Cork and Tipperary
Tuesday 5 April
At Clareen (N138021) is Seirkeerin, the site of an ancient monastery, which was defended by at least two circular banks of which there are substantial remains. Set within the enclosure is a recent church within a graveyard. Near the front door of the church is the ruin of a small round turret with part of a corbelled roof. Around the outside of the church are some carved fragments including a small ring-headed, unpierced cross and a stone with a weathered mask. There is another good cross-slab and some perforated stones which may be quern stones. The church is a simple rectangular structure with a bell-cote at the west end. The memorials in the graveyard are 19th and 20th century. Just outside the churchyard at the NW corner is the stump of a Round Tower. It is less than 2m high. About 60m SW of the churchyard is a greatly mutilated rath. It has an irregular shape and is about 30m wide at most. In the middle is a very deep, steep-sided pit. The rath occupies a gap in the defensive bank. The enclosure may be 150m diameter but this is not clear since so much is missing.
Monaincha Abbey (S169883) is a nave and chancel church with a vaulted north transept. A flight of steps in the north wall leads above the vault. One of the windows in the south wall of the nave is round-headed and deeply recessed. The other two windows appear to be much later and are flanked by columns with decorated capitals. There is a small round-headed window in the south wall of the chancel. The remains of the east window show that it was very large and probably not original. There is a fine three-order chancel arch featuring chevron decoration as well as other motifs. The three-order Romanesque doorway has very fine decoration. Above the doorway is a narrow window. The church has a very high-pitched gable and there is some moulding over the outside of the larger round-headed window. Just outside the church, near the boundary wall, is a portion of a ring-headed cross with a figure on the west side in high relief. A fine wall encloses the circular graveyard which originally occupied an island in the surrounding marsh (now drained).
Loughmoe Castle (S118670) consists of a massive tower-house with a fine mansion attached to the north side. This mansion has projecting wings at the NW and SE corners and is four storeys high plus attic. The doorway was at first floor level. The top storey is fragmentary but there is a portion of a round gable at the top of one of the projecting wings. There are many mullioned and transomed windows and at least nine fireplaces. There is a good string course at each level. The entrance to the tower-house is in its north wall. It is a fine double doorway with a murder-hole guarding the space. This leads from a recess on the first floor. There are corbels for bartizans along the top of the north and south walls and a machicolation on the west wall. The tower is vaulted above the ground floor and above the second floor. The room at first floor level has a very fine fireplace featuring coats of arms and foliage as well as the initials F.P. (This is a Purcell castle). A spiral stairway rises in the NE corner. There is a passage in the west wall at the first floor and another in the east wall has a garde-robe. Another garde-robe directly above this shares a latrine chute. The roof is missing but the room above the second vault has a blind arcade in the east and west walls. A mural stairway leads to roof level. There is the usual pecked decoration at the doorways and some fine hinge-stones at the windows and doorways. The tower has rounded corners and the windows are mostly small.
Across the road (S123672) is a mill five bays long by two bays deep and five storeys high. There are good traces of a tail race but the nature of the head race is not clear. There are good remains of a large undershot wheel with metal rims and spokes and wooden paddles, some of which remain. It is possibly 6m diameter and 2m wide. The ruined church in the village was noted but not investigated.
Moycarkey Castle (S143528) is a tower-house set within a large rectangular bawn which has round flanking towers at the NE and SW corners. The presence of a bartizan at the NW corner is indicated by two corbels still in position. The entrance to the tower- house in the east wall is protected by a machicolation at roof level and a double murder- hole. A straight mural stairway rises to the right of the entrance. Halfway along the stair, in the north wall, is the entrance to a chamber. This doorway is brick-built and may be a later modification. The only other entrance to the room is through a square hole in the ceiling. This hole was originally closed by a well-fitting flagstone (now missing) and it is possible that the room may have been a secret chamber of the type found in many tower- houses in Tipperary and Kilkenny. There is a vault above the first floor. Above the vault are two storeys plus attic. Both these floors are lit by small windows set within deep recesses and have good window seats. The straight stairway continues to the floor above the vault and thereafter it changes to a spiral stairway in the NW corner.
