The carrig Project: Live archaeological excavations of Ireland’s first Norman fortification.

The Carrig Project here at The Irish National Heritage Park started in January 2018 and it is a live archaeological dig at the site of the first Anglo-Norman castle built in Ireland. Robert FitzStephen led that first wave of invasion onto the shoreline of Wexford and after landing at Bannow Bay they marched to Wexford town, laying siege and eventually the locals surrendered. The Normans knew the importance of controlling the waterways and they choose the Hill of Carrig, giving them a strategic position over the River Slaney, as the spot for their first fortification.

Within 100 years of the building of the Fort  a town comprising of around 85 houses had developed on the hill overlooking the river. The aim of the Carrig Project is to unearth evidence that will help us get a better understanding of what life was like in this town that the invaders established 850 years ago.

Carrig-850-project-wexford

Irish Archaeological Field School

This live archaeological field school is run in partnership with the Irish Archaeological Field School, (IAFS), and it attracts students from all over the globe to this rocky outcrop where they learn and build on archaeological skills that will serve them in their developing careers. They have the opportunity to dig the site of the first norman fortification on the island of Ireland. Robert Fitzstephen the first Norman knight to land here in 1169 on Bagibun beach very quickly established a defensive ringwork on the rock of Carrig. Now students dig through several centuries of archaeology to uncover our amazing medieval past.

Our Age of Invasion tour covers this remarkable site and when the school is operating you can visit the archaeologists on site and find out how they take fragments from the past and piece together the lives of those first Normans and the people they met here!

READ MORE

Carrick

County Wexford

Ireland’s First Anglo-Norman Stronghold

Despite Carrig’s historical significance, the site has passed in and out of public consciousness. Since 1987 it has been located in the Irish National Heritage Park, who partnered with the Irish Archaeology Field School in 2018 to carry out a major archaeological research programme – ‘Digging the Lost Town of Carrig’. A major aim of this project at its inception was to mark the 850th anniversary of the site, and the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland, through a series of commemorative events culminating in the publication of  ‘Carrick County Wexford, Ireland’s first Anglo-Norman Stronghold’. The book draws together a panel of local, national and international archaeologists and historians to mark a foundational moment in Irish History. It is hoped that the book will help bring Carrick’s importance into both the local consciousness and the realm of academic discourse, whilst also exploring and celebrating the impact and legacy of the Anglo-Normans in Wexford – where their first footsteps were taken!

Published by Four Courts Press – PRICE – €32 INCLUDES POSTAGE

Buy the book
Carrick Book Cover
Carrick Book Cover

Carrick

County Wexford

Ireland’s First Anglo-Norman Stronghold

Despite Carrig’s historical significance, the site has passed in and out of public consciousness. Since 1987 it has been located in the Irish National Heritage Park, who partnered with the Irish Archaeology Field School in 2018 to carry out a major archaeological research programme – ‘Digging the Lost Town of Carrig’. A major aim of this project at its inception was to mark the 850th anniversary of the site, and the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland, through a series of commemorative events culminating in the publication of  ‘Carrick County Wexford, Ireland’s first Anglo-Norman Stronghold’. The book draws together a panel of local, national and international archaeologists and historians to mark a foundational moment in Irish History. It is hoped that the book will help bring Carrick’s importance into both the local consciousness and the realm of academic discourse, whilst also exploring and celebrating the impact and legacy of the Anglo-Normans in Wexford – where their first footsteps were taken!

Published by Four Courts Press – priced €25

Buy the book