SMDS 2010 cover bannerThe aim of the project was to re-examine c. 100 stone monuments a decade after the Stone Monuments Decay Study 2000 to establish what (if any) any changes had occurred in their condition. Many things have changed in Ireland over the intervening decade, including unprecedented development within the Irish landscape,  developments in the techniques and practice of conservation work, changing attitudes to archaeological sites and historic buildings, a growing awareness of the potential wide-ranging impacts of climatic change, and recession which had dramatic impacts on the construction and conservation industry. Within this context, the study sought to determine the condition of a series of archaeological monuments and historic buildings, and investigate changes to the sites and the monuments, and how weathering and soiling patterns  on their stone surfaces have progressed over time.

The original project highlighted the vulnerability of a cross-section of Ireland’s historic buildings from prehistoric tombs to medieval medieval castles and ecclesiastical heritage, such as churches, high crosses and round towers, to post-medieval fortifications such as Martello Towers. The new project allowed a unique opportunity: to study in detail how buildings, stone surfaces and carved stone sculpture have changed over a decade.SMDS 2010 cover banner 2

Relevant Publications

Bolton, J. (2016) “Granite and marine salt weathering anomalies from submerged, inter-tidal and coastal archaeological monuments in Ireland”, 13th International Congress on the Deterioration and Conservation of Stone, University of the West of Scotland

Bolton, J. (2012) “Ever decreasing circles: the implications of climate change and the deterioration of coastal archaeological monuments”. In IKUWA 3: Beyond Boundaries. Proceedings of the 3rd International Congress on Underwater Archaeology, University College London, 10-12 July 2008. Frankfurt. Roman-Germanic Commission of the German Archaeological Institute.  Pp.143-150

Bolton, J. (2010) “Carved stone in Romanesque Ireland: use, decay and conservation”, 7th  International Conference on Science and Technology in Archaeology and  Conservation Workshop on Documentation and Conservation of Stone  deterioration in Heritage Place & the CIPA Workshop on Documentation  and Conservation of Stone Deterioration in Heritage Places, 7-12 December 2010

Bolton, J. (2007) “Submerged Ruins” in Ashurst, J. [ed] Conservation of Ruins. Butterworth Conservation Series. Oxford. Elsevier. Pp. 212-234.

Pavia, S. & Bolton, J. (2001) Stone Monuments Decay Study 2000: an assessment of the degree of erosion and degradation of a sample of stone monuments in the Republic of Ireland. The Heritage Council

This research was funded by The Heritage CouncilHERITAGECOUNCILlogo