Wednesday 6 April
Burncourt Castle (R952181) is a large rectangular building with four square corner towers. These towers each have four gables and the main building has four gables at each side and two end gables i.e. a total of 26 gables. There are many mullioned and transomed windows and fine decoration over the west doorway. There is another doorway in the south. There are at least four fireplaces in the main building and a fireplace at each level in each of the corner towers. There are some small defensive loops at the lower storeys of these towers and corbels for a bartizan along the top of the west wall. Part of the bawn wall remains and there may have been a bartizan at the SE corner. Set into the garden wall near the castle is part of a lintel dated 1641 when the castle was built.
In Castlequarter (R847166) there is a ruined castle standing to full height. Only about one third of the building remains and it was aligned NW-SE. There are remains of a vault above the ground floor and traces of mural chambers. It was originally about four storeys high and there are good roof weepers. At the north corner is a latrine chute exit and there are traces of a doorway in the west wall. There is no sign of any stairway.
In Labbamolaga (R765178) there is an ancient monastic enclosure. Within a dry- stone wall are the remains of two churches. The larger church is rectangular with an annex at the east end. Both sections feature south doorways. The walls are less than 1m high. To the south is a smaller church with antae and a trabeate west doorway. Both churches are built of red sandstone. Between the churches is a large slab with a ring-headed cross on the west face and another cross on the east face. Both crosses are in relief and occupy most of the available space. The stone is about 140cm high by 100cm wide. Outside the east wall of the larger church is a small cross-inscribed stone about 110cm high by 30cm wide and 10cm thick. It has a ring-headed cross with a cross-shaped shaft. About 80m south of the enclosure is a group of four standing stones. They were not closely inspected. A standing stone was noted from the roadside (R709182). It is more than 1m high.
A greatly overgrown church ruin (R691183), possibly in Abbey townland, features a large gap where the east window should be. There is a square-headed south doorway and a small, low, pointed west window which may be a converted doorway. The usual mixture of gravestones in the churchyard includes a stone dated 1824 featuring a good crucifixion with trumpet-blowing cherubs.
Ardpatrick Monastic Site (R638208) occupies the summit of a steep hill. Within the graveyard is a ruined church with a possible north transept and a south porch with a pointed doorway. In the north wall is a round-headed doorway which is almost totally blocked. Above it are two corbels which may have carried a machicolation, indicating possible fortification of the site. Some projections at the west end of the church may be antae but they seem more like buttresses. Just outside the churchyard wall, at the NW corner, is the low stump of a Round Tower. The gravestones are a mixture of old and recent and the graveyard has been extended for new burials.
Ballybeg Augustinian Friary (R543075) is an interesting collection of ruins. Little remains of the large church except for the lower part of a tower. High up near the tower crossing on the west side are two good masks, one of which is hairy. The holes for the bell-ropes pass through the mouths of two other hairy masks. The more southerly of these appears to have horns. Two lancet windows in the west wall encroach slightly on the vaulting of the tower which is of a later date. A short distance to the west is a three-storey tower, possibly residential. At the east end of the church are three stone coffins. The site of the cloister may be seen to the south of the church where one fragment of a corner remains. A short distance to the south-east is a cylindrical two-storey tower. It has a doorway at the upper level and was attached to a wall. The lower level is a magnificent dove-cote with an excellent corbelled roof and more than 300 roosts. The purpose of the small tower at the other side of the road is not clear. It has a small doorway in the west wall and a vault above the first floor. There is no access to the upper level. Just inside the doorway is a long stone with four bullauns.
Buttevant Franciscan Friary (R545090) has a double crypt. The lower level has nothing of interest and is divided into two rooms separated by an arcade. The upper crypt is larger and has at least four rooms. Two of these are separated by an arcade the pillar of which has four columns with decorated capitals. There is a long rectangular church with a south transept. There are three lancet east windows and in the south wall there are some lancet windows as well as a fine traceried three-light window. Also in the south wall is a very fine double piscina and beside it is a tomb niche. In the opposite wall is a blocked tomb niche or possibly a doorway and traces of a square-headed recess. Built into the north wall is a collection of carved fragments of the bases and capitals of double columns which may be all that remains of the cloister. A flight of steps leading to an upper level in the south wall near the middle of the church suggests a vanished tower. There are two more tomb niches in the north wall and another in the south wall as well as a single piscina in the west end of the church. The two two-light windows above the west doorway are remodelled lancets. The south transept has an east chapel with a portion of a Crucifixion panel set in the east wall. There is also a stone dated 1615. There are possibly two tomb niches in the east wall of the transept.
