In 1845 life in the Castlecomer Coalfields was racked by economic recession and grinding poverty. When the potato crop, the staple diet of millions across Ireland, failed disaster struck. In the following years around one million Irish people died and over one million emigrated.
In Castlecomer the fate of thousands lay in the hands on one man – Charles Wandesforde – the mine owner and local landlord. His decisions were controversial but it not easy to decide whether they were good bad. One thing is for certain life in the coalfield would never be the same again.
The Great Famine in Castlecomer – Secret Societies Communism and Coal.
Over recent days controversy has emerged over film footage of the Queen of England with her arms raised in a Nazi salute. That this has caused outrage seems ridiculous. She was aged no older than seven years of age. It … read more
Fans of Game of Thrones will be familiar with the painkiller ‘Milk of the Poppy’ a powerful drug in the fantasy series. Some of the show is based on medieval history and strange as it may sound medieval opium based … read more
Part XX sees us enter the 1190s and the Norman Invasion enters what might be called end game. In this decade they begin to advance in to the far west of the island. The Gaelic Irish response is at times … read more
This Saturday, I am organising a unique day trip which will take you on journey deep into our medieval past. This day promises to be unforgettable. There are still some tickets remaining (€60 per person or €50 for groups of … read more
Bad, possibly mad and very dangerous, Prince John was one of the most notorious men of the Middle Ages. While his cruel reputation is preserved in the Robin Hood myths his real life notoriety began in Ireland in 1185. If … read more
Book you place on this exclusive day trip on June 6th. Relive the epic stories of our medieval past framed by three outstanding locations – Glendalough, Kilkenny and the abandoned Kilcooley Abbey Numbers Strictly to 29 places (10 sold already) … read more
This Friday (April 24th at 7p.m.) in Rothe House, Kilkenny I will be presenting some of my research on the Black Death in public talk entitled Survival in a Medieval Crisis – The Bruce Invasion and Black Death in medieval … read more
A few weeks ago I hit the road with a recorder taking in some of the best medieval sites in Ireland. The show takes in 1000 years of Irish history in one day-trip. Starting in around the year 600 in … read more
This Saturday (March 28th) at 1 p.m. I am organising a tour of medieval Dublin. Check out my video for what to expect. Tickets cost €20 (which includes access to Christchurch Cathedral and crypt). Book your place by filling on … read more