Dr Margaret Murphy

Assistant Registrar for Academic Affairs & Lecturer in Medieval History


Margaret is a medieval historian specialising in the social and economic history of Ireland and Britain. She completed her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Trinity College Dublin and has worked in the Institute of Historical Research (University of London) and the Discovery Programme (Dublin). She has also been employed as a historical researcher for a number of archaeological projects. She joined Carlow College in 2009 as a lecturer on the English and History and Humanities Programmes. At present Margaret is Assistant Registrar for Academic Affairs and she continues to lecture and supervise dissertations on medieval history, local history and women’s history. Margaret is also Secretary of the Group for the Study of Irish Historic Settlement (www.irishsettlement.ie)

Research Interest

Margaret’s general area of expertise is in the history of Ireland, Britain and Europe 1000-1500 AD. She has a strong research profile in the following areas:

  • History and archaeology of rural and urban settlement in medieval Ireland.
  • The relationship between town and country in the medieval period, especially provisioning.
  • Medieval agriculture, manors and markets.
  • Food, diet and standards of living.
  • Irish local history
  • Topography, history and development of the town of Carlow

She has researched and published on a number of different aspects of the economy of medieval Ireland and most recently has synthesized this research for a chapter the Cambridge History of Ireland. Volume 1 Ireland 600-1550. She is preparing the Irish Historic Towns Atlas for Carlow for the Royal Irish Academy’s Historic Towns Atlas Project and has a number of articles and two monographs in formulation.

Margaret has delivered papers at many national and international conferences including the International Medieval Congress in Leeds, the European Urban History Association’s Conference, in Lisbon and the Irish Conference of Medievalist at UCD, Dublin.



  • Agriculture and Settlement in Ireland (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2015) [edited volume with Matthew Stout]. http://www.fourcourtspress.ie/books/2015/agriculture-and-settlement-in-ireland/
  • The Dublin Region in the Middle Ages: Settlement, Land-Use and Economy (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2010) [with Michael Potterton].http://www.fourcourtspress.ie/books/archives/the-dublin-region-in-the-middle-ages/reviews
  • A Medieval Capital and its Grain Supply: Agrarian Production and Distribution in the London Region c.1300 (Historical Geography Research Group, Research Series Monograph no. 30, 1993) [with B. Campbell, J. Galloway & D. Keene].

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Chapters in Books:

  • ‘The Economy of medieval Ireland’ in Brendan Smith (ed), The Cambridge History of Ireland. Volume One: Ireland, 600-1550 (Cambridge University Press, 2018), pp. 385-414. https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/the-cambridge-history-of-ireland-a-mammoth-inspiring-work-1.3505790
  • ‘Anglo-Norman towns based on castles’ in H.B. Clarke and Sarah Gearty (eds) More Maps and Texts. Sources and the Irish Historic Towns Atlas. (Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 2018), pp.134-146. https://www.ria.ie/more-maps-and-texts-sources-and-irish-historic-towns-atlas
  • ‘Death and remembrance in medieval Dublin’ in Salvador Ryan (ed), Death and the Irish: a Miscellany (Dublin: Wordwell Books, 2016). https://www.historyireland.com/volume-25/death-irish-miscellany/
  • ‘From swords to ploughshares: evidence for Templar agriculture in medieval Ireland’ in Martin Browne and Colman O Clabaigh (eds), Soldiers of Christ. The Knights Hospitaller and the Knights Templar in Medieval Ireland (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2015), pp 167-83. http://www.fourcourtspress.ie/books/2015/soldiers-of-christ/
  • ‘Introduction’ in M. Murphy and M. Stout (eds), Agriculture and Settlement in Ireland (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2015), pp xvi-xxx [with Matthew Stout].
  • ‘Manor centres, settlement and agricultural systems in medieval Ireland, 1250-1350’ in M. Murphy and M. Stout (eds), Agriculture and Settlement in Ireland (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2015), pp 69-100.
  • ‘The Archdeacon’s Tale’ in S. Booker and C.N. Peters (eds), Tales of Medieval Dublin. (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2014), pp 83-91.
  • ‘Agriculture in the Tara/Skreen region, c. AD 1170-1660’, in Muiris O’Sullivan, Chris Scarre& Maureen Doyle (eds), Tara – from the past to the future. Towards a new research agenda (Wordwell, Bray, 2013), pp 391-400 [with Michael Potterton].
  • ‘The ‘key of the county’: Saggart and the manorial economy of the Dublin March c. 1200-1540’ in Jennifer Ni Gradaigh and Emmett O’Byrne (eds), The March in the Islands of the Medieval West (Brill, Leiden, 2012), pp 53-78.
  • ‘The later medieval period’ in Paul Stevens and John Channing (eds), Settlement and community in the Fir Tulach Kingdom. Archaeological Excavation on the M6 and N52 Road Schemes (NRA, Dublin, 2012), pp 49-56.
  • ‘Feeding another city. Dublin and its region in the later middle ages’. In Matthew Davies and James A. Galloway (eds), London and Beyond. Essays in Honour of Derek Keene (IHR, London, 2012), pp 3-24.
  • ‘Waterford and its hinterland in the medieval period, 1169 to 1540’ in James Eogan and Elizabeth SheeTwohig, (eds), CoistSiúire – Seven Thousand Years of Human Activity in the Lower Suir Valley. Archaeological excavations on the route of the N25 Waterford City Bypass (NRA, Dublin, 2011), pp 224-34.
  • ‘Mapping a medieval landscape? The Civil Survey and land use in County Dublin’ in John Bradley, Alan Fletcher and Anngret Simms (eds), Dublin in the Medieval World. Studies in honour of Howard B. Clarke (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2009), pp 316-344 [with Michael Potterton].
  • ‘Rural settlement in Meath 1170-1660: the documentary evidence’ in Mary Deevy and Donald Murphy (eds), Places Along the Way: first findings on the M3 (Wordwell, Bray, 2009), pp 153-68.
  • ‘Tullow, from medieval manor to market town’ in Thomas McGrath (ed), Carlow History and Society (Geography Publications, Dublin, 2008), pp 235-258.
  • ‘The profits of lordship. Roger Bigod, earl of Norfolk and the lordship of Carlow 1270-1306’ in Linda Doran and James Lyttleton, (eds.), Lordship in medieval Ireland: image and reality (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2007), pp 75-98.
  • ‘Castles and Deer parks in Anglo-Norman Ireland’, Eolas: The Journal of the American Society for Irish Medieval Studies, Vol. 1, (2006,) 53-72 [with Kieran O’Conor].
  • ‘Investigating living standards in medieval Dublin and its region’ in Sean Duffy (ed.), Medieval Dublin VI (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2005), pp. 224-256 [with Michael Potterton].
  • ‘Archbishops and Anglicisation: Dublin, 1181-1271’ in James Kelly &Daire Keogh, (eds), History of the Catholic Diocese of Dublin (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2000), pp 72-91.
  • ‘Feeding Medieval Cities: Some Historical Approaches’ in Martha Carlin & Joel T. Rosenthal, (eds), Food and Eating in Medieval Europe (The Hambledon Press, London, 1998), pp 117-132.
  • ‘Fuelling the city: production and distribution of firewood and fuel in London’s region 1290-1400’, Economic History Review xlix (1996), 447-72, [with J. Galloway &D.Keene ].
  • ‘Balancing the Concerns of Church and State, the Archbishops of Dublin 1181-1228’, in T.B. Barry, R. Frame & K. Simms (eds), Colony and Frontier in Medieval Ireland: Essays presented to J. F. Lydon (The Hambledon Press, London, 1995), pp. 41-56.
  • ‘The Fuel Supply of Medieval London 1300-1400’, Franco-British Studies, 20 (1995), 84-96.
  • ‘Rural Land-use in the Metropolitan Hinterland, 1270-1339: the Evidence of Inquisitiones Post Mortem’, Agricultural History Review, 40, pt. 1 (1992), 1-22 [with B.M.S. Campbell & J. Galloway].
  • ‘Marketing animals and animal products in London’s hinterland circa 1300’, Anthropozoologica, 16 (1992), 93-99
  • ‘Rotulus clauses de anno 48 Edward III – a reconstruction’, Analecta Hibernica, 35 (1992), 89-154 [with E. Dowse].
  • ‘Feeding the City: Medieval London and its Agrarian Hinterland’, The London Journal, 16, no. 1 (1991), 3-14 [with J. Galloway].
  • ‘Ecclesiastical Censures: an Aspect of their Use in Thirteenth Century Dublin’, Archivium Hibernicum, xliv (1989), 89-97.
  • ‘The High Cost of Dying: an Analysis of pro anima bequests in Medieval Dublin’, Studies in Church History, 24 (1987), 111-123.

Other Publications/Outreach

  • ‘Growth and decline: the changing fortunes of Carlow town in the later medieval period’ in Carloviana, 64 (2016), 161-66.
  • Carlow Castle. Medieval Fortress on the Barrow. Pictorial guide produced for Carlow 800 (2014)
  • ‘Agriculture and Rural Settlement in Medieval Wexford – revisiting the sources’ in Áitreabh. The newsletter of the Society for Irish Historic Settlement, No 13 (2008), pp. 1-6.
  • Contribution to the introduction of Shipwreck Inventory of Ireland. Louth, Meath, Dublin and Wicklow, compiled by Karl Brady (Stationary Office, Dublin, 2008).
  • ‘Digging with documents: late medieval historical research on the M3 in County Meath’ in Jerry O’Sullivan and Michael Stanley (eds), Roads, Rediscovery and Research (NRA, Dublin, 2008), pp 117-127.
  • Contributions to Routledge Encyclopedia of Medieval Ireland, (ed), Sean Duffy (Routledge, London, 2005). Articles on Central Government, Chief Governor, John Cumin, Henry of London, Lordship of Ireland and Parliaments.
  • Contributions to Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 2004). New articles on John Cumin, Walter Jorz, Henry de Loundres, David Maccarwell, Fulk of Sandford, John of Sandford and Philip of Slane. Revised articles on: William Bermingham, Ralph of Bristol, Richard de Ferings, Malachy Macaedh, Matthew O’Heney.


BA (Hons) (Trinity College Dublin)
Ph.D (Trinity College Dublin)
PDip in Educational Studies (Trinity College Dublin)