A portion of a castle was viewed from a distance (R488085). A gabled wall stands to full height with an attic fireplace and the corbels of a bartizan.
Liscarroll Castle (R452125) has the remains of three round flanking towers and the base of a fourth. There is a large rectangular gatehouse in the south wall with a small square tower in the middle of the opposite wall. The gatehouse has the channel for a portcullis and the flanking towers have good narrow defensive slits set within deep recesses. The tower in the NW corner has a mural stairway leading up from the first floor. A spiral stairway leads to the first floor of the gatehouse and a straight stair leads to the second floor. Another spiral stairway leads up to a garderobe with a good latrine chute and to a room at the top which has a small corner fireplace. There are some slopstones at this top level.
Kanturk Castle (R383018) is a magnificent four-storey rectangular house with four large square corner flankers. There are bartizan corbels round the top of all the walls. The house is well provided with good mullioned and transomed windows with small single-light windows at the lower level. It is aligned approximately N - S. There is a very fine doorway in the west wall at first floor level and another doorway in the east wall at the lower level. The flanking towers have five storeys and three of them have three fireplaces; the other (NE) has none. There are seven fireplaces in the main building with an oven beside the fireplace in the east wall at the lowest level. There is no sign of a stairway. All levels of the flankers have doorways into the main house. There is a good string course at each storey on the outside and most of the windows have a square hood mould.
Thursday 7 April
Downdaniel Castle (W533573) was originally a rectangular tower aligned approximately NW-SE. Only the north and west parts stand to full height and there is no sign of the doorway or stairway. There is a fragment of a vault over the third floor and the defensive loops at the lower level are small and square and set within deep recesses.
The search for Cashel Fort (W520613) was not totally successful. The hilltop where the fort should be is greatly overgrown with gorse, bracken and thorn, and it is greatly quarried. Some low overgrown banks may be seen but it is not clear if these are part of the defences.
In Castlenalact (W483609) there is a fine standing stone. It is a red sandstone slab about 170cm high by 150cm wide at the base and 75cm thick. It stands about 300m north of an alignment of four stones. This runs approximately E-W. The first stone is about 300cm high by 150cm wide and 60cm thick. The second stone is 200cm high by 140cm wide and 90cm thick. The third stone is 150cm high by 120cm wide and 70cm thick. Between the third and fourth stones is a recumbent stone about 170cm long but of different material to the others. The fourth standing stone is about 170cm high by 160cm wide and 30cm thick. The total length of the alignment is about 12m and the stones are evenly spaced. About 200m NW of the alignment is a mound the nature of which is not clear. It is hollow in the middle and contains a lot of stone including part of a wall. It stands at the edge of a rectangular rath-like platform bounded by good ditches.
In Laghtneill (W421627) there are the remains of a wedge-tomb about 5.5m long and 3m wide at the front. It shows a good double wall and a well-defined chamber. There are possibly two capstones, now out of position. All the orthostats are less than 1m high. A well-established tree grows out of the middle of the tomb. About 12m SW is a large standing stone and some recumbent stones which may be the remains of another chambered tomb. The stone is about 140cm high by 250cm wide at the base and 45cm thick.
Near Crookstown (W422656) there is a castle standing to full height with an entrance in the west wall and a square bartizan at the NW corner. A number of fine slopstones may be seen from the outside and a good double machicolation protects the doorway. At the top floor in the north wall is a three-light window with a square decorated hood mould. There is a similar window in the east wall, complete with mullions and transom, and a smaller two-light window. There is a good murder-hole. To the right of the doorway is a chamber with a small recess at the inner end. The west side of the castle has a series of small chambers all entered from the large main room at each level. A broad spiral stairway rises in the NW corner and is intact to the first floor. Here there is a large gap but the stairway may be seen to continue to higher levels and appears to be in very good condition. The vault above the first floor is damaged and through the hole may be seen, at third floor level, a very fine fireplace. However this could not be closely inspected. The doorway may be defended by a good square loop opening from the ground floor room and there is a small loop through the wall to the right of the doorway. The castle is four storeys high plus attic. A small turret rises above the main roof level at the NW corner and it is topped by the bartizan.
