Mass Rock at Tremone Bay – a silent sentinel in the landscape

The Mass Rock at Tremone Bay, Inishowen,  is a typical example of a hidden gem of our heritage that the tourist never sees. This was a sacred place for our ancestors: they came here to worship in secret and to bury their dead unbaptised children in the Reiligi on the headland above (reilig – a cemetery). Situated 200 m west of Boat Port, it is encased by a weather-beaten, gaunt arch, which has a close resemblance to the entrance of…

The Silent Monastic Bells of Inishowen

    The ancient monasteries of Inishowen owned bells which were used in holy ritual and at times of prayer in the monasteries. Some date back to the tenth century. The Bell of St Mura remained in Fahan parish until after the Great Famine when it was sold to a John McClelland of Dungannon. He exhibited it in the Great Exhibition of 1852 in Belfast. It is made of bronze and is encased in a highly-decorated shrine. The bell was…

Excavations at Carrowmore and Cloncha 2011-2016

The link below contains an update on the surveys and excavation works carried out at Carowmore and Cloncha over recent years by the Bernician Studies Group, as published in the Ulster Journal of Archaeology, Vol 72, 2013–14. All works on the sites have government approval under licence.  Download the document here: Cloncha and Carrowmore Update Dec. 2016 There are also maps of Inishowen showing key sites involved and examples of material excavated under licence.  It is hoped the group will continue…

Cooley Dig Open Day August 21 2016

Pictures show progress at Cooley dig after first week. The dig is outside the graveyard to the north and is based on the geo physical survey undertaken at Cooley last year. Two stone structures have been located, one of which may be a part of a large building or ditch and another with smaller stones which may have been part of paved area. At this early stage, up to 20 small but significant artefacts have been found and are recorded…

Excavation at Cooley, Moville – Sean Beattie

Picture shows excavations at Cooley, Moville, in a field adjoining the graveyard (18 August 2016). This is part of the Lands of Eoghan Archaeological Festival which explores the Early Christian connections between Inishowen and beyond. The Festival opens on Friday 19 August with a lecture by Brian Lacey. For 5 lectures on Saturday in Carndonagh, see Lands of Eoghan Facebook page. Admission is free and open to everyone. This is the fifth year since studies began on Inishowen monastic sites…

Inishowen Archaeological Heritage Development Colloquium.

The last week end in August brought a host of archaeological experts to Inishowen where  a series of topics were discussed. A number of artefacts discovered on recent digs in Inishowen, mainly Carrowmore are on view here: gaming counters, smoothing stones for cleaning vellum (?), bog ore etc. A full report on the weekend will be published later by the Bernician Studies group. During the week, further work will be undertaken at Cooley and Crockaughrim, a traditional meeting site during…