Derry & Tyrone
Thursday 16 August
A chambered grave was investigated (D158417). A number of orthostats form two sides of a gallery about 8m long and lm wide. It is aligned approximately E-W. There is very little cairn material and no sign of a court or other identifiable feature. Nearby is a stone circle about 17m diameter (D158418). It is composed of small stones and is fairly complete except for a gap at the north-west. It may be the kerb of a passage-grave. Some large boulders in the middle form no definite pattern.
Another megalithic structure was inspected (D182418). It appears to be a court- grave aligned approximately N-S. The court is about 6.5m wide by 5m deep and the gallery is about 9m long. There are traces of the kerb and some lintels and a good deal of cairn material, much of it over-grown. The divisions between the chambers cannot be seen due to the large amount of filling. Nearby is a good crannog (D179427) and a small cairn (D179422). Neither were closely inspected.
Friday 17 August
Ballynascreen Old Church (H730907) is at present under conservation. It is a rectangular building with a large round-headed door in the south wall. There is an ambry in the south wall near the east end and another one in the east wall is tall and slim with a round head. Near the south-east corner is a good church-shaped tomb which is perforated at the east end. To the west of the church is a very fine cross-shaped memorial with stumpy arms and a large round head. The inscription an the east face, in raised lettering, is to John Donnelly died 2 February. The date on the west face is 1714. There are many good early 18th century memorials with raised lettering. There are also many late 18th and early 19th century stones with winged cherubs.
A number of chambered graves were investigated. The first site (H645863) has many large stones which may form galleries, chambers or courts. There are also many buried and moss-grown stones which may be part of the structure. Not enough remains above ground to indicate the true nature of the structure.
The second site (H642865) has a large stone which may be a capstone. The third structure (H642867) has a capstone about 2.5m long by 1.5m wide and 30cm thick. It is supported by five orthostats (two at each side and one backstone) about lm high which are almost totally buried in peat. The stones are schist and the chamber is flooded.
A court-grave was inspected (H625852). The court is almost complete and is about 4m wide and 3m deep. The orthostats are about lm high. The gallery is about 3m long and may have two chambers. It is aligned approximately E-W. The fence nearby incorporates a number of large stones which may have come from the megalithic tomb.
In Aghascrebagh is an Ogham Stone (H618838) about 125cm high by 43cm by 50cm. It tapers slightly. There is a good inscription down one edge. Nearby is a standing-stone (H617840) about 3m high by 1.5m wide and 50-70cm thick at the base. It tapers slightly and is made of schist. Across the road are the remains of a cairn (H615833). These consist of a double-walled circular kerb, about 7m diameter, missing in places and encroached on by a new laneway. In the middle are a number of large stones which may be part of a chamber or passage.
Loughmacrory Wedge-grave (H587776) is a U-shaped structure about 11m long by 6m wide at the front. It has four capstones each about 2m by 1.5m by 50cm maximum. The ante-chamber is about lm by 1.5m and the burial chamber about 5m by 1.5m. There is a good double wall and the gap is filled with cairn material.
Near Lough Fingrean is a cairn (H578777) with two large stones in the middle, possibly capstones. There are no other features visible and the kerb is very low. There is a small scatter to the south-west. It may be a small passage-grave.
Altdrumman Dolmen (H578768) is a tripod structure with good portals and a large backstone. There is only one sidestone. The capstone is about 1.8m by 2.5m by lm thick. The orthostats are about lm high and the chamber is about 2m by 1m.
A chambered grave was briefly viewed (H592762). It is possibly a wedge-grave with a number of capstones in place. It was not closely examined. The chambered grave marked at Barleyhill (H631752) was not located.
A stone circle near Black Lough was investigated (H651752). It is an incomplete oval structure about 7m by 5m, composed of stones less than 50cm high. To the south is a detached alignment of three stones about 7m long, aligned approximately E-W. The tallest stone is about 1.5m high.
Creggandevesky Court-grave (H646751) was examined. The tomb has been fully conserved and has a very fine court about 5.6m wide by 5m deep, built with the post and panel technique. One lintel spans the entrance to the gallery which has three chambers. The grave is set in a large trapezoidal cairn about 16m long by 13m at the front and 5.5m at the back.
