The present study examines the development of the medieval walled city of Cork, co. Cork, Ireland, through public, economic, and domestic architecture. Three key periods are under investigation: the ninth through late twelfth century when the Vikings settled the area, the late twelfth through the fourteenth century when sources reference the building of the walls, and the fifteenth century, the period before the dismantling of the walls. The main questions to be answered are: what priorities influence the location of settlements, what factors determine the location of centers within the settlement (with emphasis on location inside and outside the town walls), and what these conclusions reveal about the society. The approach is based on several theories (spatial analysis patterns, central place theory, Losch's theory, central institution theories, star theory, and sector theory) that seek to explain settlement distribution, location of central places, the rise of urban centers, and their expansion. Comparison of Cork to other Scandinavian, English, and Irish towns, places it in its cultural context. The results indicate that Cork is generally similar to other towns of the time period, with some significant differences. Its initial development follows both the models of uniform and cluster patterns. The results also indicate that there is an interest to place centers to serve the most individuals. Expansion of the settlement led to the eventual unification of the clusters.


Kardulias, P. Nick




Archaeological Anthropology | Social and Cultural Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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