Recorded monuments are sites, structures and features of archaeological significance which are protected by National Monuments legislation. They can range from medieval churches and castles to ringforts, passage graves and cairns. They can also cover large sites such as the centres of historic towns like Swords or Lusk. Recorded monuments are often sites which contain archaeology below ground which may not be visible.
The National Monuments Service has mapped the locations of recorded monuments nationwide in the Record of Monuments and Places (RMP). The RMP is the statutory instrument of the National Monuments Acts 1930-2004. RMP maps for Fingal are available for viewing at the planning public counters in both the Swords and Blanchardstown offices, and are also shown on the Fingal Development Plan 2011 – 2017 maps (link to ID 2.4.1) as a double blue circle. The National Monuments Service has mapped the locations of recorded monuments in greater detail in its Archaeological Survey of Ireland.
The context of an archaeological site is important and every archaeological monument is surrounded by a Zone of Notification (formerly known as zones of archaeological potential). These vary in size and can be checked via the layer button on the Archaeological Survey of Ireland’s website www.webgis.archaeology.ie
They are also marked on the development plan maps as a Zone of Archaeological Potential, which is shown as a broken light blue line.
Works at or near a recorded monument
If you intend to carry out works on or close to a recorded monument, or within a Zone of Notification, you must give 2 months prior notice in writing to the Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht, even if planning permission is not needed for the works.
You do this by filling out a Ministerial Notification Form , provided by the National Monuments Service.
The Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) recognises the protection of archaeological heritage. Conditions on archaeology may be part of individual planning permissions.
If you intend to make a planning application for works on or close to a recorded monument, or within a Zone of Notification (Archaeological Potential), you should contact the Planning Department for a Pre-Application Discussion. This is because there are several extra procedures involved with these applications:
- They must be referred by Fingal County Council to the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for comment
- If planning permission is granted archaeological investigations or excavations may be required. If so, you will need an excavation licence from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
- If planning permission is granted there may be other additional conditions, the cost of which must be borne by you.
You can check if an excavation has already been done on or near the site at www.excavations.ie, which provides a summary of published excavation reports for the whole country from 1970 to 2010. Excavation reports are also kept on the relevant planning file, which can be viewed at the planning public counters in Swords and Blanchardstown
Unrecorded Archaeological Objects
If you discover any archaeological sites that are not in the RMP you must stop any works immediately and contact the National Monuments Service. If you discover an archaeological object you must report it within 96 hours to the National Museum of Ireland. Contact details are at the end of this page.
Fingal Planning Department
National Monuments Service
National Museum of Ireland