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Mechanisms of monument-destruction in nineteenth-century Ireland: antiquarian horror, Cromwell and gold-dreaming Author(s): Mirn N Cheallaigh Source: Proceedings of the

Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature, Vol. 107C (2007), pp. 127-145 Published by: Royal Irish Academy Stable URL: . Accessed: 17/10/2011 18:35
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innineteenthofmonument-destruction Mechanisms and Cromwell Ireland: horror, antiquarian century gold-dreaming

Place,Dublin Ltd,32 Fitzwilliam Arch-Tech, Technology Archaeological
28 June 7 April2006. Published 2007.] [Accepted

Mirn Ni Cheallaigh*


the contemoften charted of thenineteenth Irishantiquarian century publications the monuments of and dissolution destruction throughout archaeological porary I argue In thispaper, or indignation. with islandofIreland melancholy disapproval, roleas contotheir ofmonuments wasrelated orotherwise thesurvival that perceived or theloss ofmemories actsmayhavereflected ofmemory. tainers Thus,destructive While value to monuments. of between accommodations ways attaching competing thisdestruction, blamedfor at a broadsocial scale werefrequently forces operating of monuthe removal or alteration mechanisms that it is mycontention facilitating that intothevariousbeliefsystems wereincorporated ments ostensibly guaranteed into monofmonuments thetranslation included Thesemechanisms their protection. economic of included the also resources. social, changing negotiation They etary withthe interactions and political through 'modernity') (including understandings of sites. fabric physical to situate the itis relatively In current commonplace archaeological historiography, of its empiricist and theemergence of archaeology as a discipline, establishment social context of within the methods and understandings nineteenth-century firmly to other is often linked This andintellectual 1994,73-147). process (Trigger changes theformation theriseof nationalism, suchas Romanticism, coincident phenomena and industrialisation of urbanism and theacceleration colonialism of nation states, and Champion 1996;Dietler1994; (see Altick1999;Chastel1984-92;Diaz-Andreu lock all of Present Jones1997; A.D. Smith1998, 1999a, 1999b). understandings monuments or objects which are categorised as archaeological features thephysical to functional and formal intodetailed intelligible archaeologists systems temporal, In thenineteenth narratives for translatable into and,intheory, consumption. popular time favoured of the linear 'scientific' historical thefabric byarchaeologists century, their from less empirical students of thepast somewhat artificially (to distinguish * Author's e-mail: material a paper atthe'Identity, andthe is based Thefollowing text memory upon presented Humanities Institute of Ireland world' seminar, (UCD), (HII), University CollegeDublin 2004. UCD on27 February ofthe ofArchaeology, convened under the auspices Department

Introduction: archaeologists, and memory destruction

Vol. 107C, 127-145 2007 RoyalIrish Academy Academy oftheRoyalIrish Proceedings

MirnNi Cheallaigh earlierin the century) was, in Irelandas elsewhere, counterparts pieced together and contested of historical information and using fragmentary scraps anthropological It was stilldisjointed, and unravelling at itsbiblically defined analogy. incomplete thealmost inconceivable ofgeological time National edgesinto (see TheIrish length Journal Literature Rudwick 1846; 1992, Magazineand Weekly of 1-26). Such linear to createa viewthat structures tended temporal archaeological - together - cohersitesand monuments had with thenarratives generated by them entbeginnings, andends.Thesenarratives, middles andinsomeinstances themonuments to themselves the of the could, according practitioners determinedly empirical of thelater nineteenth be reconstructed and wovenintowider archaeology century, socialunderstandings. Thiswas achieved bysystematically grafting physical descriptions ofantiquities ontomoreorless detailed historical research. In other the words, lifestagesofmonuments couldbe brought to theattention ofcontemporary society records oftheir dimensions ofappearbyhybridising (or an aide-mmoire physical extracts from thehistorical record. Thisrecord, inturn, contained much of ance)with theofficially sanctioned of literate Ireland. Crooke memory nineteenth-century (See 2000,68-99; Doherty 2004, 193-210;Leerssen1994,68-156; Patten 2004; Trigger 1994,45-72.) thebeginning of a monument's lifewas frequently Although signified by association withan historical date and figure (the actualtechnical processof its as withmanycontemporary its end manufacture, births, beingdecently ignored), was often conceived as a moment ofphysical ofdissolution, which had destruction, the than continued of its existence ruined remains. Nevertheless, greater significance as Adrian has pointed that 'The out,itcan be argued Forty (withsomereservations) Western tradition of memory since the Renaissancehas been founded upon the that material whether natural or artificial can act as analogues assumption objects, ofhuman in general tended to be con2001, 2). In thissense,ruins (Forty memory' as reminders of the inevitable of the wheel of timeand templated poetic turning fortune. takenforgranted that Forty goes on to assertthat'It has been generally in the can formed be transferred to solid material which memories, mind, objects, can cometo standfor memories oftheir either or and,byvirtue durability, prolong themindefinitely their mental existence' 2001, 2). preserve beyond purely (Forty tothis thedestruction ofan antiquity involves notonly the According understanding, It also affects dissolution ofitsphysical fabric. thememory that theantiquity is conIn thislight, sidered to evokeor preserve. thefrequently heardmournful lament of thenineteenth-century or antiquarian forlostantiquities is unsurprisarchaeologist threads of 'national as thevarious werebeinghammered ing,particularly memory' outandnegotiated between different and sometimes opposing groups.

