Recent excavations at Rathfarnham Castle have provided an unusual opportunity to look at the microscopic plant remains (seeds) that are sometimes preserved in archaeological deposits. This talk will discuss material that dates from approximately 1660 to 1710, a period that coincided with the development of a culture of hospitality and feasting amongst the protestant elite in Ireland. We will look at how the plant remains from Rathfarnham Castle contribute to our understanding of gardening and food in this period, discussing the cultivation of exotic new food plants in the garden, and how these were then prepared and consumed.
After the talk there will be a chance for members of the public to use a microscope to look at the seeds that were found during the excavations.
Blog posts covering the contents of the talk to follow shortly!
My most recent research efforts have been focused on developing ideas about gardening and food in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This has been prompted by some work on the plant remains from excavations at Rathfarnham Castle in late 2014 and early 2015. The samples dated from the 1690s, plus or minus 30 years.
I am just back from visiting the new (not quite finished yet) visitor centre at the North Chapel, the Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Anne, where the outreach hub of the Cork Folklore Project will soon be based. I was there for a fairly informal launch of this year’s issue of The Archive, the Project’s journal. In the room, which will be open to visitors, there is an interactive whiteboard displaying the latest iteration of the Cork Memory Map, which I worked on for my PhD. There are niggles, but it was exciting to see it on display!
My Viva voce was last week. It was a strange experience and I am still occasionally kicking myself for not saying things in certain ways. I used the final chapter of John Finn’s book, Getting a Phd, to prepare. He lists a set of general questions that are commonly asked in vivas. I used this, getting my husband to ask me the questions, which forced me to verbalise the thesis. This was quite good preparation and I would recommend it to anyone else in the same situation. Continue reading After the viva→