Carrig 850 Conference Abstracts

By July 31, 2019 January 4th, 2021 Carrig 850

Friday 18th October, 2019

Speaker: Prof. Terry Barry
Title: Carrick castle and how it fitted into the strategy behind the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland.
Abstract: This paper will critically examine how the military ringwork at Carrick fitted within both the local and island-wide strategic framework of Anglo-Norman power.  It is really one of the most important constructions of twelfth century Ireland as it was one of the first, if not the first, stone castle to be built in Ireland.  This paper will also discuss how this castle fits within castle studies more generally.
Speaker: Dr. Fiona Beglane
Title: The medieval park at Carrick
Abstract: The medieval park at Carrick is recorded in contemporary documentary sources and is still visible today in the townlands of Park and Ballyboggan. This paper will discuss the form and nature of medieval parks and will present the evidence from Carrick, demonstrating how the park fits into the wider landscape and the way in which the park developed over time.
Speaker: Dr. Ran Boytner
Title: Archaeological Field Schools – a model for experiential learning
Abstract: Field schools have been a mainstay of archaeology for over 120 years. They are the principle way by which students are trained in the practice of the discipline. But field schools are going through dramatic changes in the past 20 years, both in Ireland and abroad. This paper will examine international trends and will contextualize those with the excavations and research conducted at the site of Ferrycarrig.
Speaker: Claire Breen
Title: Glascarrig motte – an eroding earthwork castle in north Wexford
Abstract: Glascarrig motte is situated on an actively eroding cliff edge in north County Wexford, between Courtown Harbour and Cahore Point. It is one of 20 possible earthwork castles in the county, a series of which are located at strategic points along the coast. It was constructed in the latter half of the 1170’s under the direction of Raymond le Gros. Its commanding position overlooking the Irish Sea has meant that over the last eight centuries since it was constructed it has been subject to the ravages of the sea. However the extreme weather events that we are now experiencing as a result of climate change is placing the site under more serious threat than ever before.
Speaker: Bernard Browne
Title: William Marshal and Tintern
Abstract: The epic life and dramatic story of William Marshall, knight errant, diplomat and politician, who through his genius and force of arms, did more than perhaps any other individual to forge the mailed Norman fist in County Wexford. His legacy can be found throughout the south-east.
Speaker: Grace Dennis-Toone
Title: Ringwork sites in County Wexford: revaluating the classification of ringwork sites in relation to the colonial landscape of medieval Wexford during the Anglo-Norman conquest period
Abstract: This paper derives from postgraduate research by the presenter and investigates the ringwork sites of Co. Wexford, as part of a wider evaluation of the colonial landscape of medieval Wexford during the Anglo-Norman conquest period. A total of twelve sites within medieval Wexford have previously been identified, namely by Billy Colfer and Terry Barry, the Archaeological Inventory and the Archaeological Survey of Ireland. The paper evaluates whether each of these sites are indeed ringwork castles, drawing on both original surveys and recent archaeological work at several of the sites. The findings of this research further highlight the issues with classifying this site type in Ireland and our consistently changing understanding of the ringwork morphology.
Speaker: Madeleine Harris
Title: An analysis of archaeological field schools and their impacts on students
Abstract: This talk discusses three archaeological field schools, including Carrig, to determine whether or not they are effective programs, and which factors make them so; specifically, whether field schools accomplish their goals and whether they encourage students to continue their education/career within archaeology. Specifically, the talk examines the balance between field school education, research, and financing, and how they impact student experience and learning. It also assesses factors such as student education, course objectives, research outputs from the project, the teaching methods and structures employed, and the lasting/overall impact that field schools have on participating students. The data is drawn from student surveys and interviews with current directors/principal investigators, as well as a review of documentary material including each program’s online sources and research outputs.
Speaker: Christopher Hayes
Title: The Irish National Heritage Park – home to Carrick
Abstract: This session sets out the origins of the Irish National Heritage Park and how it has evolved over the last 30+ years, up to the establishment of the Carrig Project. This talk is based on interviews carried out in advance of the 30th anniversary celebrations of the Park in 2017, a collection of documents put together by Dr. Edward Culleton and conversations with the current Park staff. It also includes some anecdotal observations, made from the speakers time as Park Manager.
Speaker: Barry Lacey
Title: Medieval Ferns – Saints, Kings and Normans