Antiquarian accounts of destroyed antiquities


Suchlaments continued toproliferate thepopular ofmonuments despite curatorship linked to theactions of supernatural theconservation(often agencies)and despite ist efforts of antiquarian landlords and variousinterested The frequent lobbyists. ofmonuments inthe accounts ofdeliberate orincidental destruction ofvarijournals serve a picture ofinsidious, ous learned societies topaint continuous andwidespread

Mechanisms in nineteenth-century Ireland ofmonument-destruction wide scale. However, that thisprocessmay destruction of monuments on an islandofmonuments havebeenexaggerated is perhaps indicated bythevery largenumbers in thepresent This havestemmed that havesurvived into day. exaggeration may, part, definition a awareness of thepast from thefact that had antiquarians by heightened ofitsremains ofthefragility anditcouldbe argued an equally heightened perception and Holtorf 1999,7). (Gazin-Schwartz accountsdo, however, illustrate thedestrucSome antiquarian graphically of In the late for the tionvisited a wide monuments. 1830s, example, range upon sitesto theRoyal a paperon Irishecclesiastical Reverend Caesar Otwaypresented in which he: Irish Academy of these of the Academyto the rapid demolition called the attention and structures bythepeople,whomakethem places of common interesting their friends to mark theplaces where and (desiring muchprizedsepulture, ofpillars, tear downthequoins, corbells areburied) [sic],capitals recklessly in to answer their hand order ornaments can andall theelaborate on, they lay ofhead stones. thepurpose (Otway1836-40,210) state thecontemporary Richard In 1854theKerry Hitchcock, compared antiquarian, of it thathad withthedescription in Camp, Co. Kerry, tower-house of theruined that earlier. He concluded in Lewis's twenty years Directory Topographical appeared in the and reduced to fragments' more'scattered werein all likelihood theremains had previously been (Hitchcock 1850sthanthey 1854-5a,350). As thenineteenth and attiand despitechanging understandings archaeological century progressed, of monuinstances and descriptions of antiquities, theconservation tudestowards tobe recorded. ment continued destruction Co. Cork, in thearea of Buttevant, relateto antiquities Two suchaccounts Brashin theearly1850s (Brash 1852-3, 272). In thesecondof written by Robert butalso thedestruction ofvarious local monuments, notonly Brashchronicled these, One ofthe to havecausedtheir destruction. which wereunderstood thephenomena whichlay approximately ofKilmaclenine, in question was thetumulus monuments In thisaccount, theelderly manwhomBrashhad engaged twomilesfrom thetown. he remembered as a guide(or as a 'cicerone'to use Brash'sterm)'statedthat [the in with a moat on the The moathe explained mound] hisyounger dayscomplete, top. field" '. as having been"a flat little green that themound hadbeen Brashwent on to record hisguidehadtoldhimthat of who 'the Rev. Mr. fifteen earlier Connery, parish priest Buttevant, by opened years rather he first heard ofitinParis'(Brash1852-3,272). Having informed the peoplethat the observed hiselderly was 'completely ofwhat that companion ignorant' ungraciously most a Brash that the feature was structure have contained, suggested likely 'sepulmay was basedon hisrecognition ofthestone structure chral' monument. Thisclassification After theinitial as a 'rude cist'ofrectangular disstripping shape. exposed bythemound Brash that 'thegold-seekers came[. . .], turbance ofthemound recorded byFrConnery, thewholemound' intheir so that andexcavated andransacked treasure, questfor bythe were'carting the materials of which it 1850sthelocalfarmers [was]composed'. away 129

Mirn Ni Cheallagh ofthegraveyard anddestruction ofpart thedisturbance Brashalso recorded was reportThis destruction of near Buttevant. of theAugustinian Priory Ballybeg blacksmith: a out edlycarried by grave-robbing ofgoldina bigflag under the of'a crock three successive whodreamed nights the who commenced and excavating among mouldering accordingly abbey,' a until he exhumed a stone fathers remains oftheancient coffin, containing and a plateof thesame,on a cross,a bead of theprecious metal, skeleton, of thecrucifixion. These valuablesmet whichwas inciseda representation been the fateof mostof our native antiquities, having disposedof by the in Cork, whoremorselessly melted them down. finder to a goldsmith (Brash1852-3,271) inthe1830s oftheOrdnance The letters Survey's topographical department numerous references to thedestruction of monuments and and 1840s also contain attached to them. This loss of memory and understandings also of thememories outofthepopular observances that wereappliedto included thepetering religious It might be argued, that and other features. thesememories ecclesiastical however, as a result the monuments in to fadeas they which were hadbeenallowed (and they to contemporary embodied)became less central religious practiceand to popu Giollin lar celebrations 2003, 21-2, 33; 1998, 202, 214-17). This (Naughton and of led to the abandonment occasional silting-up holywellsand to the process of of medievalparishpatronsaintscausingthe dedications declineof memories he regretted the removal to be forgotten. of monuAlthough manyold churches to listen to anypopularstories that a half-desperate intention ments and expressed construction and use information on their (O'Flanagan 1931, past might provide removal O'Donovan of theOrdnanceSurveylistedthephysical vol. 1, 67), John - as in the in a relatively matter-of-fact manner. He occasionally of monuments in 1840 church ofDonaghmore, Co. Wexford, recorded case ofthemedieval parish as the this removal 'disappearance' physical (O'Flanagan1927a,vol. 1,26) phrased ofantiquities.

