Tales of Medieval Dublin, lunchtime talks

A quick heads up about the excellent Tales of Medieval Dublin lecture series.

Following its successful run in 2010, Dublin City Council and the Friends of Medieval Dublin are delighted to re-introduce, Tales of Medieval Dublin, a series of seven free lunchtime lectures held monthly between June and December 2011. Former minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, and current President of the Labour Party, Michael D. Higgins, will launch the series and first lecture on 21st June 2011 in the Wood Quay Venue of Dublin City Council, against the unique historical backdrop of a stretch of the original Hiberno-Norse wall dating from the 12th century.

Tales of Medieval Dublin is a chance for modern day Dubliners to hear the exciting stories of medieval men and women who walked the same footsteps as we do today. Passing through Dublin Castle or by the surviving city walls, only parts of the medieval city can be seen, but underneath the surface of the modern capital the colourful world of the medieval city emerges. From the Archdeacon whose career ended in imprisonment and disgrace, to the Mason who repaired the great bridge of Dublin in 1372. From the Mother who gained the reputation as a jezebel, to the Peasant who overcame many problems in order to survive the 11th century.


Lecture 1: The Viking’s Tale

New research on a group of artefacts found in a gravel pit at Islandbridge in 1866 is casting new light on one of the earliest Viking inhabitants of Dublin.

Speaker: Stephen Harrison Date: Tuesday June 21st, 1.15–2.00pm 1


2: The Mother’s Tale

Allegedly married in succession three times, to a Norse king and to two Irish high-kings, Gormlaith appears to have been something of a Jezebel. Does she deserve this reputation?

Speaker: Howard Clarke Date: Tuesday July 12th, 1.05–1.45pm 2


3: The Peasant’s Tale

What would it have been like to be a peasant in the medieval period? Learn about some of the problems these farmers had to overcome in order to survive in the eleventh century.

Speaker: Cherie Peters Date: Tuesday August 9th, 1.05–1.45pm 3


4: The Archdeacon’s Tale

Nicholas de Clere was both archdeacon of Dublin and treasurer of Ireland in the late thirteenth century. This tale looks at his spiritual and secular careers and explains why they ended in imprisonment and disgrace.

Speaker: Margaret Murphy Date: Tuesday September 20th, 1.05–1.45pm 4


5: The Mason’s Tale

John More was mason at Dublin Castle in 1372 and instrumental in the repair of the great bridge of Dublin in 1385/6.

Speaker: Michael O’Neill Date: Tuesday October 11th, 1.05–1.45pm 5


6: The Notary’s Tale

Involved in legal administration and literary commissions, James Yonge is a fascinating fifteenth-century Dubliner who produces one of the most interesting Hiberno-Middle English works of his century.

Speaker: Caoimhe Whelan Date: Tuesday November 22nd, 1.05–1.45pm 6


7: The Man of Law’s Tale

James Stanihurst served as both Recorder of Dublin and parliamentary Speaker. Hear the tale of this scholarly lawyer who assisted in Queen Mary’s Catholic restoration and Queen Elizabeth’s Protestant Reformation.

Speaker: Colm Lennon Date: Tuesday December 13th, 1.05–1.45pm 7

Admission free: All welcome




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