The ambition of the proposed Irish-Welsh network is to raise awareness of importance of harbours as coastal heritage.
Historic harbours, as infrastructural elements, are neither buildings nor monuments and fall between the remits of heritage designation. Yet as peripheries, they are critical to reading the human occupation of islands historically. Rising sea levels and increased storm activity as a consequence of climate change cause these fragile elements to be literally at risk of disappearance. In the political and economic context of Brexit, new divisions are being ascertained and boundaries drawn that may impact much more than trade agreements. The importance of investigating and revealing a more nuanced history of small-scale relationships across these waters now is timely.
Aiming to connect lost associations, the Harbourview project brings hidden parallels to light through participatory surveys using newly-accessible methods of 3d recording and visualisation at subtle sites either side of the Irish sea. In recent years community archaeology projects have proved successful in engaging public participation at a range of sites and across extensive historical periods. Inevitably these routes and points of embarkation and disembarkation were pathways not just for goods, but also for knowledge, beliefs and broader understanding. Through the assimilation of four comparable digital models that can be navigated and shared between community teams in both Ireland and Wales, the Harbourview project seeks to establish new dialogues with the means for enriched curiosity and reflection.
ESRC-IRC UK/Ireland Networking Grant