that Monuments intheir participated own'inevitable' dissolution

conof further as employed This idea of 'disappearance' by O'Donovan is worthy the of to be one of fathers' as he is considered sideration, 'founding particularly thesilent and unobtrusive It suggests Irisharchaeology. away fading contemporary outside thesweepor at the a processthat of physical occurred, substance, perhaps, the he implies that attention. 'disappearance', By usingtheterm edgesof collective removal. later or its own involved was in, Ignoring legiscomplicit physical antiquity thatseemedto personify monuof monuments to theprotection lativeapproaches can be understood to such an attitude to human in a similar ments minors, legal way 's also O'Donovan constructed these structures bypastpeople(see anthropomorphise Co. Roscomwell known as the of Kilteevan, Tobernagreaghta, personification holy mon(O'Flanagan1931,vol. 1, 53)). be likened of thechurch at Donaghmore to the The disappearance might of founder which churches of thelegendary wilful relocations saints, miraculously


Ireland in nineteenth-century Mechanisms ofmonument-destruction whilestillin from situations to preferred movedovernight sites,often inauspicious as occurred at Clonlea,Co. Clare(Westropp, theprocess ofbeingconstructed, 2003). demowiththeconcept of deliberate is also at variance The idea of disappearance least was known in front of an that at the the act of of lition, object very standing and planning and executing theforceof timeforlongperiods, to have withstood in a used O 'Donovan destruction. John itsphysical undoubtedly theterm Although that naturala form of it can be seen to have acted as fashion euphemism throw-away in thechurch's theactiveor consciousroleof individuals ised and blurred physical destruction. whatis As David Lowenthal has observed'cultural prejudice[...] affects and is what is suffered to what vanish, (Kearns deliberately destroyed' preserved, theoriginal Church, 1982,273). In thecase of Donaghmore building 'disappeared' church'whichhad alreadyby the in orderto accommodate 'a modern protestant value into disuse(O'Flanagan1927a,vol. 1,26). Anypotential fallen time ofwriting of or as a that thechurch structure, generator specific mayhavehad as a historical and was at somepointin theearlynineteenth memories weighed against, century a modern theneedtoaccommodate deemed tobe lessthan, numerically (andperhaps ofa whether thecelebration It is unclear overestimated) church-going congregation. at thechurch until whichhad occurred saint's approximately day,or pattern, patron whether the construcof the new church; 1820,was affected by the construction or for the of the facilitated tionwas instead reasons, pattern independent by ceasing the for whom local with indifference was regarded whether theold church by people from thebuilding's divorced their saint was conceptually actofremembering patron andthe maintained this saint was no the of fabric. 1840 longer memory By physical had also ceased. of the pattern practice to havebeeninevitable, we might seemsinthisinstance Destruction, argue, of the the remains thatrendered in the wake of a changeof meaning following moreor less obsolete.In theface of such change,people mayhave helpchurch on with their before their shoulders dailylives.In explaining getting lesslyshrugged and the of ignorance, theforces destruction of monuments, thenineteenth-century evoked. These include are wheels of and progress frequently fine-grinding rolling Gillian a rangeof economicand social forcessuch as those outlined Smith, by increasa philistine 'uncontrolled whichincorporated gentry, population growth, the rise of a hegemonic the expansionof central government, ing anglicisation, and other to traditional Catholicchurch and ultramontane religion, unsympathetic This halfof thecentury' Smith activein thefirst factors 1999, 171). (G. explantend muchvaluableand accurateanalysis, does, however, ation,whilecontaining and simultantheindividual actorfrom, destruction. It removes to 'de-personalise' to a wide rangeof itsorigin theact of destruction by tracing eouslyhomogenises, national It also- in a similar at a social or scale. forces broad quasi-natural acting fashion to O'Donovan'suse of theterm'disappearance' removes anysuggestion and filters out any or deliberation from theremoval of antiquities, of forethought we might iconoclasm or aggression. As a result, uncomfortable hints of deliberate of antiquiconceivethat people of everysocial class could blame the 'vanishing' in whilesimultaneously tieson external factors, anypersonal complicity ignoring acts. destructive 131

MirnNi Cheallaigh

Cromwell, goldand dreaming as politics transformative mechanisms

thedestrucIn thiscontext, O'Donovan'suse of theterm regarding 'disappearance' seldom a phenomenon that was widespread, tionofa monument although highlights of nineteenthin accounts the articulated, overtly apoliticalantiquarian explicitly at variouslevelsof society This was theprovision of mechanisms Ireland. century and forms of antiquity that allowedforthetransformation and relating to different controlled within certain were destruction of monuments those processes provided inparticular andjustified ways. parameters At a regionalor nationallevel, the unpredictable politicalconsequences or reclamation of antiquities associatedwiththe deliberate destruction by oppostheir were controlled through determinedly 'objective' ing groups by antiquarians include and heavily editeddescriptive frameworks. Examplesof such occurrences the deliberate overof theburiedremains of medieval sectarian monks ploughing and to ransom of an and the stone 1927b, 19), ogham (O'Flanagan splitting holding an earthen mound recovered the of workmen by Kilkenny (Fig. 1) during levelling of theprinted of native or (Prim1852-3). At a local level,regardless disapproval thecontravention of societaltabooswhichforbade monument visiting antiquarians, ofindividual destruction for beliefs seemstohavebeen personal gainorinthepursuit of the over. Where members middle-classes frequently glossed engagedin destructiveacts,they wereunderstood to have been governed rather than by indifference while alterations to as monuments were inevitable byhostility, significant proposed thanas iconoclasm. The loss of monuments, rather changesor as progress might, under be proposed as a cause for butnotnecessarily for theseconditions, regret any sorrow, great passionorresentment. In thiscontext, thedamageto thefacialfeatures of the sculptured figure, in Felim O on a tomb Roscommon to 'Conor, Abbey(Fig. thought represent King In thelate 1860sitwas recorded that hadbeenobliterbe considered. 2) might they 'a of drunken who were also believed atedat someearlier dragoons' point by parcel to havewrenched thehead from thetorso(O'Gorman1864-6, 547). It is perhaps

in a rath at Dunbel[sic],Co. of Kilkenny'. found entitled Fig. 1- Woodcut/engraving Reproduced 'Oghammonument in of Co. of the rath Dunbel andother from 'On thediscovery ofogham monuments J.G.A. Prim, [sic], antiquities Kilkenny', 3 (1854-5), between Journal pp.404-5. ofAntiquaries oftheRoyalSociety 132