Abstract: During the early medieval period Ferns was an important monastic site under St. Aidan, the seat of a Diocese and, latterly, home to Dermot MacMurrough, King of Leinster – the man who ‘brought the Anglo-Normans to Ireland’. Upon their arrival, it flourished as one of Strongbow’s manors, containing a well-built castle. However, from the 14th century onwards Ferns importance waned. This talk will examine the historical and archaeological evidence from Ferns during the medieval period, telling the story of its monastic and Anglo-Norman past, before discussing the town’s subsequent decline.
Speaker: Dr. Stephen Mandal
Title: Carrick – the bedrock on which the Anglo-Norman invasion was founded
Abstract: Carrick is derived from the Gaelic word carraig or carrig, meaning “a rock”. An apt name, given the prominence of the place, sited on a high ridge of Cambrian Age sediments and meta-sediments, overlooking the River Slaney. Deposited as sea floor sediments some 500 million years ago at a time when what was to become the island of Ireland would be unrecognisable to us now. This paper will discuss these sediments, exploring their complex and interesting geological history, and explaining how they would go on to form an integral part of the story of the castle that was built here.
Speaker: Derek O’Brien
Title: The importation and use of Dundry stone in Wexford
Abstract: With the arrival of the Anglo-Normans came new building forms, which would physically change the landscape of Ireland. They imported limestones from the south and southeast of England to facilitate this construction, among them Dundry stone. Imported limestone was employed in structures from the south of Ireland up along the east coast, as the colonists introduced their basilican style churches and extended native Irish ones. The south-east of Ireland, especially Wexford, has amongst its archaeological record, the richest evidence of Dundry stone in Ireland. The importation and use of Dundry stone was an innovation heavily influenced by the Anglo-Normans in Ireland, while they stamped their authority on the country and demonstrated that they were here to stay.
Speaker: Derek O’Brien
Title: The Crimean War Memorial – Round Tower Ferrycarrig
Abstract: In addition to the 850th anniversary of the construction of Fitzstephen’s ringwork, 2019 is also the 165th anniversary of the beginning of the Crimean War. The memorial at Ferrycarrig is the largest Crimean War monument in Ireland and was built during a difficult period in Irish history. Its construction involved a certain amount of controversy, and still does to this day. Known as the first industrial war, it was also the first conflict in which eyewitness reports from the front were reported by the first war correspondences. It is also known for its lack of planning and command, where generals and politicians hesitated and made poor decisions, costing thousands upon thousands of lives, among them many Irish, who made up approximately one-third of the British Army at the beginning of the conflict.
Speaker: Dr. Michael Potterton
Title: Wexford, Britain and the Continent in the later Middle Ages: archaeological evidence for contact and trade
Abstract: Wexford has had strong links with Britain and continental Europe since prehistoric times. Contacts increased when the Vikings reached these shores in the late eighth and ninth centuries, and reached unprecedented levels in the years after the Anglo-Normans first landed in 1169. This paper looks at the archaeological evidence for contact between Wexford, Britain and the Continent from the late twelfth to the early fourteenth century especially. Particular attention is paid to architecture, funerary monuments, pottery and other artefacts. There is clear evidence for the movement of people, ideas, raw materials and finished objects.
Speaker: Dr. Michael ‘Bodhi’ Rogers
Title: Capturing Carrick – a digital approach to constructing and deconstructing the modern and relict landscape
Abstract: Ground-based LiDAR (aka 3D laser scanning) is becoming an integral tool in historic site preservation and visualization. Modern laser scanners take positional readings every few millimeters in a 360 degree by 270 dome out to a distance of 270 meters. One million points are recorded every second followed by the capturing of a full dome of photographs. The resulting data are referred to as a point cloud and the photographs are used to give the point cloud photorealistic color. At Carrick, the scanner was moved to forty five different locations to obtain a full record of the site. The Carrick ‘point cloud’ can then be used for site monitoring, landscape reconstructions, virtual tours, and augmented reality tours at the site.
Speaker: Dr. Denis Shine
Title: Carrick – Wexford’s most enigmatic Anglo-Norman treasure
Abstract: Built in 1169 AD by Robert Fitzstephen, Carrick was the first Anglo-Norman fortification in the country. The site developed as an important borough in the thirteenth century and was home to one of the first Marshal castles (and Anglo-Norman Deerparks) in the south-east. The historical importance of Carrick can be overstated, but it remains poorly understood in Wexford. This session explores not only the history of Carrick, but delivers a unique walk through the actual archaeology and finds from the site, to contextualise the recent archaeological findings.
Speaker: Emmet Stafford
Title: Town and county – the archaeology of medieval Wexford
Abstract: This talk will explore the life and times of Wexford’s twelfth and thirteenth century population by examining the medieval sites and artefacts which are still scattered across our modern landscape. An examination of the settlement patterns, trade and religious practices of the time should give us an appreciation for the development of domestic and political life in Ireland in the early years following the arrival of the Anglo-Normans in 1169.

