Digging History publication launched

by Rose Barrett
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BY ROSE BARRETT

The results of Fingal County Council’s community archaeology initiative, “Swords Castle Digging History” have been published in a comprehensive volume by Fingal Heritage Officer Christine Baker , writes Rose Barrett.

 The ground-breaking project which involved members of the community working with professional archaeologists under the direction of Christine, has become a model for community archaeological projects elsewhere in the country.

Oisin Dinneen at the launch of Christine’s new book ‘Swords Castle – Digging History: Excavations 2015-17’ at Swords Castle. Pic: Fintan Clarke\Coalesce

Swords Castle was once a major administrative centre, the headquarters of a vast estate belonging to the Archbishop of Dublin. The results of the archaeological excavations are detailed and placed in the context of the history of Swords and its people in ‘Swords Castle Digging History: Excavations 2015-17’ launched by Mayor of Fingal at an event in the beautiful surroundings of Swords Castle chapel.

Mayor of Fingal Cllr Seána Ó Rodaigh said: “I was particularly interested in the community aspect of this project. Bringing people together to work on this amazing site, with a common purpose, is something we need more of.” 

Marian Kelly, Monica Lindsay and Ann Kilemade at the launch of Christine’s new book ‘Swords Castle – Digging History: Excavations 2015-17’ at Swords Castle. Pic: Fintan Clarke\Coalesce

Christine herself noted: “Swords Castle Digging History: Excavations 2015-17 demonstrates the contribution that can be made by communities working directly with their own past. Burials were identified, walls uncovered, thousands of artefacts recovered and the stories of those who used Swords Castle over hundreds of years have been told by the people it belongs to’.

at the launch of Christine Baker’s new book ‘Swords Castle – Digging History: Excavations 2015-17’ at Swords Castle. Pic: Fintan Clarke\Coalesce

Representing the Heritage Council, who supported the project and publication, Fionnuala May said “The Heritage Officer programme is one of the most important partnerships that the Heritage Council has with Local Authorities. The Fingal Community Archaeology project is an outstanding example of the valuable work that derives from the programme and Christine Baker is to be commended for her stewardship of the project culminating in this magnificent publication.”


Pic: Fintan ClarkeCoalesce

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