Cultural-historical heritage Ireland
Ireland’s coastal landscape, and its cultural heritage features such as Martello Towers, castles, historic houses and promontory forts, along with our coastline will be affected by increased coastal erosion, more frequent storms and rising sea levels (1).
Archaeological and industrial heritage sites along Ireland’s inland waterways will suffer from changes in river flow and water supply, resulting in both intense rainfall and flooding at times, but also a drying out due to drought and a reduction in the water table during summer months (1).
Many estuaries of western Ireland contain submerged Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age land-surfaces that now lie exposed to view at low tide on the estuary mudflats (2). For example, in the Shannon estuary, Neolithic and Bronze Age occupation sites have been found, along with hundreds of Bronze Age, Medieval and postmedieval wooden structures such as intertidal fishtraps. The estuary also holds an immense and unique cultural archaeological landscape, often reclaimed and embanked from the sea in the post-medieval period. Climate and sea-level changes are likely to cause widespread erosion of the lower shoreline, changed tidal channel positions, and a narrowing and steepening of the estuary leading to an increase in tidal amplitude (3). These changes will accelerate the current rates of destruction observed in inter-tidal contexts, and promote the erosion of exposed sites along the high water mark. associated with a rich archaeological record of settlement and landscape, particularly in the form of medieval castles, towerhouses, abbeys and other features that exploited the estuary’s channels and wetlands.
The references below are cited in full in a separate map 'References'. Please click here if you are looking for the full references for Ireland.
- Edward and O’ Sullivan (2009)
- O’Sullivan (2001)
- Healy (2002)