This website is dedicated to a two-year project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to investigate the production of salt in Ireland. Salt has been a vital commodity for human life down through the ages. Crucial for the preservation of food, it enabled people to maintain provisions at home as well as to export perishable trade goods, such as meat and fish. This was a particularly important aspect of Ireland’s predominantly agricultural post-medieval trade. The project will attempt to locate all of Ireland’s sites of coastal salt production, describe the remains and techniques, and assess the extent of the trade (see National Survey link). It also aims to explore the origins of post-medieval production through excavation of a series of our best preserved sites (see Ballycastle Excavations link). This website will report on our progress and inform you about any new discoveries that we make in the course of our research.
Based at the Centre for Maritime Archaeology (CMA) at the University of Ulster, the principal investigators are Wes Forsythe and Colin Breen, and researcher on the project is Rosemary McConkey.