Showing posts from February, 2014

Demolition of 13th/14th century Castle | Coolbanagher, Co. Laois

Coolbanagher Castle  was a Hall House on the outskirts of Portlaoise. It was originally built in the 13th or early 14th Century as part of the Anglo-Norman line of defence which extended into Co. Laois. The Tower may have been part of an outer defence line of the stronghold of Dunamase . It was built of locally-sourced limestone and extended to four stories in height with a stringcourse lining its upper reaches. There was defensive base batter which prevented battering rams from being effective in times of Medieval sieges. The Castle seems to have fallen into disrepair by the 15th Century but was leased and a grant was provided for improvements to Robert Hartpole (Governor of Queens County) in 1563. The last mention of the castle was in the 1650's when it came into the ownership of Sir Richard Parsons of Birr Castle, Co. Offaly. Coolbanagher Castle as it was before the storm.  Image © Mike Searle ( Source ) The southern facade of the castle fell to during storm Darwin i

‘Oh, Margaret the lapping waves are licking quietly at our ankles’ | The fall of commercial archaeology in Northern Ireland

[** If you like this post, please make a donation to the IR&DD project using the secure button at the right. If you think it is interesting or useful, please re-share via Facebook, Google+, Twitter etc. To help keep the site in operation, please use the amazon search portal at the right - each purchase earns a small amount of advertising revenue **] Looking back on that time in my life where I attempted to make a living from archaeology, I see that I went through a regular cycle. About once a year, from when I was awarded my MA in 1998 up until I finally left field archaeology in 2011, I would convince myself that I was going to do a PhD. I’d get deeply entranced by a single subject and decide that – this time – finally – I was going to settle on a subject that I could work on for several years and emerge as the all-knowing expert on. That’s how it started. Invariably, something would happen along the way to put a halt to these grand plans. Sometimes it was my realisation tha