Come Join a Community Archaeological Excavation, Blackfriary, Trim

Published: 07 Aug 2018

Would you like to join a team of archaeologists uncovering medieval Trim? Then come along to our community archaeological excavation focusing on excavating the medieval garden at the Black Friary, Trim, Co. Meath,  The dig will take place from August 14th-27th inclusive; 10am to 4.30pm. (Closed on Monday August 20th).


Finola O’Carroll, Site Director says ‘The dig is open to everyone over 18 years of age who has ever wanted to try their hand at archaeology. We are having a Medieval Family Day on Saturday18th August, and children are welcome, accompanied by an adult and can take part in lots of activities including a mock dig’.


During the dig we’ll be uncovering sections of the gardens, finding how they were divided up and exploring the bits and pieces relating to the lives of the friars still contained in the soil. Gardens were where the rubbish was dumped and dug into the soil, so kitchen waste, broken pots, pens, belt buckles, brooches, glass, anything in fact that was in daily use and wore out, broke or lost might end up in the gardens. You had to be as self-sufficient as possible back then, sustainability was the way of life and the friars would have grown much of their own food and their medicines. Plants would have formed the basis for the inks they used to write with, and the materials to make books (vellum, ink, thread) would have probably come from their own resources’ explains Finola.


We have been excavating the Black Friary, (founded in 1263 and one of the largest Medieval Dominican Friaries in Ireland), since 2010. The footprint of the buildings remains after they were quarried out for building stone in the 1750’s. We have found out a lot about the layout of the buildings and how the dead were buried here, but now we are focusing on how they lived, starting with their gardens. Their gardens which lay directly to the east of the buildings, would probably have been divided up by function, and we aim to find out what was grown in each area – vegetables, kitchen herbs, medicinal herbs, flowers and so on. This dig will mark the beginning of this exciting new phase’.


‘Participants will be shown to trowel, sieve the soil for finds, wash animal bone and pottery, and even document the finds.  Bring enthusiasm, gloves, old clothes and a packed lunch. We’re right behind SuperValu in Trim’ says archaeologists Finola O’Carroll, Laura Corrway and Ian Kinch (Blackfriary Archaeology Field School).


To book a place on the dig please see or email


Meath County Council are supporting the community dig as part their support of the Blackfriary Community Heritage and Archaeology Project (BCHAP, see  Loreto Guinan, Heritage Officer at Meath County Council, encourages ‘people to get involved in the dig; as it will an enjoyable and engaging way, to connect with and understand the history of Trim’.


For further information please contact

Laura Corrway, Archaeologist

Tel: 085 7563671

Email –