Swords Castle Digging History Fingal Community Archaeology Project 2015 - 2017

Swords Castle: Digging History is the first Community Archaeology project designed and supported by Fingal County Council. It is a unique means of engaging people, locals and tourists alike, with one of the county’s premier cultural and tourist assets. 


Swords Castle Digging History Logo 2017

So what is Community Archaeology?

Archaeology is about people in the past, and Community is about people in the present. This is an ideal opportunity for us to uncover the mysteries of the past. Fingal’s community archaeologist, Christine Baker, is putting together a programme of events and projects that everyone can be involved in - from a photographic exhibition to an archaeological dig.

Why Swords Castle?

A series of ‘knowledge gaps’ were identified in the Swords Castle Conservation Plan 2014.  Although it is the best surviving example of a Dublin archbishop’s palace and was an important administrative centre there are some questions that remain unanswered; Is there a graveyard underneath the castle? Were there buildings within the yard? How old are the different buildings? Through this project we hope to answer at least some of these questions. 

Swords Castle: Digging History-Season 3

Season 3 of our community dig will run from Friday 18th August to Wednesday 6th September. It will open from Tuesdays to Sundays 10am to 4pm. We need you to get involved- to dig, to record, to organise artefacts, to wash pottery and to help with soil samples. No experience is necessary but you must be over 18. See our Swords Castle Digging History Info Sheet 2017‌.

In addition to the dig we will be exploring the following themes:

Story of the Stone

We will be looking at the geology of the stone work to detail the story of the stone from quarry to construction and from reconstruction to conservation.

Finding Fanning’s Burials

Before Swords Castle was built it was the site of a graveyard which dates from the 11th century. In 1971 skeletons were excavated within the castle but these have since disappeared. We will be trying to track down the missing burials and determine the extent of the graveyard.

How Do I Get Involved?

If you would like to get involved in any aspect of the project please contact our Fingal Community Archaeologist, Christine Baker by email: [email protected]

Where Can I Follow The Project?

Like the Swords Castle Digging History Facebook Page or follow us at Fingal Heritage on twitter. 

Documents and Links

Swords Castle Digging History Info Sheet 2017‌