Glendalough Research and Training Project

Sieving during excavations at Glendalough | UCD
Sieving during excavations at Glendalough
UCD
An Open Trench at the Monastic Site | UCD
An Open Trench at the Monastic Site
UCD
Our Excavation Team | UCD
Our Excavation Team
UCD
Students and Volunteers during Excavations | UCD
Students and Volunteers during Excavations
UCD
Guided Tours during Heritage Week | UCD
Guided Tours during Heritage Week
UCD
My location
Get Directions
Site of Current Excavations

In 2009 the UCD School of Archaeology initiated a broad research and teaching project focusing on the Glendalough Valley, Co. Wicklow with a specific initial focus on the landscapes in the Upper Valley (Lugduff townland).

Glendalough is an iconic Irish archaeological landscape: a spectacular monastic complex set in a stunning mountain landscape. The monastery was founded by St Kevin, and became one of the major religious houses of early Ireland. It is currently managed by the Office of Public Works and set within the wider context of the Wicklow Mountains National Park.

Project Aims

The aim of this project is to integrate teaching and research in furthering our understanding of this landscape, which, despite its iconic status, has seen comparatively little recent archaeological fieldwork. This is especially unfortunate given key management challenges associated with such an important and popular landscape. This website provides an overview of results to date, links to newsletters and reports and news updates.

The Upper Lake

From 2009 to 2013 our work mainly focused on the Upper Lake, and demonstrated considerable complexity to the evolution of landscape in this area. Two centuries of antiquarian, tourist, agricultural and industrial pressures have had very significant, and poorly understood, impact on the survival and current condition of archaeological features.

The Cairns

For example, in 2011 we excavated stone cairns that supported simple Latin crosses carved in mica-schist. Our excavations demonstrated that, far from being original leachts, as was sometimes speculated, the cairns were of mid-Twentieth century date.

Caher Excavations

In 2012-2013 during excavations at the caher (SMR: WI023-025—-) we identified a large and early medieval ditch associated with the monument which has no surface expression. In 2009 we excavated charcoal production platforms to the south of the Lake (09E0380; SMR: WI023-029002-, 003-, 004-) and have been able to date this industry and demonstrate its impact on local woodlands (Warren et al. 2012). Our results are therefore demonstrating the extent to which modern archaeological investigation can transform our understanding of the Glendalough landscape.

Geophysical Survey

In 2011–2012 we undertook the first geophysical survey in the surrounds of the main monastic complex. This has demonstrated the survival of a range of significant archaeological features, including possible industrial areas (kilns), the probable main monastic enclosure, rectangular buildings and a range of other features. This includes a ditched enclosure, which from its shape and size may represent early enclosing of the monastry enclosure.

Excavations at the Main Monastic Site

These were the focus of excavation in 2014, which demonstrated the presence of a very substantial ditch associated with an internal timber structure. These excavations have continued each summer with our main findings published in the reports linked to this article.

Technical Reports:

2010 Excavations: McDermott C, Warren GM, Ciuchini P, Colfer N (2011) Archaeological excavations at Lugduff Townland, Upper Lake, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow 2010 : stratigraphical report. UCD School of Archaeology Report.                                                    Available here.

2011 Excavations: McDermott C, Warren GM, Ciuchini P, Rice K (2012) Archaeological excavations at Lugduff Townland, Upper Lake, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow 2011: stratigraphical report. UCD School of Archaeology Report.                                                  Available here.

2012 Excavations: McDermott C, Warren GM, Carlin N, Rice K (2013) Archaeological excavations at Lugduff Townland, Upper Lake, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow 2012: stratigraphical report. UCD School of Archaeology Report.                                                        Available here.

2013 Excavations: Seaver M, McDermott C, Warren GM, Kelly N (2014) Archaeological Excavations at Lugduff Townland, Upper Lake, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow 2013. UCD School of Archaeology Report. Available here.

2014 Excavations: McDermott C, Ní Lionáin C & Warren, G (2014) Archaeological Excavations at Trench 10, Pattern Bank, Seven Churches Townland, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow 2014: Stratigraphical Report. UCD School of Archaeology Report. Available here.

2014 Excavations: Warren, G; McDermott, C; Kelly, N; Ní Lionáin, C; Seaver, M (2015) Archaeological Excavations at the Monastic Complex, Seven Churches Townland, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow 2014: Stratigraphical Report. Available here.

2015 Excavations: Kelly, N; Warren, G; McDermott, C (2015) Further Archaeological Excavations at Trench 10, Pattern Bank, Seven Churches Townland, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow 2015.  Available here.

2015 Excavations: Seaver, M; McDermott, C; Warren, G; Kelly, N (2016) Archaeological Excavations at the Monastic Complex, Sevenchurches or Camaderry Townland, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow: 2015 Stratigraphical Report. Available here.

2016 Excavations: Seaver, M; McDermott, C; Warren, G (2017) Archaeological Excavations at the Monastic Complex, Sevenchurches or Camaderry Townland, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow. 2016 Stratigraphical Report. Available here.

2017 Excavations: Seaver, M; McDermott, C; Warren, G (2018) Archaeological Excavations at the Monastic Complex, Sevenchurches or Camaderry Townland, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow. 2017 Stratigraphical Report. Available here.

Newsletters:

McDermott C, Warren GM, O’Donnell L (2012) Charcoal Production at Glendalough, Co. Wicklow. . Glendalough Valley Archaeology Project Newsletter 1, UCD School of Archaeology.                                                                                                                                      Available here.

Warren GM, McDermott C (2012) Excavations at the Upper Lake, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow. Glendalough Valley Archaeology Project Newsletter 2, UCD School of Archaeology.   Available here

Elliott I, McDermott C, Warren GM (2014) Geophysical Survey at Glendalough Monastic Site, Co. Wicklow. Glendalough Valley Archaeology Project Newsletter 3, UCD School of Archaeology.                                                                                                                                      Available here

Warren, G, McDermott, C & Elliot, I (2012) Geophysical Survey at the Upper Lake, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow. Glendalough Valley Archaeology Project Newsletter 4, UCD School of Archaeology. Available here

Tierney, J.Burns, D.; Warren, G; McDermott, C (2015) Community Graveyard Survey at Glendalough Monastic Site, Co. Wicklow. Glendalough Valley Archaeology Project Newsletter 2, UCD School of Archaeology.   Available here.

Academic Publications:

Warren G, McDermott C, O’Donnell L & Sands R (2012 Recent Excavations of Charcoal Production Platforms in the Glendalough Valley, Co. Wicklow. Journal of Irish Archaeology XXI, 85-112. Available here.

Seaver M, McDermott C, Warren G. (2018) A Monastery among the Glens. Archaeology Ireland 32(2), 19-23. Attached below.

Warren, G., McDermott, C. and Seaver, M. 2019. Glendalough. In S. Davis, G. Warren, C. McDermott, and M. Seaver (eds) Aspects of Leinster Archaeology and Landscape, XX INQUA Congress Field Guide, 12-38. IQUA, Dublin, Ireland. Available here.

More details on our excavations can be found on our website.

Downloads

No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *