Castles and Fortresses of the Medieval Gaelic Lordship of Moylurg, Roscommon

Location: Rockingham, RC, IE

Season: May 25, 2020 to June 21, 2020

Application Deadline: January 31, 2020

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

Saint Louis University

Project Director:
Thomas Finan, PhD, RPA, FSA Associate Professor of History 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.

Research in the summer of 2019 will focus on the Rock of Lough Key, a multi-period island castle of the MacDermot lords.  This castle was the site of one of two documented sieges in medieval Ireland.

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 2020 are set at $3000, 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, 2020, or until student positions are filled, whichever comes first.  A deposit of $2000 secures student position, with full fees due on February 1, 2020.

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. Following our groundbreaking season of 2019 where we discovered extensive medieval remains for Gaelic lordly settlement, in 2020 will expand our excavations on the Rock of Lough Key, noted in the Annals of Connacht as one of the only recorded sieges in medieval Ireland.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No experience is required.

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 Cost: $3000 for four weeks

Academic Credit:
6 credits offered by Saint Louis University. Tuition: fees not available at this time.

Contact Information:

Thomas Finan

Department of History, Saint Louis University

Saint Louis




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