Summer excavations underway at Trim's Black Friary site

Story by Noelle Finegan

Tuesday, 10th May, 2016 3:18pm

Summer excavations underway at Trim's Black Friary site

The Irish Archaeology Field School’s (IAFS) summer excavation season at the Black Friary site in Trim kicked off in glorious sunshine this week.
Over the summer months, third-level students, IAFS staff and the Trim community will continue to explore the story of the Black Friary and the people of Trim, from the medieval period to the present day.
IAFS have been excavating the Black Friary since 2010, but this promises to be their busiest ever year.
In addition to the Institute of Field Research and Ohio State University who have been visiting Trim for several years, IAFS will be joined by students from five new university partners, including Ithaca College, Saint Mary’s College, State University of New York College (SUNY) Cortland, Indiana State University and Maynooth University.
The universities will be contributing to a range of new initiatives in the town, as well as excavating the site itself.
SUNY Cortland will be conducting geophysical surveys of the Black Friary, while students from Ithaca College plan to conduct 3D scans of upstanding medieval remains, such as Trim Castle.
A group of students from Maynooth University will be searching for evidence of the northern enclosure of Trim, which may be close to the southern boundary of the Black Friary site.
This year will also see IAFS’ first foray into a new academic area of 'service learning’ and together with partners Learn International, they are delighted to welcome Indiana State University to Trim to contribute to the community outreach programme.
The programme, jointly delivered with the locally co-ordinated Blackfriary Community Heritage and Archaeology Project (BCHAP) group, grows in scope every year.
The oral history project, 'Living Among The Monuments’, which aims to collect oral histories from local people about Trim and its environs, has been gaining traction. The initial results of the project, including an eyewitness account of the burning of Trim by the Black and Tans in 1920, will be presented in Trim library on 2nd June, from 6pm-8pm
On 26th May from 4pm-7pm, IAFS will host a community evening on the Black Friary site, showcasing recent amenity works on the site, followed by entertainment and food.
On 30th June IAFS and their partners will present the results of their new research initiatives to the local Trim community, while on 28th July a 'wrap party’ will be held on the Black Friary site from 5-7pm.
The Black Friary site will also be open for tours to the local community every second Thursday from 2pm to 4pm, when members of the public can inspect the excavations, interact with students and receive expert-led tours of the site. The dates are 12th May, 26th May, 9th June, 23rd June, 7th July, 21st July, 4th August and 18th August.
IAFS will be holding its first community dig as part of Heritage Week from Monday 22nd August to Friday 26th August. The public are invited to get a 'hands-on’ experience of field archaeology, including excavation and sorting of finds. No previous experience is required.

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