Mechanisms in nineteenth-century Ireland ofmonument-destruction

from ofKing Felim O'Connor 2- Wood 'Monument Fig. entitled [sic]inRoscommon Abbey'. Reproduced cut/engraving T.O'Gorman, tomb at Journal the 'Someremarks onO'Connor's Roscommon', [sic] of Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 8 (1866), facing p.546.

theauthor that ThomasO'Gorman, oftheaccount, to speculate neglected significant It on whythetombmayhavebeenthefocusof their is also aggression. interesting thetomb as worthy ofveneration notsolelyas partoftheevidence that he identified of the 'military costume' of themedieval used in debatesoverthenature but Irish, thatit once covered themortal and still also because of 'thepresumption remains, of whathe termed 'one of our native recalled] thememory' princes'(O'Gorman While not thisbelief, O'Gorman 1864-6,548). articulating explicitly mayhavebeen thatthedamagedone to thismonument be interpreted not solely implying might but also as a deliberate as an act of drunken act of disrespect vandalism, perpetrated to an on an objectofpotential 1994-5; importance opposing group(Harrison thisframework, thereviled ofOliverCromwell O'Flanagan1934,93). Within figure

MirnNi Cheallaigh of Irishland and evokedas one of theprimary was frequently populardespoilers antiquities. of thefactthatwhilethemid-nineteenth Smith also pointed outtheirony of thedestructhe Ordnance 'condemned Survey century department topographical from all overthecountry' that their 'there werereports tion'ofIreland's antiquities, of and monuments while the had sites military colleagues RoyalEngineers 'damaged theland' (G. Smith1999, 158; J.Graves1849-5la, 145; 1849-51b,290). mapping in someinstances, be onlya slight stretch to propose that theattribution of It might to Cromwell andhis soldiers monument destruction from veiled mayhavestemmed of disapproval of thecavalier attitudes of some contemporary military expressions in local topographies. mentowards sitesthat prominent occupied positions Whatever thepossible roleofan imagined infacilitating Cromwell theindirofresentment the ectexpression forced of centralised against application landscape ormilitary itis likely that Cromwell was also usedas policiesto localvalue-systems, ofpopular ofhistorically a shorthand recorded seventeenthsymbol understandings destruction. The assertion that tower-houses and ecclesiastical sites castles, century weredamagedor destroyed command or action of Cromwell was by by frequently madeinorder toexplain their ruination (IFC SchoolsMS 505,9a-l la; Adams1904, 1892,14, 16-17; Gleeson1892,156; Fallow1894?,25; O'Donovanand vi; Gillman credited with forti1997, 12). Not onlywerehe and his soldiers O'Curry pounding fied structures with but the locations at which the were stationed heavy artillery, guns whichcannon-balls rained on variousantiquities and from werealso often pointed out.In viewofthewide-ranging effects oftheseventeenth-century warsinIreland, it that a of the of in stories Cromwellian destruction do fact therefore, is, likely portion memories ofactualhistorical events. preserve It is interesting, thatnineteenth-century accountsof however, antiquarian mention castledestruction the actions of those whotreated frequently contemporary as quarries, somemonuments as in thecase ofBallintober Castle, (or Ballintubber) to the thenO'Conor Don writing in Co. Roscommon (Fig. 3), whereaccording 1889: The tracesof demolition There,as in other ruins, [... were]veryevident. for as to a common in the first came stones, instance, and, quarry, pillagers thosethat weresquared andchiselled. selected generally (O'Conor 1889,25) in conjunction with werepresented theassertion that thecastle These observations 'as a habitable after the civil war of 1641' had beendestroyed residence, (O'Conor werelikely to havebeenbroadly constructures 1889,25-6). Castlesand fortified in theadministration of pastpower. Thereceivedas secularstructures implicated or continued of the their ruinand abandonment, use, actedas visiblemarkers fore, a or of that into the nineteenth As result, (PL I). century power passage, retention, castles'fair inhabitants theabsenceofinfluential game'for living mayhaverendered theghosts, anddaring torisk those accessible stone, strange building enough desiring were with which otherwise castles reand other phenomena empty frequently lights in view White of 1863,iv). Indeed, (Leinster Express1898-1902,15-18; populated 134

in nineteenth-century Mechanisms Ireland ofmonument-destruction

from theO'Conor Don, 'Ballintubber entitled Fig.3- Woodcut/engraving [sic] Castle,Co. Roscommon'. Reproduced 19 (1889), facing Journal Co. Roscommon', 'Ballintubber p.24. ofAntiquaries oftheRoyalSociety [sic] Castle,

from H.W.Gillman, 'CastlePl. I- Photograph entitled 'MashanaglasCastle'. Reproduced Castlesin Muskerry, Co. Cork',Journal moreand Connected of theCorkHistoricaland 1 (12) (1892), p.233. Society, Archaeological


