South Down

Saturday 25 January

A rath in Drumnascamph was investigated (J224327). It is a platform about 60m diameter and 3-4m high, with traces of a low bank. A single row of trees is planted round the edge. There are traces of an outer bank on three sides. Lisnashreen Rath was inspected (J170334). It has a well preserved bank with a gap on the north side. It is surrounded by a good ditch but both bank and ditch are greatly overgrown. The interior of the rath is quite clear. The estimated diameter is 40m and the top of the bank is about 4m above the bottom of the ditch. The ditch is absent on the north side and is about 2m wide elsewhere. Another rath was investigated (J169345). It is subcircular and about 30m diameter. There is a large gap on the east side of the bank which is about 3m high here but less than 1m high in the west. There are faint traces of a ditch in the north. There is a fine rath in Ballykeel (J158323). A platform about 30m diameter is bounded by a bank up to 2m high but low in most places. There is an entrance in the south-east. Outside are a deep ditch and a large bank, the combined height being about 5m. The ditch is more than 2m wide. In the middle of the platform is a small mound with a depression which may be a collapsed souterrain.

A large flour mill at Glenny's Bridge (J127289) was inspected. The building is in two sections and between them is an internal waterwheel. It is about 1.7m wide and 5m diameter. There is a great cogwheel on both sides. In the east and lower section of the mill are three sets of stones driven from below. All the stones and a lot of gearing are still in original positions. In the west and higher section are two sets of stones. This part of the building is five storeys high and is almost totally gutted. It also contains the remains of a corn-kiln. A wall runs from this building down towards the river and ends in a semi- circular tower. Traces of the headrace may be seen a short distance to the north of the buildings and the tailrace is intact. The east section of the mill has a direct cart entrance at the upper level. This may lead to a grain store. To the south of the mill are a house and a small office.

On the hill to the west of the mill is a small rath (J122289). This is about 25m diameter and is greatly mutilated. The low bank is broken in several places and is missing on the south side. The rath is subdivided by field boundaries and overgrown with bracken and whin. The standing stone in Crobane (J121279) was inspected. It is about 1.8m high by 60cm by 1m at the base. It tapers to a blunt point. Derryleckagh Mill (J121267) is an empty shell about five storeys high beside the river. It is known to be a flour mill but no evidence remains of this.

Sunday 26 January

An investigation was made into some sites in Tollymore Forest Park. The remains of a mill were viewed from across the river (J320318). An intact building appears to have an external wheel in good condition. To the east of this there seem to be the ruin of a second wheel and the ruin of another building. The headrace is enclosed in a metal pipe and the river is the tailrace. The King's Grave (J319317) is a cairn about 15m diameter and partly overgrown with bushes and trees. The top has been removed to reveal a capstone. This may cover a cist. White Fort (J331317) is a ruined cashel about 50m diameter. The stone walls are moss-grown and scattered. The maximum height is about 1.5m and width 2.5m. It is planted with trees and there is a confused jumble of stones in the middle. It is possible that the wall is double in places and there may be a house platform in the middle.