The Hellfire Club Archaeological Project is a not-for-profit archaeological research project.  It aims to discover the story of Montpelier Hill through a programme of research and targeted excavation.  The project to date has focused on the large mound at the rear of the hunting lodge (known as the Hellfire Club).  This feature is recorded in the Archaeological Survey of Ireland as a ‘possible passage tomb‘ (DU025-001001).  The tomb was believed to have been destroyed when William Conolly had the stone quarried to build the hunting lodge that later became known as the Hellfire Club.  This project was tasked with trying to discover whether the remains of the mound did indeed represent a passage tomb.

The project has been carried out over a number of years, and it has included research, geophysical survey, a small programme of test-trenching, as well as the larger excavation of 2016.  When the dig was completed, a phase of post-excavation analysis was carried out.  This analysis, involving a number of specialists and experts, culminated in this free publication.

Who Funded the Hellfire Club Archaeological Project?

The project has chiefly been funded by South Dublin County Council as part of the County Heritage Plan, with additional resources from Abarta Heritage.  The project was also considerably helped by the assistance of the landowners Coillte and the support of University College Dublin School of Archaeology.  The project is not-for-profit and any future phases of the project will be carried out in the same manner.

Who Gave Permission for the Hellfire Club Archaeological Project?

Permission to carry out the excavation was granted by Coillte, the landowners of the site, and the dig was carried out in accordance with the National Monuments Acts (1930–2004), under licence number 16E0497.  The licence was issued to Neil Jackman of Abarta Heritage, by the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht through the National Monuments Service and National Museum of Ireland.  As well as abiding by the National Monuments legislation regarding best-practice, we also ensured we had a clear Health and Safety policy and that we carried out appropriate risk-assessments and took all necessary precautions to safeguard the well-being of the excavation crew as well as the general public.