MirnNi Cheallaigh of castleruins of theoccupation transmitted memories tenacious by social outcasts robbers of Rathconnell and outlaws, suchas themurderous Castle,Co. Westmeath, victims intothenearby river thebodiesoftheir whoweresaid to havethrown (IFC of at leastsome of thesestructures SchoolsMS 737, 270), theremoval mayhave desirable. socially appeared havebeenevokedinorder to highlight simultaneCromwell therefore, may, and tower-houses had been 'killed' several cenidea that castles the effectively ously forces forcastledemolition and also in order to blamepasthistorical turies earlier, of than this in the structures rather recognising process ongoing quarrying surviving also have served as a of forstone.Evoking Cromwell convenient may way physictheblameforsuchdestruction outside thecomallyand metaphorically projecting in boththepastandthepresent. At Ballintober, for some munity example, although namedCromwell local traditions as theseventeenth-century of the bawn destroyer thatthisdestruction of the castle,O 'Donovanrecorded shouldinsteadhave been laid at thedoorof Red HughO'Donnell,who fired the uponthecastlewalls from Hill of In vol. this the 1931, 2, 45). nearby Ballyfinegan (O'Flanagan way, potential - as evidence to different valuesoffragmentary remains ofpastpower strucgroups of of the reminders lostIrish orindicators endemic violence ofpastIrish tures, glory - couldbe maintained butbypassed. on an original Moreover, society concentrating all subsequent dissolution ofphysical actofdestruction allowed fabric tobe rendered a and natural of of part gradual process decay. Thismayalso havebeenfacilitated mentioned tendencies bythepreviously mountains orconvenient oflocal peopletopoint outthesiteson nearby high ground from which cannon-balls werefired (Gillman1892, 14, 16-17; Gleeson1892,156). It might that thespecific and physically limited of individual be argued importance inthepastcouldbe diluted anddefined castles as distinct placesofhuman occupation of the visitor or the viewer itswalls to thedistant the attention beyond by shifting which destruction had come. The of thecastle location from meaning geographical be obscured or tower within itssetting from a might thereby by switching abruptly toa more diffuse ofitsdestrucofitsseparate closeexamination contemplation parts outacrossthewidergeographical was played tionas an actthat landscape. In considering ofmonuments, seldom theoverthrow however, antiquarians, thearguably stones orsoil,preferring to maintain theactofremoving lookedbeyond as defined entities whose of monuments historical tightly physical understanding withthedismantling of their mnemonic rolewouldbe erodedcoincident physical - in a way similar that to theveneration It remains substance. possible,however, - theperceived or of smallfragments of holyobjectsas relics political prominence carried in have been and disof monuments sacredcharacteristics may fragments intothewider community. persed Co. Kerry, forexample, a large In theCorkaguiny villageof Moorestown, to themid-nineteenth cenhad at somepointprior ofthelocal tower-house portion re-used to build fences Its stone and cabins dismantled. been was, however, tury in such a way thatHitchcock in the immediate (1854-5b, 393) was able vicinity visiblein manywalls as partsof the fabthe shapedstonefragments to identify thatthe originof these One might tower-house. ric of the demolished presume to the local people who had stoneswas likelyto have been equally apparent 136

Mechanisms in nineteenth-century Ireland ofmonument-destruction themintothedomestic and agricultural of thecommunity. structures incorporated Hitchcock that in Dingle,a Mrs M'Donough [sic] (1854-5a, 348-9) also recorded not onlythememory had retained block from thetowerof,butalso a sandstone houseatBallineanig, Co. Kerry. She was,as a result, able toassert a physical, as well as a historical claimupongentility and a higher social status based on her'connections'with Admiral the ofthebuilding. Moriarty, late-eighteenth century occupant account of the of re-use decorated ecclesiastical stoneas graveOtway's markers in a similar be interpreted bylocal people(Otway1836-40)might, perhaps, not have stemmed as Otwayimplied, the ignorant from, light.Such uses might destruction of stonefragments that and archaeologists valuedfortheir antiquarians roleinrendering and Instead, buildings architecturally, temporally historically legible. be interpreted suchusesmight as partially elements oftheprestige, craft transferring valueandperhaps sacredcharacter of church to the dead and fragments person perto thecommunity. Thesepractices also haveinvolved the haps,byextension, might assertion ofpersonal ecclesiastical ruins of,andcontrol over, ownership byparticular local lineages and kin-groups. In thiscontext, thefrequent of Cromwell implication in thedestruction ofmonuments was perhaps a mechanism that facilitated thenegotiation andalteration oftheir mnemonic value.Itmayalso havefacilitated aspirations towards theretention of political the powerat a local levelby physically dispersing relics ofearlier structures individual members of the wider power among community.

and The ideathat a large ofdestructive actsagainst stemmed from Gold-dreaming proportion antiquities a lack of a of their historical to value thenegotiation of was, proper (as opposed intrinsic) appreciation favoured across all levels of literate in the nineteenth however, widely society century. enrichment personal

