The construction, survival and historical context of the Signal Defensible Guard Houses in Connacht
Supervisor: Dr James Bonsall
In the early years of the 19th century a new system of coastal fortifications were established around the Irish coast. The system consisted of Martello towers, fortresses and gun batteries set up to defend the major harbours and some of the important points along the River Shannon. The new military sites were accompanied by a system of long distance signal stations designed to allow the rapid transmission of warnings around the Irish coast. The nature of the signal stations is unique to Ireland but as yet they have attracted little attention beyond the pioneering studies undertaken by Paul Kerrigan in the 1980s. This project aims to provide detailed written and drawn accounts of the surviving signal stations around the North West coast of Ireland and, for the first time, to situate the Irish signal system in the context of the development of communication technologies in Europe and the colonial world throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.