Meath, Down & Armagh

Saturday 16 June
At Lisboy, Co.Meath (N920852) is a pair of conjoined raths. The rath to the east has a platform about 40m diameter surrounded by two substantial banks and ditches. The souterrain mentioned in the Archaeological Inventory was not located. The rath to the west has a platform of similar size but has only a single bank and ditch of which there are only traces. A 'No Trespassing' sign at Slieve Breagh prevented a search for the tumuli there (N929804).

At Killary Church (N880830) the shaft of a High Cross sits in a massive round base. The east face features possibly four panels. The lower panel is Adam & Eve; above this is a boat with two figures and a bird on top of the mast (possibly Noah's Ark); the panel above this is not clear; the top panel features Daniel in the Lions' Den. On the west face the lower panel is not clear; above this is possibly the Baptism of Christ; the panel above this has several unidentifiable figures. On the south face are some knobs and interlacing with possibly figures in the bottom panel. On the north face there are figures in the bottom panel, patterns in the middle panel and figures at the top. All this carving is greatly weathered. At the north-east corner of the graveyard is the base of a cross which has some poor decoration. A portion of a cross-head lies within the base. The church is a rectangular building with a small vaulted north addition at the east end. There are doorways in the north and south walls near the west end. Just inside the south doorway is a square cross-base. The memorials in the graveyard range from 18th century to modern. One stone has a skull and crossbones and other symbols of mortality. A cross- shaped memorial has fine raised lettering and is dated 1709. A number of late 18th and early 19th century stones features good carvings of winged cherubs. Beside the south pathway of the graveyard is a standing-stone about lm high and 40cm square at the base. It tapers to about 20cm thick at the top. Beside the road close to the church is a standard pump.
At Clontail (N872844) is one corner of a church set within a raised graveyard. Only a few gravestones can be seen amid the long grass. These date from late 18th century to modern. One of them dated 1805 has two winged cherubs.
At Castletown (N840830) is a fine rath surrounded by two banks and a ditch. The platform is about 40m diameter and fairly low. It is quite clear having only long grass although the banks and ditch are thickly planted with thorn.

At Knock Churchyard (N871800) there is no sign of the church. There is a small ring-headed cross about 65cm high and 33cm across by 10cm thick. It has some carving but this is much weathered and lichen covered. Beside it is a stone with a bullaun about 23cm diameter. The gravestones date from 18th century to modern. One memorial of 1758 has two winged cherubs. Another of 1813 is a re-used millstone. Close to the entrance is an octagonal font.

A lock and bridge of the Boyne Navigation (N923715) were noted in passing. At Ardmulchan (N908702) is a rectangular church with a tower at the west end. The west wall of the tower, stands to full height and has a double bell-cot. The ground floor is almost intact and is vaulted. There are holes for three bell ropes. A mural stairway leads to above the vault. The rest of the ruin is very low. The graveyard has some fine memorials featuring cherubs and one stone has an incised ring-headed cross. There is also a trapezoidal coffin-lid with a floreated cross. From the church there is a very fine upstream view of the Boyne and Boyne Navigation. Dunmoe Castle (N902702) can be clearly seen an the other side of the river. Ardmulchan Motte (N908703) appears as a large low mound on the south but on the north drops steeply towards the river. Beaupark Railway Station (N943714) has been rebuilt from a single storey building to a two-storey dwelling.

Athcarne Castle (O031647) is a four-storey tower-house with a ruined 19th century house attached. A spiral stairway rises within a projecting turret in the NW corner to roof level. There are some roof-weepers but all crenellations have been removed except in the SW corner. The tower is vaulted above the ground floor level and there are excellent wicker-marks in the vault. There are at least two rooms at each level and the walls of the upper rooms have had lath and plaster finish. The lower three-storey house is stone-faced and brick-lined. It has a south porch with crenellations. There are remains of a two-storey extension on the north side. There is a turret at the south-west corner and an armorial plaque on the south wall. This house replaces a late-16th century house on the same site and incorporates some of the stone.
Sunday 17 June
Lisnagade Fort (J086440) is a large trivallate rath. The central platform is planted with long grass and some trees and bushes. The banks and ditches are thickly planted with trees and bushes. Parts of the ditches are flooded. There is a good entrance causeway in the south-east. A short distance to the north is a low rath about 25m diameter with a shallow encircling ditch. It is linked to the larger structure by banks and ditches.
Lisnavaragh Fort (J081442) is an oval rath with three banks and two ditches. The platform has long grass and the defences are planted with mature trees with very few bushes. Another rath (J074441), in Glenloughan, is about 38m diameter with good traces of an inner bank and some traces of a ditch particularly an the western side. There is a large crescent-shaped annex on the south side which is bounded by a good ditch. This is lower than the complete rath and may have been an original structure encroached-on by the later rath. Alternatively, this may be contemporary with the rath and serve a similar function as the bailey does to the motte. Nearby is a derelict farmhouse with a dry well in the corner of the garden.
Lurgana Corn Mill (H980312) is a two-storey building with a good wheel. This is iron with wooden spokes. The buckets and lining are missing. At the top of the wheel is a plaque which may have a maker's name but it is thickly coated with pitch and illegible at present. The rim is segmented and one of the connections has now broken. Close to the mill is a tall brick chimney indicating the probable later use of steam power.

Ballymoyer Old Church and Graveyard (H964308) were investigated. The church is rectangular with a double bell-cot on the west gable and a doorway in the west wall. There are a number of large round-headed windows throughout the building which Is now unsafe and fenced-off. There are very many plain grave markers. These are irregular flat slabs. Some have inscriptions which date them to the mid-18th century. There are a number of 19th century memorials including one with two winged cherubs.
Carrickananny Souterrain (H992289) was explored. It is entered through a short unlined tunnel over a mound of rubble which is a roof collapse. The passage rises for about 15m before it is blocked. It may be seen to continue a short distance beyond the collapse. The passage passes through two rising-hole creeps. Between the creeps a short passage an the left leads to a side chamber. This features a good ventilation shaft as well as a spy-hole through which the main passage can be observed. One of the lintels in the side passage is cracked.