Books for sale

Historic Environment Division are offering a range of superb books which cover aspects of the archaeology and history of Northern Ireland for sale at heavily discounted prices.

Details of the publications are given below and books can be ordered at DfC Historic Environment Enquiries (historicenvironmentenquiries@communities-ni.gov.uk) or 028 9082 3126.

A Guide to the Historic Monuments of Northern Ireland in State Care - NIEA RRP £7 Sale Price £2
Guides to the Historic Monuments of Northern Ireland in State Care have been published since 1926. So this guide is part of a long tradition of making information about the historic environment available to the public in a form that is convenient and easy to use.

Northern Ireland’s historic monuments form a key part of our historic environment. They are places that everyone can enjoy, and sites where everyone should feel welcome. They are also key destinations for tourists in Northern Ireland, whether from overseas or locals, and whether individuals, families or groups.

An Archaeological Survey of County Armagh - Ken Neill RRP £40 Sale Price £15
Armagh is the smallest of the six counties of Northern Ireland yet it contains some of our best known and most enigmatic archaeological sites.

These include Neolithic burial monuments like Ballymacdermot and Ballykeel, set in the spectacular surroundings of the Ring of Gullion in the south of the county. There is also a world-renowned complex of Bronze and Iron Age monuments focussed on Navan Fort, with links to the mysterious lengths of linear earthwork such as the Dorsey. Notable Early Christian monuments include perhaps the earliest dated inscribed stone in Ireland at Kilnasaggart and one of the most important early convents at nearby Killevy.

This volume brings together the results of many decades of field survey, excavation and research to describe almost 850 archaeological sites in the county outside the City of Armagh. Individual descriptions and illustrations are complemented by detailed general discussions which allow the reader to assess the significance of the monuments within the local and wider context. The result is a comprehensive and accessible study which will appeal to anyone interested in the archaeology of this Fair County.

An Archaeological Survey of County Fermanagh - Volume 1 Part 1 The Prehistoric Period & Volume 1 Part 2 The Early Christian and Medieval Period - Claire Foley & Ronan McHugh RRP £40 Sale Price £15
Co Fermanagh is dominated by the expanses of Upper and Lower Lough Erne. With imposing peaks of Carboniferous limestone in the west and a labyrinthine network of smaller rivers and lakes tot eh south and east, it is one of the most scenically attractive counties in Ireland, and one of the most topographically diverse.

Archaeological sites and monuments representing over 9000 years of human activity are preserved in every part of this rich landscape. Many, such as the great cairn at Cornashee, the monastic remains on Devenish Island or the enigmatic decorated stones on the hillside at Reyfad, are of international significance. Others are almost invisible to the eye today, surviving merely as low stones or faint earthworks or, in some cases, only as symbols on ancient maps or charts. But each has its own unique place in the archaeological heritage of the county.

The survey will appear in two volumes of which this is the first. Volume 1 covers the period from the arrival of the first settlers’ c 70000BC to the end of the medieval period c AD1600, and is presented in two parts. Part 1 covers the prehistoric period, while part 2 details the Early Christian and Medieval archaeology of the county.

Individual descriptions are provided for each monument, and many are accompanied by specialist drawings, photographs, LiDAR views or computer generated imagery. Essays from experts in a variety of fields provide the background for the sites and monuments and the people who built them, while a number of the most significant archaeological landscapes are considered in depth.

Archaeological Objects from County Fermanagh – Brian Williams & Sarah Gormley RRP £9.99 Sale Price £3
The beautiful Lakeland of Fermanagh in the north of Ireland has attracted human settlement from early times. People lived there through the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages and the Early Christian and Medieval periods and many of them left clues about their lives – a necklace, a logboat, an axe, a broken pot...................

This professionally researched catalogue presents a comprehensive listing of over a thousand of these objects, including information about where they were first found and where they are now stored. In addition, a clear and informative introduction interprets the significance of the objects for the general reader, showing how fragments can yield historical narrative.

