The Uí Chellaig lords of Uí Maine and Tír Maine
An archaeological and landscape exploration of a later medieval inland Gaelic lordship
Daniel Patrick Curley
The Ó Cellaig (O’Kelly) lordship of Uí Maine and Tír Maine was a substantial political territory and influential cultural power in later medieval Connacht. This book identifies and reconstructs the physical appearance of the major Ó Cellaig lordly centres from their emergence as one of the principal offshoots of the Uí Maine in c.1100, to the demise of the lordship around the year 1600. It begins with an historical background, which helps to identify the lordly centres (cenn áiteanna), and define the shifting physical boundaries of this territory through the period. The later medieval physical environment is then reconstructed, with an exploration of the resources and economic conditions which underpinned this inland Gaelic lordship. Thereafter, the focus moves to inspect these cenn áiteanna, their siting, forms and surrounding cultural landscapes. In doing so, the writer investigates a broad range of settlement forms, including the continued use of crannóga and promontory forts, before turning to the tower house castle. This book tackles important themes in later medieval Gaelic society and its physical expression, through the lens of these eastern Connacht lords.
Daniel Patrick Curley is a graduate of the NUIG, with a PhD in Archaeology. He manages the Rathcroghan Visitor Centre in Co. Roscommon, and his research interests lie primarily in the archaeology and cultural heritage of Roscommon and east Galway.