Historical Archaeology

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 76–93 | Cite as

Archaeology of the Strangford Lough Kelp Industry in the Eighteenth- and Early-Nineteenth Centuries

  • Thomas C. McErlean


An archaeological survey of the maritime cultural landscape of Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland found rich and varied remains of structures relating to the kelp industry. Adding this information to historical documentation provided great insight into the rapid rise of an economic asset in the 18th century and its equally rapid decline in the early-19th century. Kelp provided an essential material for major industries of the industrial revolution and was a major source of income in coastal Ireland. This paper traces the imprint left on the foreshore and coastal archaeology of an Irish Sea lough by the exploitation of seaweed for making kelp.


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Copyright information

© Society for Historical Archaeology 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas C. McErlean
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Maritime Archaeology, School of Environmental SciencesUniversity of UlsterColeraineNorthern Ireland, UK

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