Castles and Fortresses of the Gaelic Lordship of Moylurg

Location: Rockingham, Roscommon, Ireland

June 3, 2018 to June 17, 2018

Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Thursday, March 1, 2018

Deadline Type: 

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



Saint Louis University and the American Institute of Irish Archaeology

Project Director:

Thomas Finan, PhD, RPA, FSA, Saint Louis University

Project Description

The Lough Key Archaeological Project will soon be a PBS documentary!  Here is a preview:

HECTV Lough Key Archaeology

Excavations at the MacDermot Rockingham Moated Site in 2016 exceeded the expectations of the research staff, in that a significant amount of medieval material was discovered in the course of excavation in the ditch surrounding the moated site.  Ongoing analysis of the data from the 2016 excavations will continue through 2017-18.

Research in the summer of 2018 will focus on surveying the wider Rockingham Estate, a seventeenth century plantation estate that essentially incorporates the medieval estate that was controlled by the MacDermot lords.  Students will conduct extensive field surveys using GPS, GIS and aerial photography, and will collect the data within an online database.  Limited excavation will take place at the Rockingham Moated Site in 2018.

Students will also tour a number of archaeological sites in the north Roscommon area, including the islands of Lough Key, Boyle Abbey, Roscommon Castle, Rindoon Castle, Cruachan, and Carrowkeel.

The fees for the 2018 are set at $2000, and cover room, partial board, and onsite transportation and equipment.  Students are housed in log cabins near the site.  Tuition and college credit are available through Saint Louis University for an additional fee.  Airfare and transportation from Dublin to Carrick-on-Shanon, additional travel on weekends, and weekend meals are not included.

Applications for the project will be accepted until February 1, 2018, or until student positions are filled, whichever comes first.  A deposit of $1000 secures student position, with full fees due on March 1, 2018.

Period(s) of Occupation: Medieval

An American archaeological field school in Ireland. This ongoing field survey and excavation examines the rich and complex history and archaeology of one of the major Gaelic lordships of medieval Ireland, the MacDermot of Moylurg. Our first two seasons of field work have revealed a number of rich sites for exploration, including a moated site, several agricultural settlements, and island fortifications. Our work in 2018 will focus on the Rockingham Estate and the moated site of Rockingham, noted in the Annals of Connacht as one of the only recorded sieges in medieval Ireland.

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 
No experience is required. We are accepting applications for graduate students to serve as site supervisors.

Room and Board Arrangements

Students are housed in vacation cabins near the town of Knockvicar, Co Roscommon.  Students cook meals for themselves in community with the staff.  There are a number of pubs and eating establishments in the surrounding neighborhood. The cabins can be seen at

$2000 for two weeks

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Saint Louis University
Number of credits offered 6
Tuition fees not available at this time


Contact Information
Thomas Finan
Department of History, Saint Louis University
Saint Louis