Battles, Boats and Bones: Archaeological Discoveries in Northern Ireland 1987 – 2008 – Edited by Emily Murray and Paul Logue RRP £10 Sale Price £5
How did our ancestors build their homes? What weapons did they use? What religious rituals did they follow? How did technology develop over the centuries?

These are just some of the questions answered in Battles, Boats and Bones, which offers a fascinating insight into the daily lives of our ancestors stretching back as far as the Early Neolithic period.

Bringing together details and interpretations of discoveries made as a result of 25 archaeological excavations across Northern Ireland over the 20 year period, this book is a window into our collective past. It is essential reading for anyone interested in looking beyond the monuments and imprints of the past on our landscape to discover the people and history that made them.

Carrickfergus: The Story of the Castle & Walled Town – Ruairi O Baoill RRP £10 Sale Price £5
The modern visitor to Carrickfergus will experience a town that is very different to the one that existed for most of its long history. The essential and symbiotic relationship that existed for centuries between the town and the castle was severed by the construction of a major road, the Marine Highway (now the Causeway Coastal Route), in the late 1960s. As a result the altered townscape can sometimes be difficult to understand. This book will unravel the mysteries of Carrickfergus and help visitors understand why, for so long, it was the most important town in Ulster.

The story of Carrickfergus is exciting – full of sieges by English, Scottish and Irish kings and lords, attacks by American revolutionaries and French troops. Towns, however, do not exist in a vacuum. They are located in a host landscape that influences how the town develops.

Over eight centuries, layers of history have accumulated within the town. The purpose of this book is to examine these layers, so that a person visiting the modern town can see the key elements from the significant phases of its history.

Deer Park Farms: The Excavation of a Raised Rath in the Glenarm Valley, Co Antrim – CJ Lynn and JA McDowell RRP £40 Sale Price £15
The excavation of the Early Christian period mound/raised rath in the Glenarm valley, Co Antrim which took place in the 1980s revealed a long sequence of enclosed settlements, associated houses and artefacts.  Waterlogging of the lower levels led to a high degree of preservation of organic and environmental material not usually found on dry land sites. The quality of the remains provided unique insights into the way of life, economy and material culture in rural Ulster in the 8th and 9th centuries.

Harnessing the Tides: the Early Medieval Tide Mills at Nendrum Monastery, Strangford Lough – Thomas McErlean & Norman Crothers RRP £25 Sale Price £10
The ruins of the early medieval monastery of St Mo-Choi at Nendrum on Mahee Island in Strangford Lough are perhaps the most impressive and atmospheric monument in state care in Northern Ireland. In 1999 the exciting discovery was made of two monastic tide mills (one of which has been dated to AD 619) on the foreshore below the monastery. This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of the excavation of the mills in graphic detail and in readily accessible form and provides a re-evaluation of the archaeology and history of this important monastery.

Hidden History Below Our Feet – Ruairi O Baoill RRP £14.99 Sale Price £8
As Belfast continues to re-brand and re-imagine itself for the 21st century, Ruairi O Baoill’s 2011 publication brings to life, for the very first time, the fascinating story of Belfast’s archaeology.  The visitor to Belfast today will find a newly regenerated and thriving city. The Cathedral Quarter and the development of the Titanic Quarter are all testimony to a city that is striding determinedly towards the future.

But below the surface of Belfast you see today there is another story, one which stretches back 9000 years to the first people who settled in the Belfast Hills. Ruairi O Baoill’s archaeological detective work unwraps the history of a city that is richer and more complex than is immediately apparent.

This fascinating and accessible account of Belfast will bring a new perspective to the built heritage of the city and some surprising revelations. Examples include:

The discovery of the earliest evidence of human activity found near George Best Airport;

how excavations on the site of Victoria Square unearthed a possible thirteenth or fourteenth century waterfront; Castle Place in Belfast city centre was named after the castle that once stood there.

Hidden History Below Our Feet is beautifully illustrated by Philip Armstrong - an artist who specialises in archaeological reconstruction - he brings each era of Belfast and its environs to life, from the prehistoric to the more recent.

