This book is the third in a series that began with Antiquities of Old Rathdown. Fingal, the territory of the Foreigners, is the name given to the northern part of Co. Dublin since the Viking-age and is the subject of Christine Baker's valuable book. Its boundaries are a little indistinct - one traditonal definition had it that its northern border was the Delvin river and the southern, the Tolka, it thus extended almost to the medieval city of Dublin and comprised a large part of its fertile hinterland. Although it had a distinct geographical and linguistic identity, it was only in the recent re-organisation of local authority areas that Fingal gained statutory recognition - it is now a county with its own Council and administration which is comprised of most of north Co. Dublin and a sizeable part of the west of the county also. The fertility of its soil, its fishing ports and its closeness to Dublin ensured that Fingal was prosperous in medieval and modern times, it was also contested ground - the Irish and Vikings fought over it, it was the scene of several murderous squabbles in the later middle ages and the wars of the 1640s and in the latter stages of the Rising of 1798. Its dialect is a form of English with several archaic features, but it contains many Irish words. Irish, Scandinavian and Anglo-Norman placenames testify to a rich and varied inheritance. It was also one of the very first places in Ireland to receive Christianity. But it has an early, prehistoric past from the hunter-gatherers of the Mesolithic Period, the builders of great stone tombs by farmers of the Neolithic, cemeteries and settlements of the Bronze Ages to the presence of refugees from the Roman Conquest of Britain in the Iron Age.
Those of us who prize Fingal's distinctiveness, know that the proximity of Dublin not only brought great benefits but in modern times it was the spur to a great deal of development which especially in the south, engulfed much of the countryside and brought a rapid expansion to Fingal's towns and villages. While this growth threatened much of the physical heritage of the region, there have been notable losses of which the thatched barns of Balrothery and the unsympathetic "restoration" and remodelling of traditional buildings are the most notable, nevertheless this development brought an influx of people who took a renewed interest in Fingal's history and heritage. Development work revealed hitherto unknown archaeological sites on which Christine Baker draws to enrich her account of the archaeological monuments of the Fingal. Natives and newcomers alike will find this book an invaluable source of information about one of the most intriguing and most overlooked regions of Ireland.
Extent: 182 pages
Size 190 x 250mm
|Publication Data||October 2010|
Antiquities of old Fingal: The archaeology of north County Dublin
- ISBN: 978-1-905569-49-6
- Author(s): Christine Baker
- Availability: In Stock