Saturday 19th October, 2019

Speaker: Dr. Fiona Beglane
Title: Zooarchaeological workshop
Abstract: This practical session will offer participants the opportunity to learn about the ways in which animal bones from archaeological excavations can provide exciting and relevant information about past people, societies and landscapes. The session will also provide advice on best practice in excavating, recording and processing animal bones.
Speaker: Michael Ann Bevivino
Title: Replicas of artefacts from Ferrycarrig, Co. Wexford
Abstract: This workshop will focus on the creation and appropriate use of digital replicas. As part of a partnership with the Carrig Project, Michael Ann is currently creating two types of replica from the Carrick exavations: 3D printed replicas based on 3D models of the objects, and replicas made using authentic materials (created by the University College Dublin’s Centre for Experimental Archaeology and Material Culture). This workshop will explain the technology being used to manufacture such artefacts and how these can be used for exhibit and as research and education aids.
Speaker: Clare McCutcheon
Title: Medieval ceramic workshop
Abstract: The purpose of the workshop is to have some fun in learning about medieval pottery in Ireland, and especially in the Wexford area through handling material of the twelfth to fourteenth centuries. The workshop will explore themes including: why did the Irish not make pottery for over 1,300 years; when was pottery reintroduced into Ireland and who made it and used it; what sort of vessels were made and how do we tell the difference between Irish, English and French potteries; are there any unusual items made in ceramic and are these found in the Wexford area?
Speaker: John Nicholl
Title: Shoemaking and leatherworking in medieval Wexford
Abstract: This is a practical demonstration of medieval leatherworking techniques using replica artefacts from Wexford and other sites in Ireland. The workshop will focus on: tools and materials; styles and influences – ‘Gael and Gall’; turn-shoe and boot making; bags and pouches; sword scabbards and knife sheaths; bottles and clothing.
Speaker: Dr. Brendan O’Neill
Title: Experimental Archaeology at UCD: understanding materials culture through making
Abstract: Pending
Speaker: Phil Parkes
Title: First Aid for finds – packaging and selection of materials
Abstract: This session delivers the basics of how to deal with and pack the different groups of finds on archaeological sites, with examples of best practice. It will take attendees through the reasons conservators choose the materials and methods that they do. An interactive session will look at a range of packaging materials options, before discussing what you might use and what you would definitely try to avoid! In this way, while informing people of what is best practice, the workshop will also be working through real-life situations. For example, what if you don’t have ‘X’ or ‘Y’ material, what could you use as a substitute and how would you select the best possible substitute for a short-term solution!

Speaker Biographies

Terry Barry is an emeritus Professor in Medieval History with the History Department of Trinity College Dublin.
Fiona Beglane is a zooarchaeologist at the Institute of Technology, Sligo, specialising in the analysis of animal bones from excavations. Her research focuses mainly on medieval archaeology, hunting and the use of scientific techniques in archaeology. She has published extensively on these topics.
Michael Ann Bevivino is a PhD candidate with University College Dublin (UCD). Her current research is a collaboration between the Discovery Programme’s Digital Replicas Project, Irish Archaeology Field School and UCD School of Art History and Cultural Policy.
Ran Boytner is the Founding Executive Director of the Institute for Field Research. He earned his PhD degree in archaeology from University of California, Los Angeles in 1998 and has worked extensively in archaeological excavations in Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Israel and California.
Claire Breen is an archaeologist with the National Monuments Service, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
Bernard Browne works for the Environmental Protection Agency and is the author of a number of books on aspects of Co. Wexford history.
Grace Dennis-Toone is a master’s student with Flinders University, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, in Adelaide, South Australia. She is currently researching the ringworks of Co. Wexford.
Madeleine Harris is staff with the Irish Archaeology Field School. Madeleine graduated from UCLA with a BA in History in 2017. She is currently completing her MA with University College Dublin, assessing the educational benefits of field school.
Christopher Hayes is the Park Manager of the Irish National Heritage Park. He is a native of Co. Wexford, with a long-standing interest in both the counties cultural and natural heritage.
Barry Lacey is a professional archaeologist, currently working in the commercial sector. He has a keen interest in Ferns, with his Masters dissertation from University College Cork entitled ‘Archaeological excavations and the history of Ferns, County Wexford’.
Stephen Mandal is a director of the Irish Archaeology Field School and a founding partner of the Digging the Lost Town of Carrig Project.
Clare McCutcheon is a free-lance medieval pottery specialist who, amongst numerous other projects, acts as the pottery consultant for the Digging the Lost Town of Carrig Project.
John Nicholl is a freelance Leather Finds Specialist with wide experience of examining leather finds from excavations in Ireland, including Wexford. Since 1995, John has presented on the topic in the Irish National Heritage Park, School of Archaeology in University College Dublin, National Museum of Ireland and Dublinia – as well as several other Heritage Sites in Ireland.
Derek O’Brien works with the Irish National Heritage Park. Derek has a BA in Archaeology and History, and an MPhil in Archaeology from University College Cork.
Brendan O’Neill is the Assistant Director for the Centre For Experimental Archaeology and Material Culture (CEAMC) in the School of Archaeology in University College Dublin (UCD). He also co-directs the Experimental Archaeology courses of the Digging the Lost Town of Carrig Project.
Phil Parkes is the Senior Conservator with the Conservation Division of the School of History, Archaeology and Religion in Cardiff University.
Michael Potterton is a lecturer in the Department of History at Maynooth University. He has published widely on the archaeology and history of medieval Ireland.
Michael ‘Bodhi’ Rogers is the Chair and Professor of Physics at University of Colorado – Denver. He has led several 3D scanning projects in Ireland.
Denis Shine is a director of the Irish Archaeology Field School and a founding partner of the Digging the Lost Town of Carrig Project.
Emmet Stafford is an archaeologist and heritage consultant and a director of Wexford based Stafford McLoughlin Archaeology. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin and the University of Wales, Emmet has a particular interest in the conservation and presentation of heritage sites and spaces.