ARCH06044 2019 High and Late Medieval Ireland

General Details

Full Title
High and Late Medieval Ireland
Transcript Title
High and Late Medieval Ireland
100 %
Subject Area
ARCH - Archaeology
ESCI - Environmental Science
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Shirley Markley
Programme Membership
SG_SAPPL_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Applied Archaeology SG_SAPPL_B07 201900 Bachelor of Science in Applied Archaeology SG_SAPPL_C06 201900 Higher Certificate in Science in Applied Archaeology

This module introduces the student to later medieval Ireland - a period that experienced considerable societal change as well as much continuity. The beginnings of Church Reform; new ecclesiastical orders, the creation of the Diocesan system and the arrival of the Anglo-Normans were all factors that changed the cultural, architectural and physical landscape of the time. This is the period that saw the introduction of two major architectural styles: Romanesque and Gothic followed by Tudor and Elizabethan evident in both church and domestic elite settlement. In addition to this, an array of earthwork and stone castles as well as ringworks and moated sites were introduced, while crannogs and ringforts - the more traditional settlement types continued to be used by the Gaelic Irish. Later medieval vernacular domestic settlement, agriculture, economy, material culture, trade/exchange and the burial record is explored while art and devotion in Later medieval Ireland is examined through the study of architectural carvings, wall paintings, church fittings, ecclesiastical robes and church plate, stained glass, bone, antler, ivory and wooden artefacts as well as objects of devotion including jewellery; prayer books, books of devotion and bardic poetry.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Identify a range of field monuments of later medieval date in the modern Irish landscape.


Demonstrate knowledge of the differences between Anglo-Norman and Gaelic Ireland in the late 12th, 13th and 14th centuries.


Demonstrate knowledge of agricultural practices; craft production; commodities of import and export and aspects of art and devotion in later medieval Ireland.


Categorize settlement forms and patterns, developments in the church and burial practices in later medieval Ireland.


Demonstrate an ability to identify and analyze reading material of the period, write structured well-written essays and communicate ideas clearly to a peer audience.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be delivered full time. The module will include lectures augumented by independent learning and directed learning. This approach is expected to address student learning needs.

Module Assessment Strategies

This module is 60% Continuous Assessment and 40% Final Exam. Thre continuous assessment and course work will involve two assignments where students will be required to (i) complete an essay which demonstrates the student's ability to critically evaluate an archaeological topic (30%), and (ii) complete a power point presentation which demonstrates the student's ability to assess academic literature and present information to a peer audience (30%).


Repeat Assessments

Repeat Continuous Assessment component(s) and/or Final Exam.

Module Dependencies


Indicative Syllabus

This module examines the historical, social and political backdrop to the later medieval period and charts Gaelic versus Anglo Normans systems of administration, settlement (peasant versus elite - castles, nucleated villages, boroughs, dispersed settlement), agriculture, economy, trade and exchange and material culture. Church reform and later its dissolution is traced as well as the introduction of new ecclesiastical orders, death and burial practices and the development of towns. A field Trip and/or guest lecture may be incorporated into ths module.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
60 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
40 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Essay Continuous Assessment Essay 30 % Week 9 3,4,5
2 Power Point Presentation Continuous Assessment Oral Exam 30 % Week 13 1,2,5

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam Final Exam UNKNOWN 40 % End of Term 1,2,3,4

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Flat Classroom Lecture 2.5 Weekly 2.50
Independent Learning Offsite Independent Learning 4.5 Weekly 4.50
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 2.50 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
1988 The Archaeology of Medieval Ireland Psychology Press
ISBN 9780415011044 ISBN-13 0415011043

`This eagerly awaited book is an outstanding and right up-to-date summary of every excavation and investigation undertaken in Ireland into the earthworks, castles, ecclesiastical buildings and towns of the period from the arrival of the Anglo-Normans to the mid-sixteenth century...a most welcome synthesis and will be valued by the layperson, student and professional archaeologist, historical geographer and historian alike.' Archaeology Ireland

Required Reading
2001 Gaelic Ireland, C.1250-c.1650 Four Courts PressLtd
ISBN 1851825479 ISBN-13 9781851825479

Historical documents, bardic poetry, maps, place names, and archaeology are among the veins mined by primarily Irish scholars as they contribute to the rising interest in post-Norman Ireland and the post-Norman Gaelic world in general. They explore facets of political structure, social organization,

Required Reading
2000 Medieval Ireland Tempus Pub Limited
ISBN STANFORD:36105114256725

Tahdg O'Keeffe's lively and wide-ranging study addresses the need for a fresh archaeological study of medieval Ireland. Individual chapters re-examine such familiar themes as urban and rural settlement, military, domestic and ecclesiastical architecture, agriculture and craft, and trade and industry. Other topics discussed include diet, dress, burial rites, and entertainment. The cultural relations between the Gaelic Irish and English populations of medieval Ireland are explored throughout the book, as are Ireland's relations with her European neighbors. With its elegantly written text and numerous illustrations, this portrait of medieval Ireland will appeal to general readers as well as to students and professionals in the fields of archaeology, history, and historical geography.

Required Reading
2003 Gothic Art in Ireland, 1169-1550 Paul Mellon Ctr for Studies
ISBN 0300094353 ISBN-13 9780300094350

It will come as a surprise to many that a wealth of Gothic art and architecture can still be found in Ireland. This text examines the most westerly expression of Gothic - on the edge of Europe - and traces its development from the beginning of the 13th century to the Reformation. Colum Hourihane offers insights into Gothic Irish art, and he presents a revised view of art in Ireland in the Middle Ages.

Required Reading
1974 Irish Medieval Figure Sculpture, 1200-1600: Text and catalogue Sotheby Parke Bernet Publications
ISBN 085667012X ISBN-13 9780856670121

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Barry, T. B. 1987. The Archaeology of Medieval Ireland, London and New York.

Duffy, P, Edwards, D and Fitzpatrick, E  (eds), 2001. Gaelic Ireland, c.1250-1650: Land, Lordship and Settlement, Dublin.

Fitzpatrick, E and Gillespie, R. 2006. The Parish in Medieval and Early Modern Ireland: Community, Territory and Building, Dublin.

Hourihane, C. 2003. Gothic Art in Ireland, 1169-1550, Yale University Press, New Haven and London.

Hunt, J. 1974. Irish Medieval figure sculpture 1200-1600: a study of Irish tombs with notes on costume and armour, 2 vols. Irish University Press, Dublin.

Leask, H. G. 1944. Irish Castles and Castellated Houses, (2nd edn.) Dundalk.

Leask, H. G. 1955-60. Irish Churches and Monastic Buildings, Vols. 1-3, Dundalk.

Ludlow J. and N. Jameson (eds),  Medieval Ireland: The Barryscourt Lectures i-x, (Cork, 2004).

O'Conor, K.D. 1998. The archaeology of medieval rural settlement in Ireland Discovery Programme Monographs 3, Dublin. (& esp. pp. 73-107).

O'Keeffe, T, 2000.  Medieval Ireland: An archaeology, Stroud.

Stalley, R. 1987. The Cistercian monasteries of Ireland. Yale University Press, London and New Haven.

Sweetman, D. 1999. The Medieval Castles of Ireland. Collins Press.

Journal Resources

Medieval Archaeology

Ulster Journal of Archaeology

Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy

Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland

URL Resources

Jstor access to all journals.

Other Resources


Additional Information