Theatres of Conflict: Ireland in the Nineteenth Century

Module code: HS3608

The story of Ireland’s turbulent and rebellious 19th century not only played itself out in political, social and cultural spheres, but also in terms of a built and visual legacy in the rural and urban landscapes. Travel writers and diarists describe the ruined streets and the ‘fortified maritime landscapes’ that lingered many years after the uprisings of 1796 and 1798.

Local and national elites, Dublin Castle officials and Westminster politicians struggled to pacify and control what was without doubt the most troubled outpost of the United Kingdom. This module takes the built environment as its theme, and examines the interplay between social and cultural aspects of unrest and rebellion, and the architecture that both grew out of these problems and served as the backdrop to later troubles.

How can we understand the built environment in terms of theoretical ideas of power, space, and colonial governance? How and why did these militarised landscapes come to exist in Ireland and what (if anything) is unique about them within an international context? What are the methodological implications of using non-textual primary sources – maps, drawings, artwork, buildings, landscapes – in the writing and understanding of history?


  • 10 hours of lectures
  • 20 hours of seminars
  • 5 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 115 hours of guided independent study


  • Essay, 2,500 words (50%)
  • Essay, 2,500 words (50%)