Dundarierke Castle (W299715) consists of a small fragment of a wall set at the edge of a steep incline. It was not closely inspected. Carrigaphooca Castle (W292733) sits on a rocky outcrop. The square-headed doorway is in the north wall near the east end and there are square bartizans at the NE and SW corners. Most of the window openings are very small. There are no fireplaces. The doorway leads to the ground floor down a short flight of steps. The vault above the third floor is intact. The stairway rises within the east wall to the left of the entrance and changes to a spiral stairway in at about second floor level in the SE corner. At the third floor a short passage in the south wall leads to a garde-robe with a latrine chute exit near the base of the wall. The stairway leads above the vault where the room has three large windows and one small window. All the windows are set within deep recesses but there are no window seats. There is a very good slopstone under the south window. There is a small passage in the east wall. A short stairway in the NE corner leads to roof level but this is not now accessible. At the first floor in the west wall there is a chamber entered from the window recess. There is a similar chamber in the east wall at second floor level. Both are lit by two small windows but neither are accessible. All the doorways are square- headed and most of the window openings are slate-lined.
In Knockraheen (W303802) there are two standing quartz stones about 120cm apart. The westerly stone is about 120cm high by 110cm wide and 80cm thick. The other stone is about 1m high by 90cm wide and 20cm thick. About 25m to the east is a circle of five stones about 4m diameter. The largest stone is about 80cm high by 170cm long and 50cm thick. They are all old red sandstone. About 60m to the south is a low circular cairn with some kerbstones visible. It is about 8m diameter and is surrounded by a shallow ditch and possibly a bank.
Friday 8 April
Coppinger's Court (W261359) is a rectangular building aligned approximately NW-SE with a projecting wing in the middle of the westerly wall and two projecting wings at the ends of the easterly wall. There are at least nine gables. Below the gables, for most of the wall, is a bartizan carried on corbels. The windows are mostly three-light with mullions and square hood moulding but most of the worked stone at the doors and windows has been removed. There is a good string course at the level of the first floor windows and two sets of triple chimney pots and one single. The main building is three storeys high plus attic. The kitchen appears to have been in an extension at the NE corner where there is an oven. A low walled enclosure runs SE from the building.
Drombeg Stone Circle (W247352) is about 9m diameter. A line from the entrance to the recumbent stone runs approximately NE-SW and through a dip in the horizon in the south-west. This suggests that the circle may have some use in the observation of the setting sun. A flat stone lies just off the centre of the circle. There are 18 stones. The portal stones are the tallest being about 180cm high. The recumbent stone is about 90cm high by 2m long and 45cm thick. About 45m SW is a hut circle within which is a circular well, a rectangular stone-lined cooking pit and a hearth. The hut is about 5m diameter and the pit is about 1.5m by 1m. A short distance to the west is a pair of conjoined hut circles. The smaller hut has a hearth and is about 3m diameter. The larger hut is about 5m diameter.
An "abbey" was investigated (W490430). It consists of an ivy-grown church ruin. A tower standing to full height projects from the west wall where there is a round-headed doorway. The small rectangular church had a south transept of which there are fragmentary remains. There is a possible tomb niche in the south wall near the east end and a small two-light window over the west doorway. There are many plain gravestones in the church and churchyard and some modern burials. A fragment of an ivy-covered structure stands a short distance to the south-west. Another "abbey" was briefly glimpsed (W464417) and seems to consist of two small fragments of walls.
A large ruined mill was investigated (W466424). It is an L-shaped building with a projecting wing in the middle of the longer section. It is five storeys high plus attic and may have had an internal wheel. However the nature of the power source is not clear and a large amount of quarrying to the north of the mill may have obliterated any traces of waterworks. The main building is seven bays long and two bays deep.
Timoleague Franciscan Friary (W472436) has a nave and chancel church with a south transept. The nave has a south aisle and the transept has a west aisle and an east chapel. The pillars of the smaller aisle arcade are all round; those of the larger arcade are all different. A typical tall, slim tower rises above the junction of the nave and chancel and there are a number of mural passages within the church. There is a fine three-light east window. In the north wall of the chancel is a tomb niche with fragments of tracery, and another plainer niche in the north wall of the nave. Fragments of the cloister may be seen to the north of the church; three bays of three lights but no roof. The cloister is bounded on all sides by buildings, mostly two-storey and some with cellars. There are portions of two small buildings attached to the south wall of the chancel. On the outside of the south wall of one of the larger building is a weathered mask. The tower has a good crenellated top.
