Luggala Cultural Heritage Project

An aerial view of Luggala slope showing linear field boundaries and field systems with lazy beds.
Detail view of a field clearance cairn on the Luggala slop within the filed boundary system.

Luggala is a place that has long inspired many of Ireland’s most notable artists, writers, musicians, storytellers, who have all contributed to the creation of a cultural heritage that is synonymous with the Estate.

This cultural heritage was nurtured over the generations by many of Luggala’s custodians including Garech Browne, Oonagh Guinness, the Powerscourts and the La Touche bankers throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries.

While the cultural heritage of this period is well known and documented, the history of the Estate stretches back much further and until recently was much less understood.

A cultural and historical survey of the private Luggala Estate

Understanding of the social, built heritage and fabric of the Estate’s cultural heritage is a central principal of Luggala Estate Limited’s conservation goals as part of a sustainable future for the upland landscape. A cultural and historical survey of the private Luggala Estate in Roundwood was undertaken throughout 2021 by ACSU Ltd on behalf of Luggala Estate Limited, with support funding from Wicklow County Partnership LEADER programme.

The ‘Luggala Heritage’ project involved a detailed desk-based assessment and documentation review, as well as a field study of two site specific areas within the estate that were subject to a detailed topographical survey. The survey results subsequently helped to guide and inform the Estate’s Environmental Management Plan (EMP), which seeks to achieve a resilient future for the upland Landscape.

A Landscape Steeped in History

The survey further enhanced our understanding of the rich history of the landscape that features 36 platform sites, 42 ruined stone cottages, several field clearance cairns, the mosaic of dry-stone walls, and various trackways.

The survey has succeeded in adding to the known Record of Monument and Places (RMP) sites and identified several additional platform sites on the side of Luggala Mountain, interpreted as charcoal production platforms associated with the newly identified mining heritage of the mountain side. Greater work will be required to confirm form and function of overgrown mounds of stone. This work will be highly beneficial to aid further understanding of the overall landscape or the area.

Read ‘Luggala Natural Heritage‘ article on this site

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