Strangford Lough: An Archaeological Survey of the Maritime Cultural Landscape

Thomas McErlean, Rosemary McConkey, Wes Forsythe

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

Strangford Lough in County Down is one of three statutory Marine Nature Reserves in the UK and has been officially designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. For thousands of years, however, its appeal was much more practical. Its vast natural harbour provided refuge for seafarers seeking shelter from the notoriously dangerous Irish Sea and the fertility of its land and the richness of its wildlife proved a strong attraction for human settlement. The high quality of archaeology around the lough has been recognised for many years. From 1995 to 2000 Northern Ireland Environment and Heritage Service, conscious that the shore and seabed of the lough were hiding many more secrets, undertook a pioneering survey of the maritime cultural landscape. The results of the survey are ground-breaking, many of them challenging our preconceptions about the knowledge and skills of our ancestors - excavations at Nendrum, for instance, revealed a seventh century tidal corn mill that demonstrated a previously unknown level of engineering sophistication. This book, presenting the survey results in a readily accessibe form, will not only add to our appreciation of Strangford's past but will also broaden the way we look at Ireland's maritime heritage.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBlackstaff Press
Number of pages689
ISBN (Print)085640-723-2
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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