In Ballycatteen (W580460) there is a fine trivallate rath. The platform is about 60m diameter and the total diameter is about 110m. There is a depression just to the east of centre which may be a trace of a souterrain. The entrance to the rath appears to be in the south where a causeway goes through the banks and ditches. There seems to be a lot of stone in the banks. The platform is clear and the defences are planted with gorse, bramble and thorn. On a neighbouring hillside is another rath (W575458) with a good platform about 35m diameter. The inner bank is in good condition and there are good indications of a ditch and some traces of an outer bank.
Charles Fort, Kinsale (W655404) is a massive artillery fort with five bastions. These are (clockwise from the gatehouse) Flagstaff Bastion, East or Cockpit Bastion, Charles Bastion, Devil's Bastion and North Bastion. The walls of the bastions are at least 6m thick at the top. Inside the fort, to the right of the gate, are three octagonal brick-built structures. These are presumably for guns but they are oddly situated and their exact function is not clear. Further along on the right is a very fine two-storey building with a good doorway, now under reconstruction. This was the barrack stores and originally the residence of the Commander. The series of roofless buildings along the southerly wall were the married soldiers' quarters. A strong, high wall divides the interior of the fort. This is a blast wall and the magazine beside it is a small rectangular building surrounded by a wall in which there are a number of brick-lined defensive loops. The Governor's residence is near the end of the blast wall. The hospital wards are along the east wall and the soldiers' quarters form a large open rectangle near the east side. Charles Bastion has two very fine circular gunpits. At the angle of some of the wall are small brick turrets. These give a good field of view along the outside of the wall and presumably they are watch towers. Outside the walls of the fort there is a deep stone-lined moat and a massive bank.
The "abbey" at Ballygarvan House (W668636) is just one gable. It was not closely inspected. At Fort Cross Roads there is a very fine rath (W663645) with a good double bank and a substantial ditch. The platform is about 35m diameter. Near the north side is an overgrown trench which may be part of a souterrain and a depression near the centre may also indicate a souterrain. There is some evidence of a shallow ditch within the inner bank and there may be an entrance causeway on the east side where the inner bank has been partly removed.
Saturday 9 April
At Halfway (W605614) a fine three-arch railway viaduct was noted. Chetwynd Viaduct (W636677) is another very fine structure. It has stone piers with four metal arches but most of the superstructure is missing.
Castlelyons Castle (W840925) is an extensive ruin. A late house with three multiples if chimney pots, 6, 8 and 12, is aligned approximately E-W on top of a rock. A short distance to the south is a separate building and a little further south a large fragment of a wall apparently from a bawn or garden. The south building has round corners and some vaulting above the ground floor. In the main building two ovens flank one of the fireplaces. All worked stone has been removed with the exception of the chimney pots. There is a fragment of a tower near the NW corner of the main building. At the west end of the south building is another vaulted chamber and this building, along with the NW tower, may be the remains of the inner defences. At a greater distance from the castle are many and extensive walls which may be part of the outer defences or a walled garden.
Castlelyons Dominican Friary (W840930) was inspected. There is a nave and chancel church with a tower in the middle. A spiral stairway, contained within a small projection, rises at the NW corner of the tower. The roof level is fragmentary but there are good weepers in place. The west and south walls of the tower are still at full height and there are some traces of crenellations. The church has a fine pointed west doorway with a good moulding outside and above it is a two-light window also with a good moulding. There are two two-light windows in each wall of the nave. The nature of the east window is not clear but there is evidence that there was at least one lancet. In the chancel are some coffin lids with inscribed crosses. One of the crosses is flanked by two figures. Some fragments of the cloister have been re-erected to the south and there is a range of two-storey buildings to the east and west of the cloister.
At Coole Abbey (W860950) are the remains of a small rectangular church with antae at the east end. The early pointed east window has been remodelled and the opening is now much smaller. The west end has been extended at some stage and the nature of the west doorway cannot be determined. There is some evidence of buildings to the south. A short distance to the NE is the ruin of a larger nave and chancel church. There is a pointed chancel arch and a doorway in the south wall of the nave. There is possibly a very narrow doorway in the south wall of the chancel. The two-light east window has a broken mullion. The gravestones are 19th century and modern. There is one cast iron grave marker in which is set a brass plaque dated 1851. There is a holy well a short distance to the south.
