Queen’s brings community archaeology to Enniskillen

THE PEOPLE of Enniskillen are being given the chance to get their hands dirty by digging into the past of the town’s ‘Backstreets.’
Following the successful excavation of the Famine Road in Boho during the summer, which also involved local volunteers, archaeologists from Queen’s University have returned to Fermanagh for a new community excavation in the county town which began this Monday.
Both adult volunteers and local school children from the town have been taking part in the dig, which is exploring the history of the former streets beside Queen Street.
Strand Street at the bottom of Queen Street, and Mary, Abbey and Dame streets which ran parallel to it, were once home to hundreds of local people, but were demolished to make way for the Riverside Redevelopment Plan which saw the island town community moved out to Cornagrade, Kilmacormick and Hillview between the mid 1950s and the late 1960s. The team have said they don’t know what they will find but hope the dig will help the school children and volunteers gain a greater understanding of the history of their town and the life of the people who lived there, and the changes to Enniskillen’s urban landscape after the streets were torn down.
There are still a limited number of volunteer slots on the dig. Those interested in taking paft can contact Ms Swanepoel by emailing or phoning 0770 250 8777.
The results of the excavation will be presented at a ‘Celebration of the Backstreets’ on Tuesday, November 23 which will include a get-together céilí where people will be able to meet to share their stories and memories of the Backstreets.

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