Ireland: Ferns – Institute for Field Research

This listing expired on November 1, 2023. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: 14, Coolbaun, Ferns, Co. Wexford, Y21 D1K7, Ireland

Season: June 11, 2023 to July 8, 2023

Application Deadline: May 1, 2023

Deadline Type: Exact Date


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

Irish Archaeology Field School, Institute for Field Research, Connecticut College

Project Director:
Dr. Linda Lynch, Dr. Denis Shine, Dr. Stephen Mandal

Project Description:

This field school is located at St. Aidan’s monastery in Ferns, County Wexford, one of the foremost heritage sites in the southeast of Ireland.  The field school provides an excellent opportunity to assess, in a single location, an early monastic site, a twelfth century ‘Irish’ monastery, a multi-period burial site and a later thirteenth century Anglo-Norman foundation.

From the documentary sources, it is known that St Aidan’s monastery was originally founded at the turn of the seventh century AD/CE, possibly over a pre-exiting prehistoric site. Geophysical investigations in 2015, followed by recent commercial archaeological work in 2019, have shed some light on the original monastic enclosure, but virtually nothing is known of the internal space or phasing of the monastery. The range of archaeology indicated through surveys infers intense and prolonged use of the monastery.

In 2019 the first ever research excavation at the site will take place.  These excavations will aim to deliver a greater understanding of St Aidan’s Monastery through time, from prehistory to the modern era, initially concentrating on: the excavation of buried elements of the upstanding 12thcentury AD/CE Mary’s Abbey; investigation of a possible double-aisled ‘structure’ built over the outer monastic ditch; assessment of the c. 7thcentury AD/CE monastic enclosure itself.

Period(s) of Occupation: Medieval - Early Modern Period; Bioarchaeology

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Participants are required to stay for the full duration of the field school.

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No prior experience is required to participate in this field school.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Students will stay with local families in the County of Wexford. Home Stay students live with local families, and experience true home life in provincial Ireland. Students will be brought to the site daily. Students should understand that some host families are in rural settings and may not be in the town of Ferns. Breakfast and dinner will be provided along with a packed lunch. Students are encouraged to avail of their free time at weekends and explore Ireland.

Academic Credit:
8 Semester Credits credits offered by Connecticut College. Tuition is $5,205.

Contact Information:

Institute for Field Research

1855 Industrial St. Unit 106

Los Angeles




Phone: 424-209-1173

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