Saturday, 10 November 2012

The Caherduggan peytrel – a unique medieval find

Excavations at the former site of Caherduggan Castle, Co. Cork, have revealed a preserved composite leather and metal object that may be a unique survival in Ireland and Britain.

The dig was carried out in 2011 by Rubicon Heritage Services on behalf of Cork County Council, as part of a road realignment planned between the villages of Newtwopothouse and Doneraile in the north of the county.

A medieval well

The investigations revealed a number of features relating to the castle structure, including the footings of a tower house and an enclosing stone-revetted fosse. Within the castle confines a medieval well was excavated that contained a number of extraordinarily well preserved objects. Amongst the material lost or discarded in its depths were a 13th/14th century bone gaming die, a 13th/14th century indoor side-seamed shoe and a curious long leather strip with what appeared to be metal-studding along its length.

These objects underwent months of painstaking conservation and have recently returned to undergo specialist analysis.

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