Middle-class tended to blamemostmonument destruction on a homoantiquarians conceived and often while less geneously gold-seeking 'peasantry', perhaps vociferthat such destruction was ouslyacknowledging frequently perpetrated bythosewho did not have the 'excuse' of a supposedlack of formal education. Hitchcock in thathe believed 'thatit is not the peasantry who 1850, forexample,remarked ordestroy all theinteresting remains that areyearly obliterated in Ireland' but injure that'Personswho ought to knowbetter have a largesharein thebarbarous work' 1849-51,186). (Hitchcock Thisis perhaps borneoutin thecase ofthelargenumbers ofring-forts distributed across theentire island.The 'peasantry', no matter how artificially conwerearguably morelikely to preserve thandestroy thesemonuments, which ceived, wereoften to be thehomeofsupernatural forces and fairies. In an avowedly thought utilitarian neither nor was likely world, however, proposed supernatural fairy origins to protect from inclined or landlords indifferent ring-forts pragmatically improving or hostileto the monuments of a 'barbarian' and associations past. Fairyorigins in particular were likely to have been seen by such individuals as expressions of and Some tenants and backwardness, landlords, ignorance superstition. prosperous farmers inpractices suchas thedragging for use inoutbuildengaged awayofstones theploughing outofinconvenient earthen located structures, ingsor other ramparts on prime ortheremoval of archaeological rich in land, agricultural deposits organic material for use as manure (C. Graves1850-3; G. Smith1999). 137

MirnNi Cheallaigh insuchdestruction, Thoseinvolved ofcreedorsect, canbe seen irrespective to havealignedthemselves withnineteenth-century visionsof modernity, withthe forces of with ideas of and value that haveso science, progressive utility monetary been invoked tojustify theremoval of monuments (Bourke1999, 1, 63; frequently ofring-forts, andtheconsequent however, 2003, 15,22). The destruction Naughton of and stories which their have encourmemories fading physical presencemight and can be seen as a form of intended aged amputation cauterisation, topographical tohealmembers ofthe'lowerorders' seentobe afflicted andregressive byblighting 1 was seldom mentioned inantiThis 1852, however, (Wilde 1). superstition process, in narratives that recorded the accounts, regularly popular quarian although featuring to be meted outto thosewhoengagedin fearsome likely supernatural punishments suchbrutal (IFC Schools969,45). surgery Whilemembers of landowning classesmaynothavebeenas innocent ofthe have the so-called destruction of monuments as deliberate claimed, they might 'peasuninvolved intheremoval ofmonuments as we havealready and were not, seen, antry' a wide of from the entire of rural It is clear that other spectrum range people antiquities. indestructive ofpersonal orsocialagendas were with an equalrange processes society, be qualified the involved. Thisstatement should, however, byonce againhighlighting atlocalandnational levelswhich hasinturn curation ofmonuments more orlessactive inthecontemporary numbers ofmonuments ofthelarge ledtothesurvival landscape. duetoa fear ofsupernatural was not, Theprotection ofmonuments reprisals Middle-class or prosperous farmers of varyto the'peasantry'. exclusive however, Tom Bourke Thomas Crofton Croker's such as idealised, imaginary ing religions, been as and as of were as to have aware, 1825,105-18), wary, threats (Croker likely of fairy as theirless affluent ( Duilearga1956, xi). In neighbours punishment ofdamagedring-forts, orof ofthefairy thevengeance accounts, occupants popular was so severe that the of the removal their saints churches, occasionally by outraged but sometimes the entire the to leave not were forced community just perpetrators a house from of themanwho builthimself forexample, island.This was thefate, After buildnearAdare, Co. Limerick. at Kilbreedy of St Brigid's Church thestones and thereafter tormented his he was house, happenings by apparitions strange ing to England(IFC SchoolsMS 505, he was forced to emigrate to sucha degreethat 14a-15a). of theblacksmith Brash'stales,theblatant In thiscontext, grave-robbing in apparent moundby gold-seekers of Kilmaclenine or theravaging of Buttevant, in either It is brazen. seemparticularly ofpossiblereprisals, defiance unlikely might ofthedangers wereunaware wealth in questsfor buried that thoseengaged instance notjustofthecommuwereunder theprotection that with monuments oftampering their Itappears that forces. gold-seeking, supernatural nity gaze,butalso ofpowerful was to some middle-class to more whileperhaps anathema antiquarians, prosperous the within local economieswhichacknowledged and tolerated degreerecognised value of the more as well as the esoteric, symbolic monetary temptation posed by disbe that further It monuments community argued (O'Reilly 1994-5,207). might moreon the of supernatural and assertions vengeance mayhave focussed approval rather than of monuments destruction uncontrolled by thosenotof thecommunity this For se. ofmonuments on thedestruction appearsto example, understanding per 138

