This book examines the social role of castles in late-medieval and early modern Ireland. It uses a multidisciplinary methodology to uncover the lived experience of this historic culture, demonstrating the interconnectedness of society, economics and the environment. Of particular interest is the revelation of how concerned pre-modern people were with participation in the economy and the exploitation of the natural environment for economic gain. Material culture can shed light on how individuals shaped spaces around themselves, and tower houses, thanks to their pervasiveness in medieval and modern landscapes, represent a unique resource. Castles are the definitive building of the European Middle Ages, meaning that this book will be of great interest to scholars of both history and archaeology.