The Archaeological Survey of Bere Island’s Napoleonic-Era Defences– Full Report Now Online

Last week Rubicon funded an excavation at the site of one of the Napoleonic-era gun batteries on Bere Island. This artillery position is located in the townland of Ardagh, overlooking Lawrence Cove and Rerrin Village on the island. We decided to target this location based on the results of the extensive survey which we had undertaken into the early 19th century island defences in 2013. That survey, which was financially supported by The Heritage Council, combined archaeological fieldwork, detailed archaeological survey and historical assessment to produce the most extensive report on the origins of Bere Island’s military heritage yet undertaken. We will be bringing readers results of the excavation on this site in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we are delighted that we can now make the report freely available to those who wish to read it online by clicking on the link below:

Safe Haven: The Effectiveness of the Defensive Network of Bere Island in the Early Nineteenth Century, An Archaeological Survey

The report runs to almost 18,000 words in length, with 31 figures and 118 plates, documenting every Napoleonic-era site on the island. Aside from the project background, aims, and methodology, the report explores the context of the Bere Island defences, the coastal defence of Ireland, the coming of the military defence to Bere Island and the armaments employed, before examining eight of the Napoleonic-era sites in detail. We hope this report will prove a valuable resource for anyone interested in military archaeology or the archaeology of Ireland’s islands.If you have any questions or queries about any aspect of the report or work please drop me a line at

Bere Island Report


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