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
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.
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-MedievalArchaeology Group, which shares
essential information on archaeological excavations in Ireland and literature relating to post-medievalarchaeology, 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
number of useful chapters relating to the post-medievalarchaeology of Dublin,
Carrickfergus, Belfast, Derry and Galway can be found in Audrey Horning, Ruairí
Ó Baoill, Colm Donnelly and Paul Logue (eds), The Post-MedievalArchaeology of
Ireland, 1550–1850 (Dublin: Wordwell, 2007).
Maurice F. Hurley, ‘Urban Housing’, in Rachel Moss
(ed.), Art and Architecture of Ireland, Volume I, Medieval c.400–c.1600
(Dublin and New Haven: Royal Irish Academy and The Paul Mellon Centre, Yale
The archaeology and history of an English leprosarium and
Moyen A ge dans le nord de la France: Histoire – arché ologie – patrimoine’, Histoire médiévale et archéologie , 20 ( 2007 ), 47–107 ; http://w3.unicaen.fr/ufr/histoire/craham/spip.php?article120&lang=fr (accessed 24 June 2013).
2 The terms ‘leprosy sufferer’ or ‘leprosy hospital’ are here used instead of the traditional and less cumbersome ‘leper’ and ‘leper hospital’ (as used, for example, previously by myself in S. Roffey , ‘ Medieval leper hospitals in England: An archaeological perspective ’, MedievalArchaeology , 56 ( 2012 ), 203–33 ). Leprosy
student of the medieval English peasant and we can think of some startling and significant instances of the medievalarchaeological 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
An archaeological perspective on the use of recipe books
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-medievalarchaeology. 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
settlement in plantation ulster •
resulting in the formation of the Irish Post-MedievalArchaeology 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
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’, MedievalArchaeology , 1 (1957), 57–77, repr. in The ‘Beowulf’ Poet: A Collection of Critical Essays , ed. Donald K. Fry (Englewood Cliffs, NJ
’, Ulster Journal of Archaeology, 32 (1969), 3–27.
12 Horning, ‘Archaeological explorations’, p. 209.
13 B. Williams and P. Robinson, ‘Bronze Age cists and a medieval booley hut at Glenmakeeran, County Antrim, and a discussion of booleying in north Antrim’, Ulster Journal of Archaeology, 46 (1983), 29 – 40.
14 T. E. McNeill, ‘Excavations at Dunineny castle, Co. Antrim’, MedievalArchaeology, 48 (2004), 167–204.
15 Ibid., p. 193.
16 P. Robinson, The Plantation of Ulster (Belfast, 1984), p. 52.
17 Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRO