International Journal of Historical Archaeology

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 35-48

First online:

Social Archaeologies of “Utopian” Settlements in Ireland

  • Colin BreenAffiliated withSchool of Environmental Science, Centre for Maritime Archaeology, University of Ulster Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century a number of “Ideal” or “Utopian” type settlements were established across Ireland. These tended to be religious groupings or “model” communities associated with industry. In the southwest a number of short-lived cooperative communities were established along Owenite principles which continue to play an integral part in the radical histories of the country. This paper examines the archaeologies of these sites and analyses the role of individual in their formation and collapse and addresses the social archaeology of their construct and layout. It is suggested that contemporary hierarchical norms were actually reproduced in these communities and this segregation is reflected in the physical morphology of the settlements.


owenism radical cooperative nineteenth-century Ireland utopia