Vinegar Hill Archeological Study

Front row from left: Grace Warren, Emily Deacon, Aoibhe Oakes, and Eva Bailey from St. Mary’s N.S., Enniscorthy. Back row from
left: Dr. Tony Pollard, director of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at the University of Glasgow; Jacqui Hynes, manager of the
National 1798 Rebellion Centre, Enniscorthy; and Tony Larkin, Enniscorthy town manager. Picture: Patrick Browne.

By Adam Farley, Assistant Editor
April / May 2014

This year marks the beginning of a three-year full archeological study of the 1798 Battle of Vinegar Hill site in County Wexford. The Rebellion battle, in which over 1,000 rebels were killed, was not a comprehensive defeat for the Irish, but significantly changed the momentum of the 1798 Rebellion.

“At the end of this study we hope to have a more complete picture of what exactly took place and the expanse of the Battles of Enniscorthy and Vinegar Hill,” the National 1798 Rebellion Center Manager Jacqui Hynes said in a press statement. “Although there are significant historical accounts of the battle, from first-hand to those written for ‘political’ purposes, which serve to add to our knowledge of the events, what is missing is a full survey of the site and the battle in its entirety.”

In addition to identifying key areas of fighting and illuminating 18th-century battlefield strategy, the primary goal is to set a national standard for battlefield research and preservation. Both Irish and international experts will employ non-invasive strategies that are designed to set a benchmark for low-impact research and conservation methods. The battlegrounds will remain open to visitors throughout the study so tourists can see the research as it happens. And for those who are unable to make it to Wexford, updates will be posted on the Vinegar Hill Battlefield Center’s website.

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