Dr Rory Sherlock
Dr Rory Sherlock MIAI
Dr Rory Sherlock is a graduate of both UCC and NUI Galway, having completed his BA and MA in Cork in 1995 and 1997 respectively and his PhD in Galway in 2008. He has worked extensively in commercial archaeology, but specialises in the study of medieval archaeology and architecture and completed his doctoral research on The Social Environment of the Irish Tower House. He was recently declared the joint winner of the Awards for the Presentation of Heritage Research 2011 at a ceremony in the British Museum in London for a paper he delivered on the dating of Irish tower houses using AMS C14 dating and Bayesian modelling.
Areas of Research Interest
Medieval, later medieval and post-medieval settlement and landscape in Ireland and Britain, particularly the architecture and setting of castles, tower houses, fortified houses and medieval monasteries; the role and development of such buildings and complexes as social environments;
the application of spatial analysis techniques to tower house studies; the evolution of late medieval architecture in Ireland and Britain in response to social developments. In broader terms, he is interested in the archaeological expressions of cultural identity in different areas of Gaelic and Anglo-Norman Ireland and the changing nature of material culture in Ireland in the late medieval period. He has recently been awarded a Heritage Council grant for an innovative tower-house dating programme where AMS C14 technology will be used to date wickerwork twigs which became embedded in mortar during the construction of the buildings.
Selected Public Lectures
•‘Gaelic Tower Houses: The Adoption and Adaptation of an Architectural Form across an Ethnic Frontier’ – 41st International Medieval Congress (Western Michigan University, USA – May 2006).
•‘Past and Present Approaches to the Study of Tower Houses in Ireland – 42nd International Medieval Congress (Western Michigan University, USA – May 2007).
•‘Cross-Cultural Occurrences of Mutations in Tower House Architecture: Evidence for Cultural Homogeneity in Late Medieval Ireland?’ – Invited Lecture (St Louis University, USA – May 2007).
•‘An Introduction to Bunratty Castle’ – British Archaeological Association Annual Conference (University of Limerick – June 2008).
•‘The Space Created and the Space Inhabited: The Application of Access Analysis to the Study of Late Medieval Irish Tower Houses’ – World Archaeological Congress (Dublin – July 2008).
•‘Changing Perceptions: Spatial Analysis and the Study of the Irish Tower House’ – Château Gaillard XXIV (University of Stirling – September 2008).
•’The Evolution of the Irish Tower House’ – The Tower as Late Medieval Lordly Residence Conference (University of Stirling – June 2010).
•’Finding servants and service areas in Irish tower houses – a simple task?’ – Vernacular Architecture Group Conference (University of Leicester – January 2011)
♦Sherlock, R. 2011, ‘The Evolution of the Irish Tower House as a Domestic Space’ Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 111C, 115-40.
♦Sherlock, R. 2011, ‘An Introduction to the History and Architecture of Bunratty Castle’ in Roger Stalley (ed.) Limerick and South-West Ireland: Medieval Art and Architecture (Transactions of the British Archaeological Association XXXIV), 202-18.
♦Sherlock, R. 2010, ‘Changing Perceptions: Spatial Analysis and the Study of the Irish Tower House’ Château Gaillard, 24, 239-50.
♦Sherlock, R. 2010, ‘New Challenges to Old Castles: Irish Tower Houses in the 21st Century’, Europa Nostra Scientific Bulletin 63, 35-6.
♦Sherlock, R. 2009, ‘Ice Pops, a tent and plaster of Paris: essential requirements for excavation’ in Fenwick, J., (ed.) Lost and Found II: Rediscovering Ireland’s Past, Wordwell, Bray, 41-52.
♦Sherlock, R., 2007, ‘Northwest Co Cavan Survey: An Archaeological Survey of Northwest Cavan – The Other Burren’. Archaeological Development Services Ltd., Dublin.
♦Sherlock, R. 2006, ‘Cross-Cultural Occurrences of Mutations in Tower House Architecture: Evidence for Cultural Homogeneity in Late Medieval Ireland?’ Journal of Irish Archaeology, 15, 73-91.
♦Sherlock, R. 2006, ‘Mural Domestic Bread Ovens: Evidence for the Medieval – Post- Medieval Architectural Transition in County Cork’, Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, 111, 107-24.
♦Sherlock, R. 2004, ‘Newly Recorded Figurative Carvings on Tower Houses in County Limerick’, North Munster Antiquarian Journal 44, 15-23.
♦ Sherlock, R. 2000, ‘The Later Medieval Fireplaces of County Cork’, Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, 105, 207-30.