Buttevant Town Walls

Conservation, Management and Interpretation plan.

Buttevant is situated along the steeply sloping west bank of the Awbeg River, a tributary of the Blackwater. Surrounded by rich farmland,with the Ballyhoura Mountains forming the backdrop to the northeast, it lies on the N20 roughly half way between Cork and Limerick, north of Mallow and south of Charleville.

When travelling through Buttevant today, the first impression is of an early nineteenth-century market town, with a broad main street and fine civic buildings similar to those constructed by wealthy landlords all around the country. However, the medieval remains of the friary and Lombard's Castle confirm that this place was first settled much longer ago. Buttevant was founded by the Anglo-Normans in the early thirteenth century, and the town defences were first recorded in the fourteenth century.

The regular grid of streets and plots date from the thirteenth century, creating a distinctive pattern that resembles settlements in France and Wales known as bastides. The outline of the walled circuit is not yet fully understood, infact, it was thought that no upstanding remains of the town defences had survived. However, recent studies by archaeologists have identified sections of wall that have been preserved and new theories have been proposed about the urban morphology of the town. This plan will describe these theories along with the supporting material evidence while recommending how a more definitive description of the walls of Buttevant can be arrived at through further archaeological investigation. Having a fuller understanding of the extent of the wall circuit is crucial for the preservation of this unique archaeological heritage site.

Read the full report.

Howley Hayes Architects

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