East Antrim

Monday 19 March

The first stop was at the Bishop's House, Kilroot (J450895). This is a large stone-built house beside a small graveyard. On the other side of the graveyard is a fragment of a bawn with one corner turret. This has been converted for use as a dove-cot. No trace of the bullaun-stone, noted on the map, was found.

The Circle proceeded through Carrickfergus and Larne and left the Coast Road at Drains Bay. A motte (D381062) was noted in passing.

Knockdhu Souterrain

Knockdhu Souterrain (D348068) was visited explored and photographed. It was entered through the roof and is blocked a short distance in one direction. In the other direction the souterrain branches after about 15m. The upper branch is short and was not fully explored. The lower branch was entered through a drop-hole creep and consists of a series of four passages connected by creeps. The innermost passage is at right angles to the others. About halfway along the third passage a creep on the right leads to a side chamber. This is about 12m long and runs parallel and in the reverse direction to the rest of the souterrain. Most of the souterrain is dry with the exception of the innermost chamber and there is a lot of rubble on the floor. The total length is about 80m. Knockdhu Motte was climbed (D352072).

The Circle continued past the Linford Enclosures (D333073) and stopped at Dunteige Wedge Grave (D323080). Close to this monument is a boulder with two inscribed crosses (D324080). The remains of another chambered grave (D323085) can be seen from this site.

Gowkstown Wedge Tomb

The Circle proceeded to Gowkstown, noting the standing stone on the way (D314107). Gowkstown Wedge Grave (D315109) was examined and photographed. It is 10m long by 4m wide at the front and has some lintel stones in place.

The route was reversed over Dunteige Bridge and a mutilated rath (D317077) was viewed from the road. The motte near Skeagh Bridge (D315060) was examined. It is badly mutilated by quarrying. A lime-kiln was noted in passing (D308075). A rath (D287088) near Mill Bridge was visited. It is about 30m diameter and 5m high, with traces of an outer ditch.

The Circle continued towards the Sheddings. A sheepfold, incorporating a lime-kiln was examined (D250098). The chambered grave nearby (D247099) is a wedge grave. The chamber is about 6m long and the cairn extends about 1m to the rear and 4m to the front. Field clearance threatens to engulf it.

Ticloy Chambered Grave

Ticloy Chambered Grave (D232118) was examined. One stone that lay to the right of the portal has been recently disturbed. Beside St Patrick's Church is a trefoil-shaped bullaun (D222098). No trace of the souterrain, shown on the map, was found. A rath (D218102) was noted in passing on the way to Skerry Church (D190089). The building has a good batter and one small flat-headed window. Part of the church has been closed off to form a mortuary house.

Ballymarlagh Court Tomb

The Circle proceeded through Broughshane to a rath (D140029) near Roslin Hill. This is a large low platform about 80m diameter, partially obliterated on one side. Ballymarlagh Court Grave (D141018) was located in the middle of a thicket. It is a four-chambered grave with more than half the court intact. The gallery is about 11m long and the court stones are up to 150cm high. There is a subsidiary chamber at one end in line with the gallery.

Dooey's Cairn

Rapid transit was made via M2 to Dooey's Cairn (D022183), outside Dunloy. It is a court-grave with one conventional chamber at the back of which is another long chamber. The court is built with the post and panel technique and most of the kerb is in place. On the other side of Dunloy, in Craigs, three standing stones were located (C977182, C978183, C978184). All three are built into field boundaries.

The Broadstone, Craigs

The Broad Stone, Craigs (C979176) was visited. At a glance it has the appearance of a tripod dolmen. Closer inspection shows that it is a three-chambered court-grave. The large capstone is about 2m square and 30cm thick and the back supporting stone is not in the original position since it blocks the gap between the first and second chambers. Some court stones are in position. The other chambered grave in Craigs was viewed from across the road (C974173).