Mechanisms in nineteenth-century Ireland ofmonument-destruction haveunderpinned of local dissatisfaction followed thedestruction that expressions in the on theKnox estatenearDungannon of a probable ring-barrow prehistoric G. Smith 1755, 184-5; 1999,167-8). century eighteenth (Molyneux cultural influences and biases, literary Despite the problematic editing, innineteenth-century inherent accounts offolktales and misunderstandings potential of Hultin Leerssen tales includ1992-3; 1987; 1994), (Earls legends gold-dreaming in latercollections ed in themdo resemble included of folklore. The descriptions in of as outlined these entailed an individual accounts, phenomenon gold-dreaming in succession, which thesamedream for three thedreamer was having nights during location of gold or other and was also toldhowto go toldof thespecific valuables, aboutretrieving them. conditions wereenjoined such Occasionally uponthedreamer as telling no oneoftheir windfall andnotusing anyoftheretrieved goldfor specified oftime(Wilde 1852,98). periods as a thatdespitethe apparent use of gold-dreaming It seems,however, from to monallowedthetransformation of monuments mechanism that symbolic and of community someawareness of social transgression resources, outrage etary were to have travelled In several accounts stated remained. longdisgold-dreamers in order to reachthelocations of whichthey their homecommunities tancesfrom wouldhavea degreeof anonymity had dreamed and wherethey (IFC Schools MS intreasure-hunting wereunsuccessful orwere 781, 1). In many cases,thoseengaged manifestations from therelevant siteby a variety of supernatural driven (O'Reilly thecase evenwheretheseekers werefortified 1994-5,202-5). This was often by sanction of the and company, and by theapparent by dreaming whiskey provided ofgold(IFC SchoolsMS 595, 160-5, 168, 170). Thatbeingsaid,although location the intercession of these dreamswas not usuallystated, the inspiration through - subject be seen to sanction to condiof supernatural forces could broadly dreams - theremoval of otherwise untouchable oftheindividual tionsand thebravery gold their favourites 1852, 98). (Wilde by appointed theactions ofthetreasure seekers involved that Gold-dreaming, byasserting theinviolability of forces who guaranteed had been sanctioned by thesupernatural thetransformation of the value attribmonuments, maynot onlyhave facilitated It mayalso haveactedto preserve their utedto monuments bythelocal community. their of value and status as original meaning bymaintaining significant places superwithin that natural and by framing their disturbance the systems activity physical In them to be inviolable. this and like the invocation of alternative way, pronounced ideas of popularly conceived historical thevalues thebalancebetween destruction, attached to thephysical substance of monuments couldbe adjusted in concert with the'adjustment' ofthat fabric.

Monument suchadjustments and euphemisms or disfordestruction, Failingto accommodate such controls could have serious not for the consequences only destruction andthe regarding perpetramonument itself. If a was if but for the monument its shared tor, desecrated, meaning of transgression as a mnemonic as a liminaland potentially marker, dangerous community space ofmeaning systems it mightforfeit not only its value (Bourke 1999, 48-9, 163-5) was disregarded,
butalso theprotection accordedto itby local society. Whilethetotalremoval of a 139

Ni Cheallaigh Mirn thedeliberate transmonument did notalwaysguarantee that itwouldbe forgotten, ofthemechanisms which controlled access to itsphysical substance often gression led to itsobliteration orabandonment. It is ironicthatit was perhapsthe initialexcavation of the Kilmaclenine Fr Connery ofButtevant that totalstripmound led to itssubsequent bythecurious it a that stemmed from faras to 1852-3, 272), by assigning meaning ping(Brash and he have it removed from its Paris, may flung cosmopolitan publicly position within oflocal understandings. In other theinitial actofdesecration words, systems thesubsequent removal of the reason)can be seen to havejustified (forwhatever inmuch remainder ofthemound thesamewaythat Cromwell's destructive actswere heldtojustify thetransformation ofmonuments intotheir andmonetarcomponent, thatin thebroader ironic, ilyvaluableparts.It is also perhaps nineteenth-century context from which Fr Connery drewhis understandings, international was opinion towards the idea that the accretions and of gradually moving removing patina age from monuments andinterfering with their fabric lessened their value(Bann physical invaluemight, 1990;Haskell1993,296-7, 303; Micara 1997,55). Sucha lessening in someinstances, be expected to lessentheprotection that was accorded to them. an or monument that had been divorced fromits Furthermore, object originalset of understandings mightbecome dangerousthrough inappropriate use. The rage of supernatural faced with evidence of guardians damageto sites was one obviousway in whichthedesecrated sitemight becomedangerous. It is further that visibledamageto ancientmonuments act as a conpossible, might tinuous of theact of desecration reminder or destruction to thoseviewing thesite after theevent.For example,the destruction of urbanand ruraltower-houses by landlords nineteenth-century may have been prompted by desiresto maximise and to facilitate be seen 1820,30), butcan also perhaps (Hardiman profit progress to obliterate thestilldangerous, if fractured, as attempts of pastpolitical symbols power. In such instances, thetotalobliteration of damagedsitesmight have been a preferred rather thanleaving remains that to might option, spuropposing groups or to voicetheir Where monuments wereanthropomorphised or resentments. action, inwhich evenchoosetoremove themselves from had sites they personified, they might andvaluesattached tothem. actions that would themeanings compromise experienced with werebelieved to Irishfolklore, for abounds talesof holywellswhich example, waters were havemoved from onespot toanother after their usedininappropriate ways 2003, 199; O'Flanagan1931,vol. 1,53). 2001,43; Crualaoich (Herity to quote Theseandmany other of destruction be instances, examples might in mind, forno David Lowenthal, where'To forget is as essential as to keepthings or collectivity to remember individual can afford 2001, xi). (Lowenthal everything' is mainly He continues that'Collective oblivion on theother deliberate, hand, pur- artas opposedto ailment, Therein lies theartof forgetting and regulated. poseful in or obligation choicerather thancompulsion [sic]9.In thiscontext (and bearing retenbetween material and the mind about the traditional links objects Forty's point of monuments destruction we can view thenineteenth-century tionof memories), removal in Irelandless as a random purposeful process,but perhapsas an often of objectswhichhad losttheir value and meaning as objectsof powerand as the 140

