Advertisement

We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Brian Arthur/Press 22
Discovery

Gallery: 'One of a kind' medieval house discovered in Co Clare

Archaeologists believe the timber-framed home is the oldest – and only – surviving example in Ireland.

ARCHAEOLOGISTS RESTORING A building in Ennis, Co Clare believe they have discovered the only medieval timber-framed house left standing in Ireland.

The old oak structure – thought to date back to the late 16th century – is embedded in the walls of a home on the town’s Chapel Lane. Known locally as McPartland’s, the house was inhabited until recently, when its resident was forced to move out so that restoration works could take place.

Consultant archaeologist Frank Coyne told TheJournal.ie the medieval structure had been added to over the years, which is why its likely age had not been realised until now.

The oak beams are “embedded in the house,” he said. “You’ve seen enough Tudor houses, white with the black beams. Originally it would have looked like that. Then over the years the original materials have been knocked out, and bricks put in.”

The date of the structure has yet to be finally confirmed, but dendrochronological testing is expecting to reveal that it dates from the later 1500s. This would make it the only house of its type in the country.

The house is currently undergoing restoration as part of a €170,000 project to make it safe for habitation.

The mayor of Ennis, Cllr Michael Guilfoyle, said: “This work makes the building safe and protects a major piece of the history and character of Ennis. I have no doubt that the building will continue to be of tremendous interest to all those who have an appreciation of the importance of our heritage.”

Gallery: 'One of a kind' medieval house discovered in Co Clare
1 / 3
  • Archaeological discovery in Ennis

    Cllr Michael Guilfoyle and Dick Cronin, Architectural Conservation Officer, pictured at the house (Brian Arthur/Press 22)
  • Archaeological discovery in Ennis

    Cllr Michael Guilfoyle and Dick Cronin, Architectural Conservation Officer, pictured at the house (Brian Arthur/Press 22)
  • Archaeological discovery in Ennis

    Cllr Michael Guilfoyle and David Humphreys, Conservation Engineer, pictured at the house (Brian Arthur/Press 22)

More: Ireland’s historic buildings could be stripped of protection in new plan>

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
11
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.