The Fingal Fieldnames Project, now in its second year, focuses on empowering communities to ensure the survival of a vital part of our heritage and culture. It aims to help participants record, log and understand fieldnames in their area. Every field across the country has had a name at one time or other. This name may have described the topography of the land, the owners, buildings that may have once stood in or close to the field, the purpose of the field, size of the field or some event that took place in the field in a bygone time. This heritage is a valuable link to the past and is also part of the living cultural heritage of the very varied and diverse Fingal landscape. Fingal County has seen rapid change and development in recent decades. In many locations, farmland has been replaced by houses, factories and roads.
Speaking about the project Fingal’s Community Archaeologist, Christine Baker said ‘This project is creating a framework where the field names can be recorded, understood, logged and saved for future generations. It is an organic project which involves community, heritage groups and historical society members working with memory in their localities to save a rapidly diminishing element of our cultural heritage’.
Commencing in 2018 the Fingal Fieldnames Project has through Abarta Heritage provided training and a framework to participants who have under taken research on historical sources relating to field names and the landscape in Fingal. Training has highlighted accessible resources such as the Fingal Archives & Local Studies, the Schools Folklore Collection and historic maps. Participants have also visited farmers and others amongst us who can remember the names of fields which have now disappeared.
‘During the course of the first phase of the project, we have produced a detailed handbook for the Fingal Fieldnames Project; developed a recording system and database leading to the recording of 213 field names which may otherwise have been lost’ said Dr Conor Ryan , researcher with Abarta Heritage. ‘We look forward to building on these foundations by empowering communities across Fingal to save this valuable link to our past’.
The first meeting of Phase II of the Fingal Fieldnames project is at 7pm on Thursday 20th June 2019 in the Fingal Archives & Local Studies, North Street, Swords. If you would like to get involved with this project please come along or contact Community Archaeologist Christine Baker at email@example.com