Minor Harbours of Ireland - UCD Digital Library

Minor Harbours of Ireland


Abstract Minor Harbours of Ireland, an Irish Research Council-funded project by UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, examines the evolution of maritime engineering in small harbours in Ireland from the seventeenth century to the present. This collection records the construction and evolution of a selection of these minor harbours and includes short historical descriptions, onsite LiDAR scans, photographic site surveys, and exhibition posters for each harbour.

remote sensing image Photographs Dataset
6 sub-collections + 2 items
Type of resource
still image mixed material
Physical description
Files in this digital collection include point cloud data created using onsite LiDAR scans (.las), photographic images from site surveys, and exhibition posters.
Elizabeth Shotton
Repository reference
Scope and content
While the major Irish harbours have been well documented, there remain considerable structures that due to their small size have been overlooked by researchers. For instance, of the 94 structures identified on the east coast by the Underwater Archaeological Unit of the DAHG (1999) there are 83 minor structures for which limited documentation exists. These minor harbours describe a significant coastal infrastructural system and represent a considerable source of information, many having originated through local efforts only to be later modified through government works in the 19th and 20th centuries. The danger posed to these structures from deterioration and rising sea levels is increasing and it is imperative to create accurate records to support a comprehensive analysis of the evolution of maritime engineering in Ireland.
The Minor Harbours of Ireland project was initially conceived and funded as a pilot project by the Irish Research Council to establish protocols for the capture and management of LiDAR-based surveys of these coastal structures in tandem with historic research on their development. Many of these structures have long, complex histories tied to the shifting patterns of governance, land tenure, material resources, technology and trade. Unraveling and visualising these histories involves a complex negotiation between text based archival documents, historic surveys and maps, other forms of pictorial representation such as topographical illustrations, all used in tandem with LiDAR based surveys to articulate their evolution.
The methodology for classification of harbour types used in the records, identifying geomorphological setting, harbour type and construction, has been adapted from those developed by Angus Graham in his remarkable survey of Scottish vernacular harbours 1960-80. For more information see: Angus Graham, 'Old Harbours and landing-places on the east coast of Scotland', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Vol. 108, pp. 332-65.
Harbours, Ireland, maritime, engineering, heritage at risk, LiDAR, transportable data.
Funder: Irish Research Council ; funder identifier: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100002081 ; award number: R15353.
Hydraulic engineering–Ireland
Hydraulic structures–Protection–Ireland
Historic sites–Ireland
Optical radar
Ireland–Remote-sensing images
Suggested credit
"Minor Harbours of Ireland," held by Elizabeth Shotton. © University College Dublin and Elizabeth Shotton; for other copyright holders, please see the individual records. Digital content by University College Dublin and Elizabeth Shotton; for other copyright holders, please see the individual records, published by UCD Library, University College Dublin <http://digital.ucd.ie/view/ucdlib:255666>

Record source
Descriptions created by staff of UCD Library, University College Dublin based on information provided by the Minor Harbours project team. EAD derived from MODS record.24 August 2016

1. MHIec Minor Harbours of Ireland resources

2. County Dublin

3. County Louth

4. County Waterford

5. County Wexford

1.   MHIec Minor Harbours of Ireland resources


MHIec Minor Harbours of Ireland (East Coast) video (2016) [View]


    MHIec Minor Harbours of Ireland (East Coast) poster (2017) [View]

      2.   County Dublin


      Balbriggan Harbour, County Fingal (Minor Harbours of Ireland) (2015) [View]


        Bullock Harbour, County Dublin (Minor Harbours of Ireland) (2015) [View]

          3.   County Louth


          Port Oriel Harbour, County Louth (Minor Harbours of Ireland) (2015) [View]

            4.   County Waterford


            Boatstrand Harbour, County Waterford (Minor Harbours of Ireland) (2015) [View]

              5.   County Wexford


              Fethard Harbour, County Wexford (Minor Harbours of Ireland) (2015) [View]


                Slade Harbour, County Wexford (Minor Harbours of Ireland) (2015) [View]

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                  Copyright of original resource University College Dublin and Elizabeth Shotton; for other copyright holders, please see the individual records