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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Top 10 christmas presents in 1912

Ten things your ancestors were offered for christmas 1912 (including the Ipad of the day – the writing set.) 1. Somethings never change; Plum Pudding, Turkey and Crackers.

5 Myths of Irish history

#1 Daniel O Connell Myth: Daniel O Connell, the great liberator, the man who lead the charge in achieving catholic emancipation in 1829 was a pacifist. Whatever his achievements O Connel’s pacifist credentials are a sham. While he appears to have believed it was the best strategy in Ireland he had no problem unleashing horrendous… Read more »

Medieval Dublin’s Noose-proof sailors of 1311

Among the thousands of visitors to Dublin in the 14th century the story of  two English sailors Robert Godard and Robert Faber stands out above the rest. Having arrived in the busy trading port of medieval Dublin they would gain the unwanted record as being the only recorded survivors of a hanging in the city.… Read more »

How to punish corruption; A lesson from Medieval Dublin

Where corruption is concerned, Ireland has a poor record. Year in year out, there’s a new story about a politician on the take but rarely is anyone punished. Our medieval ancestors had a very different attitude; they were far more proactive if brutal when it came to punishing corruption in Dublin. In 1310 the city’s… Read more »

The Rise and Fall of Medieval Wicklow; An Irish ‘Game of Thrones’.

In a remote valley, a mile east of the village of Annamoe in east Wicklow lies the long forgotten ruins of medieval Castlekevin. Camouflaged by undergrowth, this Norman castle and town was once the key Norman site in the region. The walls and earthworks of this ruin witnessed some of the most bloody events in… Read more »

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Special: The Assassination of John Ellis

The Assassination of John Ellis is a story of murder and injustice, set in 19th century Ireland. In a country struggling to recover from the famine tenants despised landlords and their agents who had treated them brutally during the famine. When an agent John Ellis was assassinated in north Tipperary in 1857 almost everyone in… Read more »

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Dublin’s most unusual grave? Christchurch’s Montenegrin Mystery…..

This is Marko Zekov Popović. Popović was famous for being a member of the Member of the  “Montenegrin National Committee”, Hereditary Royal Standard Bearer of Montenegro and author of the 1926 book “Where is Montenegro? The Martyrdom of a Small Nation”. A mover and shaker in the Balkans in the 1910’s oddly his cremated remains lie in… Read more »


In search of medieval Dublin in the modern city

Much is made of Dublin’s medieval history but what is left of that medieval city today? In this post I have gone in search of the remains of medieval Dublin in the modern city. Often the buildings and structures we associate with the medieval city are far more recent than we imagine.  Dublin castle for… Read more »

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