to download further information in PDF - The Heritage Council

to download further information in PDF - The Heritage Council

To book a place for the Seminar, please complete and

scan/copy this form and return it to:

The Heritage Officer, Fingal County Council, County Hall,

Swords, Fingal County Dublin,

email: or

fax: 01 8905779.

Telephone bookings cannot be accepted.

Booking Form





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Please tick if you would like to hear from us in relation to

future heritage events

NB Places are limited to 80 and

booking is essential.

About the Seminar

This Seminar is being held to mark the publication of The

Discovery Programme’s first major publication from its

Medieval Rural Settlement Project. The Dublin Region in the

Middle Ages combines documentary and archaeological

data to examine the ways in which the resources of the

Dublin region were managed and exploited to produce

food, fuel and raw materials for both town and country.

Then as now the city profoundly affected its surrounding

area through its demands for resources, and through

patterns of land ownership and trade. The seminar will be

followed by the launch of the book.

Malahide Castle and Demesne

Malahide Castle is the ancestral seat of the Talbot family,

built c. 1450, and renovated and extended c. 1650 and

c. 1770. The Talbot family were in continuous occupation of

Malahide Demesne from 1185 when Henry II of England

granted 600 acres to Richard Talbot, until 1976 when the

estate was sold to Dublin County Council. Today, while the

castle and estate are still owned by Fingal County Council,

the castle is run by Dublin Tourism which operates tours of

the castle for the public . The principle rooms in the Castle

are the Oak Room, the Great Hall, the two Drawing Rooms,

the Library, the Nursery and the Bedrooms, which are all

furnished with period furniture.There is also a fine Portrait

collection. Malahide Demesne covers an area of 109 ha.,

and is a good example of an eighteenth century parkland

with perimeter woodland belt surrounding extensive

lawns. The walled garden forms part of the world famous

Talbot Botanic Gardens, which contains over 5,000 species

of plants mainly from the southern hemisphere, many of

which are quite rare. Other visitor attractions are the crafts

courtyard, Museum of Childhood and Fry Model Railway.

Fingal County Council and

The Discovery Programme present


Medieval Fingal

Saturday 30th October 2010

9.15am – 1.00pm

The Fry Model Railway Museum


Malahide Castle

Malahide, Fingal,

Co. Dublin




9.15am Registration

9.45 Welcome and Introduction

9.55 Opening by Cllr. Ken Farrell, Mayor of Fingal

10.00 St Colum Cille: a local and national saint

Dr Brian Lacey

10.30 Medieval coastal and maritime archaeology

in the Dublin Region

Dr Niall Brady


11.00 Coffee


11.30 Land-use in the Dublin Region

c.1170 – c.1650

Dr Margaret Murphy

12.15pm Defence and fortification in the Dublin Region

c.1170 – c.1650

Dr Michael Potterton

1.00 Seminar closes

1.30 Launch of The Dublin Region in the Middle

Ages: Settlement, Land-use and Economy

by Cllr. Ken Farrell, Mayor of Fingal


St Colum Cille: a local and national saint (Dr Brian Lacey)

This paper looks at St. Colum Cille, who was one of the

three patron saints of medieval Ireland. By any standards

he was an immensely significant figure. The monastery he

founded on Iona became one of the principal religious and

cultural powerhouses in both Ireland and Britain in the

early middle ages. Traditionally, he is credited with the

foundation of monasteries and churches all over Ireland

and the northern half of Britain, including Swords and

Rechru (Lambay). But many of these were actually founded

by his followers or those devoted to him. This lecture will

explore some of these aspects of the saint’s legacy.

Dr Brian Lacey is CEO of The Discovery Programme. He

obtained his primary degree in Celtic Archaeology and Early

Irish History at UCD, and then went on to complete a

doctorate which dealt with St Colum Cille at the University

of Ulster. He was previously Director of the Donegal

archaeological survey and Head of the Museum and

Heritage Services in Derry. He has written about many

aspects of the northwest of Ireland, especially on the

heritage of St Colum Cille.

Medieval coastal and maritime archaeology in the Dublin

Region (Dr Niall Brady)

This paper looks at the critical importance in medieval

times of Dublin as a principal port for the wider Irish Sea

region. As the principal town in Ireland along the east coast,

there is ample documentary evidence showing its

importance, with trade links to Bristol and Chester in

particular. Harbours and landing places existed to the

north and to the south, but the nature of these alternative

landing places have left scant archaeological remains, and

there are few discoveries of boats and shipping. However,

recent development along the coastal zone presents

opportunities for fresh insight.

Dr Niall Brady is Director of the Discovery Programme’s

Medieval Rural Settlement Project. A graduate of UCD in

archaeology and geography, he gained his doctorate in

1996 at Cornell University, USA, where he focused on the

study of grain barns in late medieval England. In his current

position he is responsible for overall project design and

delivery, and has special responsibility for the study of the

medieval manor at Castlemore Co. Carlow as well as the

excavation of a castle site at Tulsk Co. Roscommon.

Land-use in the Dublin region, c.1170–c.1650

(Dr Margaret Murphy)

This paper considers the ways in which the land around

Dublin was used to produce agrarian products, raw

materials and fuel. Using a range of documentary and

archaeological sources, it is possible to estimate the

relative quantities of land under different uses and to

investigate how patterns varied across the hinterland.

Agriculture was by far the most important land-use and

the paper discusses the range of crops grown and animals

kept on the farms of the region, as well as the husbandry

techniques employed by medieval agriculturalists. Other

land-uses, including gardens, woods and parks, will also be


Dr Margaret Murphy is a former Historian with the

Discovery Programme and now lectures in history in

Carlow College. She was educated at TCD where she

completed a PhD on the Archbishops of Dublin in the

thirteenth century. She was previously research associate

and project director for the Institute of Historical Studies,

University of London. She has also undertaken freelance

historical research for Irish archaeological, historical and

heritage organizations and lectured in history at NUI

Maynooth. Her research interests include medieval

agriculture and urban-rural connections.

Defence and fortification in the Dublin region, c.1170–

c.1650 (Dr Michael Potterton)

This paper will look at the origins and evolution of

castle-building in the Dublin region, from earth and

timber mottes-and-baileys and ringworks, to the more

massive masonry castles at locations such as Swords,

Maynooth and Trim.The Dublin region was one of the most

castellated regions of Europe in the Middle Ages, and this

position was confirmed in the fifteenth and sixteenth

centuries with the construction of the tower house. Many

of these tower houses were built along or close to the line

of the Pale, which will also be discussed in this paper.

Dr Michael Potterton is an archaeologist and historian and

is an editor at Four Courts Press. He was educated at UCD,

Lyon (France) and Maynooth where he completed a PhD on

the archaeology and history of medieval Trim. He is a

former Senior Research Archaeologist with the Discovery

Programme and is co-editor of Uncovering Medieval Trim

(2009) and Rural Settlement in Medieval Ireland (2009).

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