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€18.00 New Edition 2023 now available to order.
This second edition of the Rathcroghan Guidebook contains
updated and new imagery and text alongside entries on every aspect of Rathcroghan, from its archaeological and historical landscapes, through to its literary and mythological associations. This publication is the quintessential user’s guide to this fascinating archaeological landscape. Drawing upon historical, literary and cutting-edge archaeological research, Rathcroghan: The Guidebook is designed to bring the reader on a journey through time at Rathcroghan, from the first settlers to this broad limestone plain in the Neolithic period, through to the political mechanics of late medieval Machaire Connacht.
Thereafter, you will be taken on a journey of a different kind. You will see how our ancestors wove a tapestry of literature on top of this canvas of Rathcroghan, connecting physical landmarks and ancestor burials with the intoxicating narrative of Queen Medb of Connacht and the Ulster Cycle of Tales, filled with war and strife, jealousy and intrigue, gods and mere mortals.
Rathcroghan (Crúachain) is often referred to as both a ‘Celtic’ Royal Settlement and a sacred burial place; it is one of several major royal sites in ancient Ireland, such as Tara, Co. Meath, Knockaulin, Co. Kildare, and Navan Fort near Armagh, that are frequently mentioned in early literature.
While these sites had special importance in early historic times, and in some cases bore and extraordinary weight of myth and legend, we now know that they are older archaeological assemblages of impressive complexity and size.
This book is the result of a major programme of archaeological field research at Rathcroghan in County Roscommon in the West of Ireland. The project involved the use of a range of geophysical techniques to explore a number of extraordinary monuments in the Royal Site.
In this book John Waddell contends that elements of pre-Christian Celtic myth preserved in medieval Irish literature shed light on older traditions and beliefs not just in Ireland but elsewhere in Europe as well. He mainly focuses on aspects of the mythology associated with four well-known Irish archaeological landscapes: Newgrange and the Boyne Valley, the royal sites of Rathcroghan in Co. Roscommon, Navan in Co. Armagh, and Tara in Co. Meath. Their mythological associations permit the pursuit of the archaeological implications of several mythic themes, namely sacral kingship, a sovereignty goddess, solar cosmology and the perception of an Otherworld.
€25.00 The Forgotten Cemetery Excavations at Ranelagh, Co. Roscommon. DELANEY & MURPHY
In the summer of 2015, archaeologists uncovered the remains of a previously unrecorded ringfort in the townland of Ranelagh just north of Roscommon town. Over the year that followed, excavations revealed a site which began in the fourth century as a simple defended farmstead, but which expanded considerably and changed emphasis over the centuries in line with the requirements of its inhabitants.
€15.00 ‘Rathra – A Royal Stronghold of Early Medieval Connacht’ by Joe Fenwick explores the date, role and significance of this spectacular multivallate earthwork, a little-known archaeological site concealed among the hidden heartlands of rural Co. Roscommon. This beautifully illustrated full colour publication, the latest in a series published by Roscommon Co. Council is a must for anyone with an interest in the archaeology and history of the wider Roscommon landscape.
The town and castle of Rindoon were founded in 1227 as a royal Anglo-Norman borough and fortress on the sometimes turbulent frontier between the Anglo- Norman colony in Ireland and a region controlled by the Irish O’Conor kings of Connacht.
The well preserved remains at Rindoon are regarded as being one of the most important medieval complexes still standing in Britain and Ireland. It is, also, without doubt one of the finest examples in Europe of a deserted medieval town.
The deserted town and castle of Rindoon are situated on the peninsula of St. John’s Point, which runs out south eastwards from the western, Connacht shore of Lough Ree.
It is hoped that this guidebook will provide not only information, but enjoyment for those who visit Rindoon and St. John’s Point. Its detailed nature will hopefully also make it a contribution to the ongoing academic research currently being carried out on Ireland’s medieval towns, castles, abbeys and priories.
“In Roscommon Castle a Visitor’s Guide Margaret Murphy and Kieran O’Conor chart the history and architectural development of Roscommon Castle from the mid-thirteenth century onwards. The full colour illustrated guidebook has chapters called: The History of the Castle, The Siting of the Castle, A tour of the Late Thirteeneth-Century Castle, The Late Medieval O’Conor Occupation and A Tour of the Late Sixteenth-Century Castle. The guidebook also includes two detailed historical reconstruction drawings by Daniel Tietzsch Tyler.
This guidebook is intended to be a comprehensive guide for visitors to Roscommon castle, as well as a point of reference for academics and local historians. Historic Reconstruction Drawings used in the guidebook intended to give the visitor an impression of what the castle may have been like in the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries.”
“Authors: Dr Kieran O’Conor is a lecturer in archaeology in NUI, Galway. Margaret Murphy MA graduated from NUIG in 2002, after writing her Masters Dissertation on the subject of Roscommon Castle. She wrote the guidebook based on the findings of her Masters. She works as a freelance archaeologist and lives in Galway.”
“In ‘Roscommon Abbey: A Visitor’s Guide’ Dr. Kieran O’Conor and Brian Shanahan chart the history and architectural development of Roscommon Abbey from the mid-thirteenth century onwards.
The full colour illustrated guidebook has chapters called: Ecclesiastical activity at Roscommon before the Dominicans; Who were the Dominicans? The foundation of the priory in 1253; the subsequent history of the priory; the siting of the priory; the physical remains at Roscommon priory today; a tour of the thirteenth-century priory and a tour of the fifteenth century priory.
The guidebook also includes two detailed historical reconstruction drawings by Daniel Tietzsch Tyler and a box text by Colmán Ó Clabaigh OSB outlining a typical day in the life of a Dominican Friar in medieval Ireland.”
‘Authors: Dr Kieran O’Conor is a lecturer in archaeology in NUI, Galway. Brian Shanahan worked in the Medieval Rural Settlement project with the Discovery Programme.’
Written by Tom Condit and Fionnbarr Moore, this heritage guide is an excellent way for you to make your acquaintance with the enigmatic monument of Oweynagat, (Uaimh na gCat), the Cave of the Cats.
This unique monument, comprised of a man-made souterrain attached to a limestone cavern, is very interesting from a geological point of view, but it is the epic literature that truely brings the cave to life.
Complete with a reconstruction drawing of the monument, this should be your first port of call before visiting ‘Ireland’s Gate to Hell’.
€30.00 Boyle Abbey, Co. Roscommon – Conservation, Architecture and Archaeological Excavations 1982–2018 Archaeological Monograph Series: No.13 Edited by Fionnbarr Moore and Geraldine Stout
Boyle Abbey is a National Monument in State Care in the town of Boyle, Co. Roscommon. It was the principal Cistercian house in the kingdom of Connacht in the medieval period and its ruins today are among the best preserved of the order to be found in the country. Since 1892 it has been in the guardianship of the Commissioners of Public Works who have maintained the site. In the 1980s the Office of Public Works (OPW) undertook conservation works which involved archaeological excavation. Subsequently, in 2006 the OPW commenced a major programme of conservation works on the abbey, which involved dismantling and restoring the north aisle wall of the church, which had bowed. This was one of the largest stone conservation projects undertaken by the state and involved a multi-disciplinary team of experts, including engineers, architects and archaeologists who worked closely together to oversee the entire project through to completion. These works have produced a vast body of new information on the history, architecture and archaeology of Boyle Abbey, which is presented in this volume.