In recent years the function of the parish in the early medieval world has been significantly re-evaluated, and in the early modern world too its political and religious role is now understood to transcend the divisions of reformation and counter-reformation. The Group for the Study of Irish Historic Settlement organised a conference in 2003 that brought together some of Ireland's leading geographers, ecclesiastical historians, settlement historians and archaeologists to capture something of the complex world of the parish. This important book is the result of that endeavour and will be of interest to all those concerned with the Irish past.
Elizabeth FitzPatrick is a lecturer in archaeology at NUIG and co-editor of Gaelic Ireland, c.1250-c.1650: land, and settlement (FCP, 2001, pbk 2004). Associate Professor Raymond Gillespie lectures in history at NUIM and is the author and editor of numerous books on Irish and British history, including The laity and the Church of Ireland, 1000-2000 (FCP, 2002) and Stories from Gaelic Ireland: microhistories from the sixteenth-century Irish annals (FCP, 2003).