in nineteenth-century Ireland Mechanisms ofmonument-destruction 'The social Fentress and ChrisWickham, ofmemory. Or to quoteJames generators is little structure and itsmodeoftransmission, ofmemory, likeitsinternal meaning level' that it be at least at some all that matters is affected believed, (Fentress bytruth; is no longer is no longer and itscontent and Wickham true, 1992,xi). If memory be with that now 'false'memory then thephysical believed, might objectassociated or discarded. removed, destroyed or archaeoloWherethendid thisleave thenineteenth-century antiquarian of monument that the destruction whosepoint ofviewexplicitly any prohibited gist, If non-antiquarians allowedthemin nature? was considered to be archaeological be altered inviolate monuments could selvesmechanisms or,in whereby supposedly the results how could extreme cases,removed, antiquarians simultaneously recognise thesensory overload whileat thesame timeavoiding of suchalterations, resulting thecircumscribed limit ofthearchaeologist's that Itcouldbe argued from total recall? thephysical hereand now of particular on describing gaze and theconcentration or less 'recognisable' other less noticeable to have allowed werelikely monuments monuments 'value' of different The idea of therelative to be ignored. monuments removal have facilitated the also defined within categories might diagnostic closely historical of limited artistic were siteson thebasisthat ofcertain achievement, they on perthefrequent reliance of construction. or excellence Moreover, prominence, social and often as partofbroader destruction that 'unstoppable' proposed ceptions in sense could some or such as modernisation, 'ignorance' 'progress', phenomena of antiquarian whichlay outsidethe spheres of monuments allow fortheremoval on those thereliance ofarchaeology couldalso disguise influence. Suchmechanisms their involved ofmonuments often and investigation as thestudy samephenomena, in of narratives favour of traditional or the dissolution systems displacement physical ofarchaeological knowledge.


be equallyapplicableto thepresent theseobservations It is possiblethat day, might becometheprihavein many instances ofarchaeologists where theunderstandings The concept understood. of thepastare publicly toolsbywhichtheremains mary interthe control of individuals at oflargesocial forces national, beyond operating the versions of of and the idea levels national or global creating surrogate paper in monuments excavation to inhere information mnemonic might through thought old of features such as the ill-fated natural the quiet 'disappearance' stillrender the destructo At the same time,vociferous of Donaghmore. church opposition of those sitescan be seen as a rearticulation of morehigh-profile tionor alteration from of sites(ranging theinviolability thatare heldto justify personal arguments national attachment, etc.). It can also be seen as an significance, legal protection the of negotiating the for some thatin certain assertion cases, people, possibility ofprotective is notseenas theframework ofthesiteswithin destruction guarantees articulated andtheequallystrongly thesearguments, an acceptable Through option. of or removal in favour of the alteration of those facilitating counter-arguments in still destruction are monument Ireland the sites, processes beingnegogoverning and beliefsof contemporary some ofthepreoccupations in waysthat reflect tiated Irishsociety. 141

MirnNi Cheallaigh This paperand the research by an Irish upon whichit is based were facilitated Acknowledgements

and Social Sciences(IRCHSS) Government ResearchCouncilfortheHumanities was further rendered The work Research of Ireland posScholarship. Postgraduate as Postgraduate facilities madeavailableto me in mycapacity siblebytheresearch thekindpermission Research Scholarat theHII, UCD. I also wishto acknowledge UCD to citematerial from of Irish oftheHead ofDepartment, Folklore, Department ofthat Collection heldinthearchives theSchools'Manuscript department. and legends. histories L. 1904 CastlesofIreland:some Adams,Constance fortress London.E. Stock. In David Boswell and JessicaEvans Richard 1999 Nationalmonuments. Altick, the nation: a reader,240-57. Londonand New York. (eds), Representing Routledge. Bann,Stephen 1990 Theinventions essayson therepresentation ofhistory: ofthe Manchester. Manchester Press. University past. London.Penguin Bourke, ofBridget Cleary:a true story. Angela 1999 Theburning Books. in theneighbourhood in Richard R. 1852-3 Some antiquities ofButtevant, Brash, of Cork.Journal the Ireland thecounty RoyalSociety of ofAntiquaries of 2, 265-76. In Pierre Andr 1984-92 La notion du patrimoine. Nora(ed.),Les lieuxde Chastel, vol. 405-50. Paris. Gallimard. mmoire 2, (7 vols), Elizabeth 2000 Politics, and thecreation museum Crooke, archaeology ofa national Irish inIreland:an expression DublinandPortland, ofnational life. Oregon. AcademicPress. and traditions ThomasCrofton1825 Fairylegends Croker, ofthesouth ofIreland. Cork.The CollinsPress,1998. Reprint. C. (eds) 1996 Nationalism and and Champion, Diaz-Andreu, Timothy Margarita London Press. in London. archaeology Europe. University College theGauls': archaeology, ethnic nationalism Michael 1994 'Our ancestors Dietler, inmodern American AnthroofCelticidentity andthemanipulation Europe. 584-605. 96, pologist culture and memory. GillianM. 2004 TheIrishOrdnance history, Survey: Doherty, Press. Dublin.FourCourts Irishwriting. Earls, Brian 1992-3 Supernatural legendsin nineteenth-century Baloideas 60-1, 93-144. churches ThomasMcCall [1894?] The cathedral Fallow, ofIreland:beingnotes churches. London and less known those on the smaller moreespecially of Bemrose and Sons Ltd. andDerby. In Adrian and SusanneKchler 2001 Introduction. Adrian (eds), The Forty Forty, Publishers Ltd. New York. 1-18. Oxford and artof Berg forgetting, Oxford.Blackwell Chris 1992 Social memory. Jamesand Wickham, Fentress, Press. it Cornelius 1999 'As longas everI've known Gazin-Schwartz, Amyand Holtorf, In AmyGazin-Schwartz and Cornelius and archaeology. ...': on folklore



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