Moygara Castle, Co Sligo (Monument No.: SL 044-05201) appears to be mainly late 16th or early 17th century in date. It consists of a large square bawn (51m North / South by 51m East West), which has a residential tower, each slightly angled in shape, at each of its four corners. A gatehouse occurs along its Western side. The historical evidence and field remains at the site, however, suggest that an earlier tower house, whose foundations are still visible, existed along the Northern side of the bawn wall.

No detailed architectural and historical study has been carried out to date on this clearly complex Castle, which functioned as the centre of the late medieval O’Gara Lordship of Coolavin. It is proposed that during the summer of 2006, a detailed architectural plan should be made of the site and that this work would include plans of the upper floors of the corner towers. A detailed photographic record will also be made of the site and this will include all internal features of the Castle, including architectural fragments lying on the ground (these include a voussoir with a Sheela na Gig depicted on it)

A search for aerial photographs of the site will also be undertaken and it will be necessary to take a vertical shot of the site. An attempt will also be made to re-construct the immediate physical and cultural landscape of the site when it was in use. Apart from the architectural and archaeological work, it is important that a professional Historian carry out a detailed historical study of the site. This would assist in the dating of the two phases seen at the site and also help elucidate the exact functions of the Castle when it was in use.

It is hoped to complete this work by August 2006. The information will be used to help the committee decide on a conservation plan for the castle and help them make decisions on how the site should be presented to the public.

The information will also be analysed at an academic level. It is hoped to eventually publish the results of the study in a national / international journal (example Medieval Archaeology or possibly Post Medieval Archaeology). This will mean that the project has increased our academic knowledge of castles of late medieval and early post-medieval Ireland and Britain. However, it is also hoped that a Geophysical Survey will be carried out at the site in 2007. It is possible that the Committee should wait for the results of this Geophysical study, before publishing the 2006 survey, as it might greatly add to the findings and the first season. The combined results would possibly make for a better publication, which would come out in late 2007 or early 2008.

It is also intended to hold a conference outlining the findings of the project, which would again put the results in an international context, but also present them in an accessible way to the local public.

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