By Margaret Murphy and Michael Potterton
Four Courts Press, 2010
This is the first major publication of the Discovery Programme’s Medieval Rural Settlement Project. The book is a study of the medieval region that contained and was defined by the presence of Ireland’s largest nucleated settlement. Combining documentary and archaeological data this volume explores the primary settlement features of the hinterland area (all of Co. Dublin and large parts of Kildare, Meath and Wicklow), including defensive monuments, manors, the church and the Pale. It examines the way s in which resources of the region were managed and exploited to produce food, fuel and raw materials for both town and country, and investigates the processing of the raw materials for human consumption. Then as now, the city profoundly affected its surrounding area through its demands for resources and through the ownership of land by Dubliners (ecclesiastics and lay) and the control of trade by city merchants. In addition to presenting a timely examination of urban-rural interaction, the volume contributes to wider debates on topics such as settlement landscapes, the role of lordship and the productivity of agriculture.
The Medieval Rural Settlement Project – from the Discovery Programme