Spanish Armada burial site to be examined in late July

Spanish Armada burial site to be examined in late July


Spanish ArmadaArchaeologists will undertake a geophysical survey later this month of two burial sites in Spanish Point understood to contain the remains of some of those who sailed on Spanish Armada ships wrecked off the West Clare coast.

The research forms part of ongoing efforts to locate the wrecked remains of the 790-ton, 25 metre long San Marcos, which sank with the loss of 400 lives near Seafield in September 1588.

The San Marcos Project is being led by West Clare native and PhD student at Mary Immaculate College, John Treacy.

On the 30th and 31st of July, a team of archaeologists from Rubicon Heritage Services will conduct a geophysical survey of a site at Spanish Point that is thought to contain burials related to the San Marcos and another Spanish Armada vessel, the San Esteban.

In total, approximately 700-800 men perished in the stormy waters of the Mal Bay between Doonbeg and Spanish Point. Their mortal remains washed ashore for miles, only to be buried in mass pits by the natives. The largest of these is thought to be Tuama na Spainneach, purportedly located at the geographical headland Spanish Point, on the norther shore of Bealaclugga Bay. This July, a first attempt towards locating this site will be conducted by the San Marcos Project in partnership with Rubicon Heritage Services Ltd.
According to Rubicon Heritage Services: “The work has now been confirmed for the 30th and 31st of July, with a community engagement aspect that will allow members of the public to see the survey in action. In addition, Rubicon’s Damian Shiels will be giving a public lecture in the area entitled The Archaeology of Conflict in Elizabethan Ireland on the evening of 30th July.”