Step Three: Monuments and Buildings
The most visible parts of our heritage and history are the monuments and buildings that you can ﬁnd in the landscape. They provide tangible evidence of human activity and can tell us much about life in the past.
The Archaeological Survey of Ireland’s Historic Environment Viewer has details of over 130,000 archaeological monuments in Ireland, from megalithic tombs over 5,000 years old to ruined medieval churches. You can use the handy viewer to pan and zoom on the map to any part of Ireland, or search for a particular townland using the search query box on the right. Each red dot indicates an archaeological monument, while the blue dots indicate historic structures (more on that below). Click on a dot to get further information, including the monument type and a written description. The focus is on describing the physical attributes on the monument, but in many cases there is historical information and references to scholarly articles.
The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage complements the Archaeological Survey and provides information on buildings and structures dated after 1700. As with the archaeological sites, you can access information on individual sites via the online Historic Environment Viewer.
Each site is represented by a blue dot. Click on the dot to access the record for the building which includes the name, address, date and reference number. Click the ‘View Main Record’ link to get a detailed description of the site including a photo. The focus is on describing architectural features, and there are often interesting nuggets of historical information too.
Heritage Maps as a resource is discussed in Step One “Using Maps’ but it is worth a mention here again as it is a fantastic resource for all kinds of heritage information. For more info on how to use the resource have a look here.