Derryboy Dig

Three archaeologists in raincoats and protective gloves examining the ground at the site of a dig

Clare Museum led an archaeological dig of a 19th-century house site at Derryboy, Ballinruan. The aim of this project was to learn more about domestic life in rural Clare.

The excavation was supervised by Graham Hull of archaeological consultants TVAS Ireland. Volunteers took part too, learning skills from experienced professionals, while also discovering their own local history.

The dig took place between 2019 and 2022 (with a pause during the Covid-19 pandemic).

This excavation was part of Clare’s participation in Creative Ireland, a culture-based programme designed to promote individual, community and national wellbeing. The core proposition is that participation in cultural activity drives personal and collective creativity, with significant implications for individual and societal wellbeing and achievement. 

Clare County Council works with Creative Ireland under Pillar 2 of the programme: ‘Enabling Creativity in Every Community’.

Some of what was found in the dig:

  • Identification of a house, abandoned in the 19th century, possibly during the Great Famine
  • A child’s shoe, which had probably been concealed in the house. This practice has only been found in a small number of locations in Ireland.
  • Domestic pottery, parts of an iron cooking pot, and other small items

You can find more information on the excavation in the attached documents: 


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