Prostitution in medieval Ireland – the story of Cristiana la Sadelhackere

By the early 14th century, Kilkenny was the largest inland settlement in Ireland. Its annual eight-day fair attracted merchants from far and wide. In 1306, among those hoping to sell goods at the fair was William Douce, a leading merchant in Dublin. However getting goods from Dublin to Kilkenny was no easy task. The overland… Read more »

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Witches, Spies and Stockholm Syndrome, Life in Medieval Ireland.

I am delighted to announce my book Witches Spies and Stockholm Syndrome, Life in Medieval Ireland is hitting the shops in the coming days. Focusing on medieval Ireland; the book unveils a world that often occupies somewhere between history and fantasy in our minds eye. It was unquestionably a strange world but one far from… Read more »

4 Dublin haunts to find a ghost this Halloween…

Dublin Castle Ever heard moans and groans near the castle? Well they could be supernatural. In 1316, a convicted thief called Roger de Fynglas was sentenced to death by hanging, but for an unknown reason he was instead returned to a cell in Dublin Castle and condemned ‘there to stay without having food until he… Read more »

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Bunratty Castle’s Horrible History

Bunratty castle celebrates its fiftieth anniversary of hosting comercial medieval banquets this year however this pleasant aesthetic hides a darker history of the castle. Built in the mid 13th century, Bunratty passed to the Lord of Thomond Thomas de Clare in the 1270s. Maintaining the castle was by no means easy; it was situated on a precarious… Read more »


Medieval Dublin; A Tale Of Two Cities

By the late 13th century medieval Dublin had reached its zenith. Having benefited from over a century of trade, it was unquestionably the primary settlement in Ireland. While not the biggest walled town – it was surpassed by Drogheda and New Ross – its sprawling suburbs made it the most populous settlement with ten to… Read more »


A medieval child-eating pig, could this be true?

In a court in Kerry in 1295, a Richard de Cantolup faced the accusation ‘that he allowed his pigs to eat a child which was imputed to be his own son and kept those pigs which ought to have been delivered to the coroner’ Initially this may seem like medieval imaginations gone overboard, but not… Read more »

Castrated Roosters, Rice and figs; Food in medieval Dublin

When we think of the medieval diet, we often think of dull boring meals revolving around plain bread and perhaps some meat roasted over a fire. The reality was very different. If you had the resources the food markets of 14th century Dublin were arrayed with mouth-watering delights. In the surviving records from the Priory… Read more »

The Great Amnesty Campaign of 1869

On Sunday October 10th 1869, Dublin heaved with excitement and trepidation. Political banners hung from houses while the city’s trade union offices buzzed with excitement. Despite a police ban on a planned procession through the city tens of thousands of people turned out. They were joined by thousands more who flooded into the city from… Read more »

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The Fenian who was sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered

While it may seem incredible, in 1867 this Tipperary man Thomas Burke was one of two Irish rebels who were the last people sentenced to death by hanging, drawing and quartering! While this brutal practice may be one of the most gruesome inventions of the medieval period it survived until 1870 before being struck off… Read more »

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