Assessing historic woodlands on Gurteen demesne, Co. Waterford using an interdisciplinary approach developed from theory in landscape studies

Clair McDonald

    Research output: Types of ThesisMaster's Thesis


    This research aims to investigate the wooded landscape at Gurteen de la Poer demesne (hereafter Gurteen), Co. Waterford during the 19th century. It proposes a new approach to the study of demesnes by developing an interdisciplinary assessment of cultural and ecological factors impacting its evolution and spatial organisation. It has been discussed how demesne landscapes require more suitable protection, planning and management measures in Ireland and this research argues that in devising suitable measures for the demesne, an interdisciplinary approach is needed. Owing to the complexity of landscape, interdisciplinary approaches are widely advocated for developing knowledge relating to its history for informed future management and planning decisions. Landscape-related disciplines that concern the reading and assessing of the demesne in this research are primarily that of historical geography, landscape architecture, and landscape ecology, as these subjects consider landscape’s cultural and ecological aspects by examining its spatial and temporal dimensions. Interdisciplinary perspectives are difficult to achieve owing to barriers in theoretical knowledge and methodological applications. This research takes a two-tiered approach by first arguing for and developing a conceptual model as a means to transcend these disciplinary theories and methods and link ideas on a common platform, both intellectually and practically, at a local level. Second, it applies this conceptual model to the demesne landscape of Gurteen estate with a specific focus on woods as a case study. It proposes two tools to assist integration of both the conceptual model and the onward methods of data collection and analysis: GIS and an historic timeline. The resultant assessment method provides new interdisciplinary readings that have potential to ascribe a greater range of significance to woodlands (and landscape) of demesne at Gurteen.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Russell-O'Connor, Jane, Supervisor
    • Thomas, Ken, Supervisor
    • O'Brien, Sharon, Supervisor
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2018


    • Landscape studies


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