Labbacallee Wedge Grave (R772026) is a very fine structure aligned NW-SE. The total length is about 15m, the burial chambers (one large, one small) occupying about two-thirds of this. There is a good kerb on the west side but the east side is removed and encroached on by a field. The burial chamber is about 5m wide at the front but the total width of the structure cannot be determined owing to the missing eastern portion. Three capstones are in place, the largest being about 4m long. There is a very good ante- chamber with one of the orthostats being about 2m high. On both sides of the burial chamber is a fine double wall and the gap is filled with cairn material. The structure is buttressed with five orthostats at the back.
During an unsuccessful search for a wedge grave a rath was discovered (R775035). It is a very good platform about 33m diameter with an entrance in the south. There are some traces of an inner bank and good traces of a ditch and outer bank.
The castle at R763056 appears to be a small tower, possibly two storeys high. It was viewed from a distance. Another castle was examined closely (R770049). The square- headed doorway in the west wall near the south end leads to a small rectangular chamber with a vault above. There is another vault above the second floor. There are no signs of stairs or fireplaces. There is a small chamber in the south wall at second floor level and possibly a passage at the first floor. At the ground floor are two small rectangular windows set within deep recesses. The walls are about 1.5m thick at this level and the external measurements are 6m by 7.5m. There are sockets for two draw-bars at the doorway and there may have been a bartizan at the NW corner where there is a corbel in place. There are some large gaps in the wall and it is possible that there was a large window above the doorway. The building has a good covering of ivy which hides detail and it sits on a rocky outcrop.
To the north of Bridgetown Priory is a railway viaduct (W693999) consisting of ten horizontal metal spans on masonry piers. Just to the west is an overbridge. The priory (W693997) has a long rectangular church with a small chancel arch which is now almost completely blocked. There is a triple two-light east window with mullions and transom. There are lancet windows in the north wall and originally there were similar windows in the south wall. The tomb niche in the south wall has a broken coffin lid with inscribed cross. There is also some writing and carving including a fish. There is a building to the south of the chancel. There is another building to the south of the junction of nave and chancel and along the west side of this is a covered way. The large open area beyond this may be the site of the cloister. The nave of the church has lancet windows in the north wall and at the west end is a two-storey building vaulted above the ground floor. The upper room has one good fireplace with possibly a second one and remains of an oven in the north wall. There is a good spiral stairway in the NE corner. The two storey building along the south side of the cloister has a number of small lancet windows at the upper storey of its south wall. This is the refectory. The lower storey was divided into a number of small rooms. At the SE corner of the priory is a small tower possibly of three storeys. There is a very good hinge stone at the first floor window and a fine vault above the first floor. There are several box tombs. One in the chancel has a fine cross and some spirals. Another outside the chancel is plain but has an inscription to Theobald Roch 1634. Beside it is a coffin lid with a good cross erected as a grave marker. A small tower projects at the NE corner of the church.
The mill at Castletownroche (R686023) had an internal wheel which is now removed. The mill race and associated waterworks are intact. It seems to have been a corn mill and is five storeys high by six bays long and two bays deep. The castle is now part of an hotel and was viewed from a distance.
Loughlohery Castle (S085238) stands to full height. Only half the worked stone remains at the pointed doorway in the east wall. It is protected by a loop at the left and a murder-hole leading from first floor. The vault above the first floor is damaged. There is a chamber in the south wall at the first floor, a fireplace in the east wall and a chamber over the doorway. At the ground floor there are large recesses at the SE corner and in the north wall. A straight broad mural stairway rises to the right of the doorway to above the first floor where it changes to the south wall and leads to above the vault. There are two storeys plus attic above the vault. There are four chimney stacks, one in each wall, and two gables or possibly four. There is a possible spiral stairway at the SE corner leading to the upper levels but only fragments remain. At the second floor, at all the corners, are small D-shaped defensive loops as well as larger slits. There are good remains of bartizans at the SW and NE corners. A good latrine chute exits near the base of the SW corner. The entrance to the chute, at the second floor, is now blocked by two flagstones.
