I’m a PhD student in the Archaeology and Palaeoecology department at Queen’s, looking at medieval parish churches in the north of Ireland and how they were a part of wider social, political and physical landscapes. My supervisors are Dr Patrick Gleeson, and Dr Sparky Booker at DCU.
Growing up with books set in the ancient Roman Empire, and fantasy books set in medieval-type worlds, I always had a strong love for history and mythology. With enjoying maths and the sciences at school too, studying archaeology seemed a great way to combine my interests. During my undergraduate degree at Queen’s, the medieval modules were the ones I enjoyed the most and I became particularly interested in medieval churches, writing my BSc dissertation on late medieval church buildings and wealth in counties Antrim and Londonderry. I then studied an MA in Medieval Archaeology at the University of York, where I became interested in medieval landscapes and the interactions within them. After taking a couple of years to work in field archaeology for a company in England, I started my PhD at Queen’s in October 2020. Using archaeological databases, medieval documents, my own site visits and buildings surveys, satellite imagery and more, I’ll be investigating how parish churches were related to by the local rulers, populations and monastic houses, and identifying the similarities and differences between the English colony and Gaelic-Irish territories