A lecture on George Petrie, ‘The father of Irish archaeology’

Round tower and belfry, Swords by Petrie


To celebrate the opening of a new exhibition at the National Library, entitled ‘Particles of the Past’, Peter Murray will lecture on the work of George Petrie. This talk is talking place in National Library’s Seminar room on February 29th at 7pm.

As part of the exhibition George Petrie’s wonderfully illustrated ‘Notebook of Irish Antiquities’ will be put on display. In the notebook, Petrie has depicted watercolour drawings of artifacts from the Bronze Age in beautiful detail. Petrie is often referred to as the ‘Father of Irish Archaeology’ and in the late 1820s and 1830s he significantly revitalised the Royal Irish Academy’s antiquities committee.

He was responsible for their acquisition of many important Irish manuscripts, including an autograph copy of the Annals of the Four Masters, as well as examples of insular metalwork, including the Cross of Cong. His writings on early Irish archaeology and architecture were of great significance, especially his Essay on the Round Towers of Ireland, which appeared in his 1845 book titled The Ecclesiastical Architect. He was also a celebrated artist and painted many Irish archaeological sites and a number of these images are currently on display in the National Gallery of Ireland.

This should make for a very interesting lecture. Admission is free and no booking is required.

Castle Howell by Petrie


Gallarus oratory by Petrie


2 thoughts on “A lecture on George Petrie, ‘The father of Irish archaeology’

  1. Just found your great blog. I am an archaeology buff. I spent some time in Ireland researching for a historical novel and fell in love with Ireland. Hope to return some day. Looking forward to future posts. Thanks for doing this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.