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Antiquities of west Mayo


Christiaan Corlett

Published 2001, 170pp, hardback, illustrated

Published by Wordwell Ltd

Antiquities of West Mayo is a synthesis of the archaeology of West Mayo, namely the two baronies of Burrishoole and Murrisk, which once formed the territory known as Umhall. It details the rich archaeological, historical and folk heritage – from prehistoric times to the twentieth century – of an area of the west of Ireland world-renowned for the beauty of its coastline, islands and mountains. Historical sources from the ancient annals to the writings of the ‘grand tourists’ and antiquarians of the nineteenth century are used, and the contemporaneous accounts shed light on the changing social fabric as well as the archaeology of the area. The story of St Patrick’s association with the landscape and monuments of the region, especially the majestic mountain of Croagh Patrick, is given. And the exploits of the famous Mayo sea queen Grace O’Malley, with ‘her naughty disposicion towards the state’ are also detailed.

Antiquities of West Mayo is a pictorially focused work, with many of the monuments of the area illustrated with stunning colour photographs by the author, as well as several additional black and white photographs and other figures. It includes a gazetteer and map of the archaeological monuments, to facilitate readers wishing to explore the area for themselves. Written in a very accessible style, this book distils the wealth of archaeological and historical information on West Mayo into an informative and engaging narrative that will appeal to a wide audience.