Nearby is a low tower which may be the remains of another castle. The castle near Garryroe House (S118226) consists of one corner standing to full height with a bartizan. It stands on a small rocky outcrop but was not closely inspected. A rath was noted a short distance to the west. Ballindoney Castle (S104207) appears to be in very good condition but it is clearly marked Private and was not closely inspected. Ardfinnan Castle (S082178) is attached to a later building and appears to be still in use. Another castle (S063188) consists of a fragmentary single gable which was viewed from the roadside. The last castle of the day (S050196) was also viewed from the roadside. It consists of the ruin of a rectangular house with a portion of a two-storey round turret nearby.
Sunday 10 April
Knockgraffon Motte (S044288) is a very steep structure, thickly planted with thorn near the top. Just to the north of the base is a fragment of a stone tower. There are two ivy-covered walls at least two storeys high. At the ground floor there is at least one narrow slit window set within a deep recess. A short distance NE is a ruined church within a churchyard. It was not closely inspected. Knockgraffon Castle (S046294) is a tower- house standing to full height with gables in the north and south. There is an intact bartizan at the NE corner, with a fragment of a bartizan at the SW corner. A 'Keep Out' notice prevents close inspection but some details can be seen from a distance. The tower is possibly four storeys high plus attic and the entrance appears to be in the south wall. There is a spiral stairway at the NW corner at the upper level and there may be mural chambers along the west wall. There are chimneys in the east and west walls. The large window gap in the north wall may indicate a later occupation and there appears to be a large amount of plaster on the inside walls.
Donaghmore Church (S187289) is a fine nave and chancel church with a very small chancel. The three-order Romanesque chancel arch is fragmentary. The columns of the two outer arches are intact with their capitals but there is only a small portion of the inner arch. There is a good three-order Romanesque doorway. The inner arch of this is intact with chevron decoration and beading as well as other motifs. The outer arch is very plain and the inner arch is very fragmentary. It is surmounted by the remains of a triangular hood. There are two very fine round-headed windows in the chancel and in the north wall of the nave is a round-headed and a square-headed window. There are no signs of antae. Along the north and south wall is a good series of roof weepers and the high- pitched gables are intact. A series of banks runs south from the church. They are low, stone-built, grass-grown structures which may be the remains of an attached building. In the churchyard is a good cross-inscribed coffin lid set upright as a grave marker.
The tower-house at Lisronagh (S201293) has a doorway in the north wall, with corbels for a machicolation at roof level. There is possibly a murder-hole but the area above the doorway is damaged and fragmentary. A mural stairway rises to the right of the entrance. The castle is vaulted above the first floor and there is a mural chamber at the west wall below the vault. The stairway continues in the west wall above first floor and above the vault are two storeys. There is a stairway in the north wall above the vault and a fine passage in the west wall at the third floor. A murder-hole leads from the second floor to the stairway in the north wall. There is a fireplace at the top floor and some fine two-light windows at this level. At the lower level there are corner slits at the NE and SE. Beside the castle is an ivy-covered church ruin which was not closely inspected.
Knockkelly Castle (S230378) stands to full height within a substantial bawn. The bawn has two round corner flankers with a bartizan at one of the other corners. The tower-house has two chimneys and some roof weepers but no crenellations. There are machicolation corbels at the south wall. Inspection was from a distance due to the presence of a large wolfhound and the absence of its owner. Some good corner defensive slits can be seen and there are a number of mullioned and transomed windows. The bawn flankers are well provided with small musket loops at the lower levels.
In Cooleagh there is a large quadrivallate rath (S216417). The inner bank is low and the platform is about 25m diameter. This inner ditch is about 15m wide but the others are much narrower. The estimated total diameter is 150m and there is no obvious entrance.
In Coolahill village there is a fine pump (S353743) with a wooden jacket and a notice saying that the water is unfit for drinking and should be boiled before use. The notice does not mention that the pump is dry. The castle and priory signposted (S332743) appear to consist of a small fragment of a wall.
Bective Abbey (N860600) was inspected. There are substantial remains of the cloister, a series of triple arcades. One of the pillars has a mask on one side and a figure on the other. Little remains of the church which had a south aisle, the arcade of which is now blocked. There is a tower at the NW corner of the church. All the other buildings run south from the church. These include a massive tower at the SW corner of the cloister. This tower is four storeys high with crenellations. There are fireplaces in the three upper rooms. A projection at the SW corner houses a spiral stairway which is fragmentary above the first floor. A series of two-storey buildings bounds the cloister at the south and east. They have very fine vaults at the ground floor.