In 1316, Hugh Lawless penned a famous letter describing life for Anglo-Normans in the Wicklow Mountains as being in a
‘confined and narrow part of the country namely between Newcastle and Wicklow where they have the sea between Wales and Ireland for a wall on one side and the mountains of Leinster and divers other wooded and desert places on the other‘. This siege like existence in the rugged terrain of east Wicklow spelled the beginning of the end for Norman society in the region.
On Saturday May 18th , I am organising a unique tour where you can visit the ‘wooded and desert places’ Lawless mentioned, hearing the intriguing story of the final days of Norman Wicklow. This unique tour, based on my own research, will graphically illustrate life in late medieval Ireland, when people struggled to survive through climate change, war and famine.
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The tour will focus on the 14th century as the Normans were being driven from the Wicklow region. Lawless in his famous letter went on to say ‘by the malice and wantonness of the Irish in the mountains of Leinster, they [the settlers] have been expelled and removed from their fortresses, manors and houses and many faithful subjects of the king have been slain by Irish felons‘. On the tour we will return to the fortresses and manors Lawless spoke of, looking at where Normans society flourished before it fell to the Gaelic Irish.
Travelling through the magnificent landscapes of eastern Wicklow, the tour will outline the rich history of late medieval Ireland. Our journey will return to an era when the region was torn apart by conflict so much so that Glendalough was known more for violence, bloodshed and warfare than its famous monastery. You can book your place [here].
We will visit the key sites on a day-long tour, learning the story of Anglo Norman life in Wicklow and the fascinating story of its collapse amid war, climate change and famine. You can read more about this history here.
The tour is on Saturday May 18th from 10 a.m. until about 6 p.m. We will travel by private transport, starting from and returning to Dublin city centre. The tour will cost only €35 per person. This will include the costs of travel and the day long tour. Finally while all ages are more than welcome to attend, it is a day long event and may not be suitable for very young children.
If you want to book your place on this tour fill in the form below or contact me at email@example.com . Places are limited and going fast so book place now!return to post
quotations source Pge 68 O Byrne, E. (2003) War, Politics and the Irish of Leinster 1156-1606 Four Courts Press