The Map of Watchful Architecture 2.0: Defensive forms along Ireland's border

Garrett Carr (Designer)

    Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products


    For The Map of Watchful Architecture I only concerned myself with defensive architecture along the Border. As the map followed a border it came out as a wavy line of points. This was largely artificial, I only charted architecture within the Border corridor, but was not entirely artificial. That linear landscape has long been staked-out by the regularity of certain kinds of architecture. The 1st/2nd century Black Pig’s Dyke and Dorsey correspond with today’s Border. The concentration of souterrains in north Louth indicate that it may have been a volatile interface zone in later centuries. In 1618 Londonderry and its walls were built. Further north and two centuries later, Martello Towers were constructed to watch over Lough Foyle. During the Second World War pillboxes and observation posts were manned along the Border, close to what was now an international frontier. Then came the Operation Banner installations built during The Troubles. All this adds up to be one of the longest unbroken traditions of defensive architecture anywhere in Western Europe, a tradition some thought finally broken as the last of the Operation Banner towers were de-installed in 2007. But, take a bus south across the Border and you will often be pulled over by the Garda Síochána. They ID check the passengers in an attempt to stop illegal immigration via the UK. What about illegal immigrants who walk through the fields or along quiet lanes? They will have understood the Border is not really how it seems on most maps. It is not a solid line, it is a row of points.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationBelfast
    Size84 cm x 118 cm
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2012

    Bibliographical note

    An earlier version of this map, along with The Map of Connections 3.0, was purchased for the collection of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

    A print of The Map of Watchful Architecture 1.0 was purchased by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.


    • Defensive architecture
    • Border
    • Ireland
    • Map


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