Saturday 18 August
In the south wall of St Paul's Church, Articlave (C784338) is a very fine sundial. It is a rectangular piece of slate with a bronze gnomon. At the top two globes flank an hourglass. Beneath these is the inscription:
Tis greatly wise to talk with our past hours
And ask them what report they bore to heaven
Large Roman numerals flank the gnomon beneath which is the date 1823. The church is a rectangular building with a tower at the west end and a good stained-glass east window.
Dunboe Church & Graveyard (C758354) have recently been cleaned up. There are some late 18th century memorials but the stones are mainly from the 19th century. In the corner is a large octagonal mausoleum to H H A Bruce & Family, 1810. The church is a poor rectangular ruin higher at the east end than elsewhere. It has no distinguishing features.
At Downhill (C756358) is a very fine dove-cot and ice-house. They are both contained in a cylindrical stone tower with a brick dome. The dove-cot is brick-lined and has over 300 roosts also of brick. In the middle is a stout pole. The ice-house below is a typical brick-lined structure with domed ceiling.
Sunday 19 August
The chambered grave in Darvagh Forest (H702870) was not located. At Beaghmore (H685843) are at least seven stone circles as well as a number of small cairns and collapsed walls. A number of the circles have tangential alignments and one of the circles is filled with small orthostats. One of the cairns is in the middle of an annular ditch. The stones are generally low but some are 1m+ high. To the west are at least two standing-stones and a small cairn. They were not closely examined. The cairns marked on the other side of the road to the north were not investigated.
The standing-stone at H690830 was viewed from the roadside. It appears to be about lm tall by 50cm square. An alignment of three small stones was viewed from the roadside at H693828. The largest is about 1m tall.
At Dunnamore (H685808) is a fine wedge-grave. It is aligned approximately N-S and is about 11m long by 5m wide. It is damaged and there are some stones missing so that it is not possible to tell front from back. There are four capstones and good traces of a double wall. On the west side centre is a short curving projection which may be part of a subsidiary grave.
A number of chambered graves were investigated. The first (H685801) is a large capstone with some small orthostats. There is a great deal of low cairn but not enough detail to identify the type of grave. The second (H683792) is possibly a passage-grave. In a low cairn may be a short passage with one lintel leading to a polygonal chamber about 2m diameter. The cairn is greatly scattered and added to by field clearance. The third structure (H681790) seems to be a small dolmen or cist. A capstone has slipped off two portals and there are a number of small stones underneath. The capstone is an irregularly shaped block about 2m by 1m maximum.
The Wellbrook Beetling Mill (H749793) was visited. It is a two-storey building, seven bays long. Beside it is a single-storey building with an attic. There is a fine breast- shot wheel about 5m diameter and 1.5m wide. The mill-race and wooden flume are intact. The upper floor of the mill has an exhibition about linen and the lower floor has a number of beetling engines, one of which may be operated for visitors.
Coagh Dolmen, in Tamlaght townland (H887790), is built into a roadside boundary. A very large irregularly shaped capstone is supported by two portal stones about 1m high, two sidestones and possibly a backstone. There is some rubble in the chamber.
Arboe High Cross, in Farsnagh townland (H966756), is a tall slender object with only one portion of the ring missing. The Cross is a typical Scripture Cross with many carved panels with figure sculpture. Some panels feature geometrical and other decoration. Many of the panels are greatly weathered and unclear. A decorated panel encircles the shaft about three-quarters of the way up. On the west side below the decoration there are four figure panels. The top panel shows the Flight into Egypt, but the others are not clear. Above the decoration a panel with three figures possibly represents the Arrest of Christ and there is a Crucifixion at the cross. On the east side the bottom panel shows Adam & Eve. Above this is Abraham & Isaac. At the cross is the Last Judgement or possibly Christ In Glory. The bottom panel on the south face shows Cain & Abel. The church nearby is a simple rectangular structure with a north doorway and a pointed east and west window. There are two windows in the north and south walls. The memorials in the churchyard range from 18th century to modern.
One stone of 1759 is topped by a cross flanked by carved faces. Some stones feature two winged cherubs and one stone has three. The graveyard is still in use. At the north edge of the graveyard is the Wishing Tree which is studded with countless coins. It is now dead, presumably from cupro-nickel poisoning.