The later medieval countryside lying beneath

Gardiner, Mark and O'Conor, Kieran (2017) The later medieval countryside lying beneath. In: Stories of Ireland's past: knowledge gained from NRA roads archaeology. TII Heritage (5). Transport Infrastructure Ireland, Dublin, pp. 133-152. ISBN 9780993231551

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About 10% of the total National Roads Authority-funded excavations in the Republic of Ireland produced evidence for activity of this period. Sites investigated include manorial centres, moated sites, farmsteads, nucleated settlements, cemeteries, fields, ringforts, corn-drying kilns, refuse pits, iron- and charcoal-working sites and lime kilns. The majority of these excavations took place in the parts of Ireland that were under the control of the Anglo-Normans in the period from the late 12th century until the 14th century and by their descendents after that date. The area examined and the scale of excavations allows for the first time clearer statements to be made about the rural archaeology of the period from 1100 to 1600. In particular, it was possible to reinterpret the remains of later medieval houses to understand the character of their construction.
It is argued that this evidence from this review of road-scheme excavations suggest that a class of prosperous peasants existed in the countryside of Anglo-Norman Ireland. This indicates that not all wealth was concentrated in the hands of the landowning elite and that ordinary people were permitted, even encouraged, to prosper during this time. The evidence from the four moated sites excavated in advance of the road schemes hints strongly that Anglo-Norman Ireland was at its wealthiest in the second half of the 13th century. Overall, these excavations have greatly added to our understanding of the later medieval period in Ireland, particularly of rural lifeways during Anglo-Norman times.

Keywords:Ireland, Later Middle Ages, Rural settlement, Moated sites, Houses
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V211 Irish History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V130 Medieval History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V400 Archaeology
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (Heritage)
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ID Code:28807
Deposited On:28 Sep 2017 16:18

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