From the Callan to the Bann

Saturday 27 June

Kilclooney Graveyard (H966376) was investigated. It is approximately rectangular running N-S and is very greatly overgrown. The memorials are mainly 19th century with some 18th and 20th century stones. The north end appears to be the older and contains some plain grave markers. However, close inspection was not possible because of the long grass. This hides a number of broken headstones and holes of uncertain nature. About the middle of the graveyard is a rectangular depression running E-W about 2m wide at the west end. It may be a collapsed souterrain.

The cashel on Cashel Hill (H904366) is a circular structure about 40m diameter. The walls are more than 1m thick at the base and less than 1m high on the inside. The top courses of the walls are thin which may indicate a rebuilding. No entrance is clear but there is a gap in the south-east and a smaller gap in the north-west. On the inside, to the right of this latter gap, are the foundations of a small rectangular building touching the wall. This is the only trace of a building within the cashel.

In Tassagh village (H869359) is a working pump with a single wheel about 1m diameter. To the north-west of the road junction is a building which may have been a mill. To the south of this is a mill dam.

Beside Tassagh Graveyard (H865378) is the shell of a three-storey mill with a small attached building at the south-west corner. The main building is 10 bays long by 3 bays deep. It is now used as a farm store and byre. The added building is one storey high with the remains of a chimney. It may have been an engine house built to supplement or replace waterpower which is indicated by the traces of a tailrace at the north-east corner of the mill. The graveyard is greatly overgrown and the memorials seem to be mainly from the 19th century with a few more recent stones. There are a number of fine railed grave enclosures.

Tassagh Railway Viaduct (H862383) stands intact. It has 11 arches supported by concrete pillars. The arches are of stone with brick linings and the parapet is of stone with a concrete coping. Between every second arch is a small recess of stone carried on brick corbelling. The total length of the viaduct is about 170m and the parapet is about 1.5m high. The viaduct is one of the last great railway structures to be built in Ireland and was in use for less than 40 years. To the west of the viaduct is a derelict three-storey beetling mill (H760383), 13 bays long by 3 bays deep, with a small single-storey attachment at the east end. An archway at ground level near the east end may indicate the former presence of a waterwheel but there are no other indications as to the power source of the mill.

A rath was investigated (H854382). The eastern portion is missing but there is a good bank, ditch and outer bank elsewhere. The diameter of the platform is about 45m and the combined width of the banks and ditch is about 7m.

A search was made for the chambered grave at H808370. Two large stones were found in the undergrowth near a newly built house. The building of another new house nearby has confused the situation and the nature of the structure is not clear.

The remains of Creevekeeran Castle (H785371) were inspected. They stand on a small rocky outcrop surrounded by trees near a small lough. A fragment of the west wall remains standing to four storeys high. The doorway is protected by an intact murder-hole which leads from a window-recess at the first floor. There are traces of wicker centering in the roof of this recess. Some fragments of mural passages may be seen at the first and second floors and there is evidence of a vault above the first floor. All worked stone has been removed from the door and window openings. There may have been some small defensive slits at the ground floor level.

To the north of Tynan is a large mill (H764442). At the west end is a very fine metal waterwheel. A detailed inspection was not possible because it is almost totally enclosed. There are traces of a metal flume and the mill dam can be seen clearly to the south. The building is 10 bays long by 2 bays deep and 4 storeys high. Two small huts on the south side house stationary steam engines. The smaller engine is in very poor condition and was made by Swinson's Engineering Works, Prince's Street, Belfast. A lean- to on the north side contains a large electric motor. There are many traces of ducts etc. associated with a corn mill and a Greenhill's Grinding Mill, Made by Greenhill & Craig, Belfast. Two pairs of millstones lie near the west corner. Attached to the north wall, rising to above second floor level, is a possible grain elevator. Two doors in the north wall have inscribed lintels: Tynan Corn Mill, Sir James M. Stronge, Bart., Proprietor and Tynan Corn Kilns Nos. 1 & 2, Sir James M. Stronge, Bart., Prop. A stone on the east gable is dated 1844.

Tynan Railway Station (H767441) is very complete. It is built in an ecclesiastical style with a magnificent wooden ceiling. Both platforms are intact. There is a small shelter on the opposite platform and remains of a footbridge. The signal cabin, at the west end of the station platform, is intact, although gutted, and the external stairway is missing. The face of a curving platform is visible to the north of the signal cabin and to the west of this is a small water-tower. Both these features remain from the Clogher Valley Railway. Further west is a large goods shed for transhipment between CVR and GNR(I). It is now used as a byre and farm store.

The King's Stables (H838455) is a peculiar circular bank surrounding a low, wet, marshy area. It looks like an overgrown pond. Although the site has been cleaned up and is now open to the public there is no information available indicating the possible function of the structure.

Emain Macha or Navan Fort (H848452) is a massive structure. A huge bank and ditch surround a steep hill. On top of the hill is a mound with a low bank around the base. To the east of this is a very low circular structure. The larger mound is about 60m diameter and the smaller structure is about 25m diameter. The structures have been thoroughly excavated and there are many information boards on display at the site.

The Vicar's Cairn (H914398) is a large stony mound now topped by a triangulation pillar. There is also a great deal of stone buried and grass-grown and the original structure may have been twice the present size. It is possible that the cairn covers a passage-tomb but there are no visible traces of this.

Sunday 28 June

The Bronte Church at Drumballyroney was investigated (J210365). It is a simple rectangular structure with a tower at the west end. Beside it is a single-roomed schoolhouse with one fireplace. The graveyard is well maintained and has mainly 19th century memorials. There are also some plain gravestones as well as some with simple inscribed crosses. One stone has a number of inscriptions from early 19th century and it may have come from the window of a building. The Bronte Cottage (J155375) is a ruin less than 1m high for the most part. It is of little interest.

A standing stone at Imdel (J153363) was investigated. It is granite and is about 1.4m high by 60cm wide and 40cm thick. It is wider at the base than at the top but does not taper regularly. A number of small stones lie at the base.

A rath was briefly explored (J135377). It is very overgrown and the entrance was not located. There is a good surrounding bank but no trace of a ditch or outer bank. There may be a gap on the east side but the heavy overgrowth made close inspection difficult. Another rath was inspected (J075432). It is about 35m diameter and is overgrown with long grass and many trees. There are traces of a low inner bank, a good ditch and a low outer bank. A curving shallow depression near the north edge may be due to a souterrain. A third rath (J075442) is about 45m diameter with a low bank and traces of a ditch at the north and west. It is quite clear apart from long grass. Between the rath and a derelict farmhouse is a dried-up well. A standing stone was inspected (J067447). It is about 2m high by 1.9m wide and 1m thick. Terryhoogan Lock (J064451) was viewed in passing. Fragments of the upper and lower gates remain and the lock is in generally good condition throughout.

Terryhoogan Aqueduct (J053447) carried water from the Cusher River to the Newry Canal. Ten arches of stone are topped by a concrete trough. It runs east-west and the ends curve south and north to give an elongated S shape. The curved portions are of stone. The trough is about 55m long.

Ballymore Rath (J033475), on Fort Hill, is about 50m diameter. It has a good bank with gaps in the south-east and north-east but no traces of an outer bank or ditch.

Very little remains of Lawrencetown Station (J098490). There is a good overbridge and some fragments of buildings and platforms. At Katesbridge (J207385) only the goods shed remains.

At Ballyward (J278385) the signal cabin is intact although gutted. The station building is now painted red and is a single-storey wooden-clad building with yellow brick chimneys. It is now used as a dwelling. There is a small shelter on the opposite platform.