Project 21: People, Place, Power and Pageantry: Exploring Fermanagh in the time of the Maguires

This project will investigate the Medieval Maguire landscape with the purpose of developing further the story of the Maguires at the centre of their Fermanagh lordship in the Lisnaskea region.

Project 21: People, Place, Power and Pageantry: Exploring Fermanagh in the time of the Maguires

A community archaeology dig and excavation will be the centre piece of this project, which will stimulate an active interest in Fermanagh’s past, with a focus on the people and practices of the medieval period.  It will spark curiosity and has the potential to produce evidence about past human activity in medieval times. Locals will engage with as well as learn and enhance their knowledge of the history and heritage of the local area.  

School children, youth groups (e.g. cub scouts) and community volunteers, from all sides of the community, will be involved in a 3 week community excavation (most likely within the Lisnaskea area).

A wider programme of community engagement events will be organised to awaken interest and enhance knowledge of Fermanagh’s medieval landscape, for the local community (young and old), and tourists alike. 

It is anticipated that the excavation will produce important academic information. The project will build on the already successful Maguire weekend, organised by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, which this year will be held in May 2020.

We will shortly be inviting individuals/organisations to tender for the development and delivery of this project

If you would like to get involved in this project, participate in the community dig, or if you would like further information on the project, please contact Hazel Long call 028 6632 7109 email:

Project Updates

Legacy of Landscape Launch – May 2021

Watch the Legacy of Landscape Launch recording below! 

The Lough Erne Landscape Partnership (LELP) invites you to join us at the virtual launch of our exciting new two-year engagement programme – Legacy of Landscape: The People and Heritage of Lough Erne on Wednesday 19th May at 7:30 pm, with guest speaker Ciaran McMenamin – Fermanagh native, author and actor.  This event will explore our new project, which is focussed on discovering, celebrating and preserving the culture and traditions of the Lough Erne region, both past and present.

Supported through funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Community Foundation Northern Ireland, this project will be delivered in collaboration with the Centre for Community Archaeology (CCA) and the Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis(CDDA) at Queen’s University Belfast. The initiative focusses on the built and cultural heritage of Lough Erne, and volunteers can enrol to get access to a suite of FREE ‘at home’ learning opportunities where they can develop and learn new skills and share valuable stories, capturing and promoting the unique and special heritage of the Erne’s landscape and communities.

There are 5 key heritage studies within the programme that are focused around the themes of:

  • Memories:  Life on the Erne
  • Studying Vernacular Buildings
  • Enniskillen: The Development of the Island Town
  • Mapping the Built Heritage of the Islands
  • Power & Pageantry: Exploring Fermanagh in the Times of the Maguires

In order to address the current restrictions due to the pandemic, the collective QUB team have developed the LELP Online Heritage Campus.  Spearheaded by Dr Siobhán McDermott,  this exciting new online learning experience offers you a FREE course of five four-week long ‘toolkits’ or virtual learning experiences that enable you as volunteers to receive tuition from the safety of your own home!

Throughout this two-year project, in addition to our learning sessions, there will be opportunities to participate in the field with archaeological excavations, site visits, buildings recording field schools, as well as a lecture series, online talks, and your chance to contribute towards the development of a dynamic and interactive ‘Memory Map’, showcasing the rich and unique cultural heritage of the Erne.

So, what do we expect from you? 

All we expect is an enthusiastic attitude and an interest in conserving and promoting the heritage of the region. Our online tutors will be available to help, advise, and support you from 10am-4pm Monday to Friday. You do not need to have any previous experience in any of our topics. We will see you through!

Please join us to hear more about our project on Wednesday 19th  May. Our guest speaker, Ciaran McMenamin, will treat us to a reading from his latest book The Sunken Road, in addition to excerpts from his 2017 novel Skintown, sharing with us how the landscapes of Lough Erne have influenced his writing.  Amongst musical interludes from Fermanagh singer songwriter Sean Magee, we are also delighted to be joined by Professor Eileen Murphy, Professor of Archaeology at the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen’s University Belfast, who will provide more information about the innovative work we will be undertaking around Fermanagh.

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