Making Christian Landscapes

Making Christian Landscapes Project Page

Making Christian Landscapes Conference
University College Cork
September 21-23, 2012

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MCL Conference 2012



Settlement, Society and Regionality in Early Medieval Ireland

An INSTAR Project funded by the Heritage Council

Welcome to the Making Christian Landscapes Project Page. Please scroll down for news items and to learn about the aims and scope of the project and some of the results of our research. The project was funded in 2008-2010 by the Heritage Council through the Irish National Strategic Archaeological Research (INSTAR) Programme. Research is ongoing and some of it is funded by IRCHSS scholarships.


Recent pre-development excavations are going to transform our understanding of early medieval Ireland. This project is bringing together archaeologists working in the commercial sector, archaeologists in universities in Ireland and abroad and historians with the common aim of realising the added value of some of the most important ones, first by placing them in their landscape contexts and secondly by systematically comparing these landscapes.

The name of the project was chosen to reflect the fact that the physical and conceptual transformation of the landscape during this period was intimately bound up with the arrival and development of a new religion – Christianity – and its attendant power structures. Landscape studies which look in detail at where and how people chose, or were obliged, to live, worship and be buried and how this changed over time are the best way to develop better understandings this complex process. The importance of the process cannot be overstated. After all the basic pattern of ecclesiastical settlement and land-divisions was established by 1100 and persists in modified form to the present day.

Project Team

Principal Investigators

  • Dr Tomás Ó Carragáin,University College Cork
  • John Sheehan, University College Cork

Associate Investigators

  • Dr Sam Turner, University of Newcastle (Historic Landscape Characterisation and international context)
  • Dr Paul McCotter, INSTAR Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Archaeology Department, UCC (historical research)
  • Nick Hogan of UCC and Aidan Harte of Munster Archaeology Ltd (GIS, HLC and Digital Data management)
  • Gill Boazman and Bernadette McCarthy, UCC PhD candidates
  • Tara O’Neill of Archaeological Consultancy Services and Anne Connon (Mag Réta case study, SW Laois)
  • Frank Coyne of Aegis Archaeology Ltd (Southern Uí Fáeláin , Co. Kildare case study)
  • Breandán Ó Cíobháin (toponymic research)
  • Prof. Donnchadh Ó Corráin, Emeritus Professor, History Department, UCC (senior historical advisor)


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