Space and Settlement in Medieval Ireland


space and settlement


‘Space and Settlement in Medieval Ireland’, published by Four Courts Press in Dublin. This collection of eleven essays is developed from papers given at the Space and Settlement annual conference held in Trinity College Dublin, celebrating its sixth year in 2015. The papers are interdisciplinary, and look at life in medieval Ireland using history, archaeology, geography and literature. The book is edited by former Eneclann staff member Vicky McAlister and by Terry Barry.

The authors come from a range of backgrounds – from heritage practitioners to university academics in Ireland and the USA. Of particular interest to Eneclann newsletter readers is Damian Sheils’s contribution, ‘Reconstructing Battlefield Landscapes’. In this work, Damian draws upon the research conducted by Eneclann and Headland Archaeology as part of the Irish Battlefields Project, to explain the methods of locating historic battlefields in the changed landscape of modern Ireland. The volume contains several essays on Irish castles, which is always a popular topic. This includes several discussing the ubiquitous Irish tower house, as well as the possibility of castles in Ireland before the arrival of the Normans. All cultures in medieval Ireland are considered, so the articles examine aspects of Gaelic-Irish, Viking, Norman and English impacts on the real and imagined environment.

This book is a recommended read for those looking for deeper context on the lives and surroundings of Irish people in the middle ages.

More detail on the essays can be found on Four Court Press’s website at

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