2010 Field School – Black Friary Days 5-7 (14 to 16-Jun-10)

From Monday through Wednesday the clearance and survey continued in generally glorious sunshine.

We have eleven students this week, from the US, Canada, Australia (and of course Ireland).

The Town Council generously provided us with a house to use as our site office – the luxury of flushing toilets and clean drinking water, the students will be spoilt.

Wednesday dawned bright and clear and HOT.  We lathered on the sunscreen, took our anti-histamines (hayfever has become the theme of the week), and set to work. Ian set up his grids for geophysics in the eastern section of the site and worked away with the assistance of some of the students. The rest completed drawing up their profiles through some of the promising lumps and bumps, which on probing, and judicious removal of grass, moss and modern detritus, turned out to be walls.

The grass is dying back satisfactorily after its severe haircut and the effects of the hot dry weather, and we can with greater confidence, make out discrete areas of the abbey buildings. We know that contrary to the layout of Cistercian Abbeys the Dominicans frequently placed their churches to the south of the cloister. We know we have the cemetery along the south western boundary of the site, and the church therefore lies immediately to the north of this. We can, with some imagination, make out the nave and chancel, transept and area of the bell-tower, and the pieces of exposed masonry fit into this pattern.

The cloister appears to lie to the north of the church, and the living-quarters north again, and to the east. All in all, the abbey is beginning to emerge from centuries of obscurity, and the geophysics will, we hope, bring more to light.


About blackfriary

The Irish Archaeology Field School (IAFS) is Ireland’s leading provider of university accredited, site based archaeological research and training. The Blackfriary research project is part of a community archaeology project, based in Trim, Co. Meath. Blackfriary is a 13th century Dominican abbey site; the archaeology includes the buried remains of the medieval abbey and graveyard. Students that participate in the excavation experience and practice all aspects of archaeological excavation processes, learning from experts and leaders in their field, and contribute to an established archaeological research project. IAFS have been excavating at Blackfriary since 2010; students participating have come from all over the works including the Australia, Canada, Europe and the USA.
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