Athlone Town Walls and Defences

The subject of the study comprises both the extant walls and those lengths that have been demolished.

An initial study was made of the available documentary evidence prior to an investigation of the standing fabric.The investigation of the standing walls has included photography to identify the main types and phases ofwork in each section and to establish the varied condition of the masonry.  

There is a quantity of primary evidence and secondary source material relating to the history and development of Athlone Town Walls. The main resources used for information on the walls were the published works of Dr. Harman Murtagh. Additional material on Irish historic towns and defences was gained from sources listed in the bibliography (Appendix 1). Further material was collected locally from the Athlone Town Visitors' Centre and the Local Studies Centre of the Aidan Heavey Library, Athlone, and nationally additional information was obtained from the DoEHLG SMR Archive at the Archive Unit, St. Stephens Green, Dublin.

Irish town walls have been subject to a comprehensive study (Thomas 1992), while the walls of Athlone have been the subject of detailed research, notably by Murtagh in a series of key publications (1971, 1973, 1980, 1985, 1986), and more recently in the Athlone fascicle of the Historic Towns Atlas (Murtagh, 1994). John Bradley has produced the Archaeological Potential of Athlone, for the Urban Archaeological Survey (OPW 1993), which is an important work in highlighting the areas of the town, which could reveal more information, through archaeological investigation.

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Keywords: Athlone, City Walls, Conservation, Ireland, Management Plan



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