval settlements, such as Wharram Percy, Goltho and Barton Blount. 15 Examination of settlement patterns through field-walking and digs have helped to define the landscape and contours of the medieval peasant

in Peasants and historians
An archaeological perspective on the use of recipe books
Annie Gray

post-medieval period, usually taken as being c .1450 onwards, has emerged as a specific field its own right. In the UK the discipline is sometimes termed post-medieval archaeology. An alternative term, ‘historical archaeology’, is, however, increasingly preferred, as it can be linked more seamlessly with the parallel growth of post-colonial archaeological work, especially in

in Reading and writing recipe books, 1550–1800
William Roulston

settlement in plantation ulster • 111 resulting in the formation of the Irish Post-Medieval Archaeology Group in 1999 and the publication of a number of important volumes.112 The results of excavations already undertaken, such as the investigations into the location of the village on Sir John Hume’s estate in Co. Fermanagh, have been mixed.113 However, recent excavations at the ‘lost town’ at Dunluce have revealed much about its early seventeenth-century economy and society, and there are a number of sites in the escheated counties that offer potential for further

in The Scots in early Stuart Ireland
Pirkko A. Koppinen

Press, 2014), pp. 107–21. 16 The role of the cross in the riddle is discussed in Arnold Talentino, ‘Riddle 30: The Vehicle of the Cross’, Neophilologus , 65 (1981), 129–36. 17 Niles, Old English Enigmatic Poems , p. 130. 18 A prime example is Beowulf ; for a review of scholarship on archaeology and Beowulf since the nineteenth century, see, for example, Rosemary Cramp, ‘ Beowulf and Archaeology’, Medieval Archaeology , 1 (1957), 57–77, repr. in The ‘Beowulf’ Poet: A Collection of Critical Essays , ed. Donald K. Fry (Englewood Cliffs, NJ

in Riddles at work in the early medieval tradition
John Beckett

archaeology. Before the 1930s professional archaeologists made little attempt to study the homes of medieval peasants, confining themselves almost entirely to grander buildings such as churches and manor houses. Even the vernacular dwelling-houses they did notice were those of a relatively prosperous class. Medieval archaeology ‘was almost entirely concerned with the w.g. hoskins, the founding of modern local history—109 study of the remains of those buildings, erected by the wealthier sectors of the population: principally churches, abbeys, castles and manor houses’.4

in Writing local history
Jill Fitzgerald

Consecrating Cemeteries’, in Burial in Early Medieval England and Wales , ed. Sam Lucy and Andrew Reynolds, The Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph Series 17 (London: Society for Medieval Archaeology, 2002), pp. 195–208 (pp. 201–5). 2 The Tripartite Life of Patrick with Other Documents Related to that Saint , ed. and trans. Whitley Stokes (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode 1887), pp. 473–5. 3 Ibid., pp. 237–8. 4 The poem acquired its title from Christian W. M. Grein, Bibliothek der angelsächsischen Poesie in kritisch bearbeiteten Texten und mit vollständigem

in Rebel angels
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The site of New Place from the prehistoric to the early medieval period
William Mitchell and Kevin Colls

County Council). Palmer , S . ( 2010b ). 8000 Years at Barford: The Archaeology of the A429 Barford Bypass, Warwickshire, 2005–7 , Report 1046 (Warwickshire County Council). Pantin , W. A . ( 1962 –63). ‘Medieval English Town-House Plans’ , Medieval Archaeology , 6–7: 202

in Finding Shakespeare’s New Place