chapter  2
28 Pages

Settlement: Ring-Forts

Early medieval Irish settlement was essentially rural. There were no towns in the usual sense of the word until the foundation of the Viking trading ports in the ninth and tenth centuries, and the only native centres of population, which may have carried out some of the functions of urban communities, were the larger monasteries. Instead the fragmented nature of the landscape gave rise to scattered farmsteads and other nonnucleated settlements.