In the final years of the 13th century, Ireland settled into a few years of relative calm after what had been a period of chaos, war and famine known as “the time of disturbance” in 1295. Famine had been more frequent through the late 13th century. They were usually caused by bad weather which resulted in poor harvests. Such poor harvests in turn resulted in less work at the harvest, something many peasants depended on. However in 1299 the weather was unusually good, improving the harvest and it appears labourers took advantage of the increased demand for work. On May 3rd 1299 a parliament discussed a few items including the worrying issue facing the nobility
” having heard a complaint of the communities of divers counties, for that servants, ploughmen, carters, threshers, and other their servants refuse to serve about the services for which they were accustomed to serve, on account of the fertility of the present year”
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Posted in 14th century, Anglo Norman, Archaeology, audiobook, Black death, castles, Gaelic Ireland, Hall House, Irish history, Medieval Europe, Medieval history, Norman Invasion, tagged Grenan, Jerpoint, Kilfane, Kilkenny, Thomastown on August 28, 2012 |
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County Kilkenny has perhaps one of the highest concentrations of medieval remains in Ireland. Conquered in the decades after the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169, the area was heavily restructured. This saw an intensive and large-scale building programme begin as towns, castles and abbeys popped up across the landscape. As society became increasingly unstable and violent in the late 13th and 14th centuries the area was heavily fortified. This photo essay is meandering journey across four sites in a small area of Kilkenny – Thomastown, where you can get some impression of what a medieval landscape may have looked like and what can be seen there today. This journey is easy to replicate – there is a map of the area at the end of the article.
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Posted in 14th century, Anglo Norman, Annals, Archaeology, audiobook, Bishop of Ossory, Black death, castles, Civil war, Dublin, Dublin history, Economy, famine, Gaelic Ireland, Gaelic revival, Hall House, historical tours, Irish history, Medieval Europe, Medieval history, Medieval Monasticism, Norman Invasion, Plague, The Black Death, tagged Art Mc Murrough, Castlecomer, Dublin, Edward Bruce, hall house, John Clyn, Kilkenny, Richard de Clare, St Mullins, Strongbow on July 4, 2012 |
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In the 14th century Europe experienced one of the worst crises in recorded human history which saw war, famine and plague decimate the population. In Ireland this crisis developed in a society already wracked by deep divisions and political upheaval.
Although brewing for decades this crisis began in earnest in 1315 when one of the worst famines of medieval history gripped Ireland.This was followed by a period of extreme violence between the resurgent Gaelic Irish and the Norman Barons. The crisis reached its zenith when the Black Death struck Ireland killing between 30% and 50% of the population in 1348 and early 1349.
This 14th century crisis is the subject of an upcoming audiobook I am writing at the moment and here’s a taste of what to expect!
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