This book invites us to imagine what other archaeological treasures are waiting to be discovered; a walk through Belfast’s streets will never be the same again as you consider the ancient life of the city below your feet.

Island City: The Archaeology of Derry~Londonderry – Ruairi O Baoill RRP £16 Sale Price £8
For many people the abiding image of Derry~Londonderry is its impressive 17th century walls, now included by UNESCO among their 1001 historic sites “You must see before you die”. But there is much more to the city than its walls. Besides a rich 17th, 18th and 19th century heritage, the island of Derry on the River Foyle hosted important medieval and Early Christian settlements, while the immediate environs are rich in archaeological remains dating back nine thousand years.

Utilising the information provided by numerous archaeological excavations and surveys, Ruairi O Baoill examines the history of Derry~Londonderry’s settlement from earliest times to the modern era. Included are a range of monuments in and around the city and a great wealth of archaeological objects held by Derry’s Heritage and Museum Service, all photographed (many for the first time) by Tony Corey of Historic Environment Division (formerly NIEA) especially for this book.

Lakeland Heritage: Antiquities of Fermanagh – NIEA RRP £9.99 Sale Price £5
Fermanagh’s history goes back over 9000 years and through brilliant photography and illustrations, this book takes a fabulous journey through its rich past. Prehistoric megalithic tombs and earthworks, Early Christian and Medieval churches and plantation castles are among the many historic monuments that abound in this beautiful and diverse landscape, while the country has produced some of Ireland’s finest artefacts. Through this book we hope you can discover and enjoy for yourself the allure of Fermanagh’s antiquities.

Legacy: Our Historic Landscape – The Fine Art Photography of Tony Corey RRP £6.95 Sale Price £3
With texts by the late Dr Ann Hamlin OBE and an introduction by Victor Sloan MBE RUA FRPS this collection of enigmatic and mythical images not only invokes the spirit of Irish poetry but is informative to the viewer.

This book portrays some of the rich archaeological landscape of Northern Ireland and “is a must” for anyone interested not only in the history of this fine country but for anyone with an interest in photography and alternative photographic processes.

Rathlin Island: An Archaeological Survey of a Maritime Landscape – Wes Forsythe and Rosemary McConkey RRP £40 Sale Price £15
Rathlin Island, five miles off the north coast of Ireland, is a place of rugged beauty and ancient legends. A stepping stone between Ireland and Scotland, it has been fought over, bought and sold, raided and blockaded over the centuries. Its dramatic story features vigorous prehistoric communities, Celtic holy men, Vikings, Gaelic Scots and Tudor English – a story of settlement, trade, conquest and struggle.

This beautifully illustrated book explores the rich and varied heritage of the island and its maritime traditions in unprecedented detail. Presented in readily accessible form, it provides a re-evaluation of Rathlin’s place within Irish archaeology.

The Archaeology of Slieve Donard: A Cultural Biography of Ulster’s Highest Mountain – Same Moore RRP £10 Sale Price £5
Slieve Donard, Co Down, is the highest mountain in Ulster (849m) and is dramatically located at the edge of the Mourne Mountains with spectacular views along the north Irish Sea. There are two prehistoric cairns on its summit, a Neolithic passage tomb and a Bronze Age cist cairn, both of which have undergone various changes since their construction thousands of years ago.

This book examines these changes from the myths and legends that became associated with the summit to the conversion of the cairns into oratory and cell by St Donard, a disciple of St Patrick who lived on the mountain as a hermit. The mountain was subsequently used by pilgrims who climbed the peak as part of a penitential journey during the Festival of Lughnasa at the end of July up to the 19th century.

By 1826 the Ordnance Survey had partially demolished the cairns during the preparation for the 6” to 1 mile mapping of Ireland. Ireland’s most impressive wall, the Mourne Wall, built at the beginning of the 20th century further altered the cairns. This book charts the cultural biography of Slieve Donard and reviews why this impressive mountain assumed such an importance through time.

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