Friday 11 February
Clogher Hill Fort (H539514) is a massive sub-circular platform on top of the hill. It is at least 60m across north-south and there would appear to be an entrance on the east. It is surrounded by a broad ditch although this is not very clear on the eastern side. Outside this ditch is a low bank. To the south is a much smaller mound of motte-like appearance but much smaller and lower than a motte. It is only about 15m diameter. It also has a surrounding bank and ditch. A little farther south is a small barrow. It is about 10m across and consists of a low mound surrounded by a shallow ditch and a low bank with an entrance in the east.
On the neighbouring hillside is St Macartan's Cathedral (H537516), outside of which are the remains of at least two High Crosses. The decoration includes interlaced panels, studs and bosses. Beside the crosses is a multiple bullaun-stone and a carved fragment of a window. The churchyard contains a number of 18th century gravestones. One of these has three small figures carved on each edge and two figures along the top. It is erected to John McGirr and is dated January 19 1770. The Fall of Man is also depicted on this stone. Just inside the cathedral is a carved stone that is thought by some to be an early cross. It is roughly T-shaped. On one face are the markings for a sundial and the hole for the gnomon. Above and below this are panels of interlacing with a carved fish at the bottom. All this is enclosed by a raised border. On the other face is a carved head (with curls), a panel of interlacing and a plain panel. The edges are divided into long plain panels.
The churchyard at Aghalurcher (H365314) has many gravestones of a type noted previously at Clones. They are basically round with crosslike projections at the top and sides. The inscriptions on one face are mainly of late 18th century date. On the other side is a large skull-and-crossbones surrounded by the symbols of mortality, i.e. hourglass, coffin and bell. There are many other stones of a similar date with carved angels' heads. Near one side of the graveyard are the scant remains of a church, the low walls of which show a good base batter. There is one small vaulted room which contains a number of large graveslabs with skull-and-crossbones, and many carved stone fragments.
A small mill near Derrylin (H296269) was investigated. It is a two-storey structure with the remains of a flume and a metal and wood wheel. The buckets have all but disappeared and the spokes are in poor condition. There is a thick wooden axle. The wheel is about 4m diameter and less than lm wide. The interior of the mill could not be inspected closely but it can be seen that the lower storey contains all the usual cogged wheels found in mills. At the upper storey one set of millstones is visible and there is possibly a second set underneath the junk at the back. The mill is now used as a straw store.
A replica of the Killicluggin Stone (H239159) was viewed at the crossroads of that name. It is covered with curvilinear design similar to the stones at Castlestrange and Turoe.
In Cully, beside Garadice Lough, the ringfort (H197119) is about 27m diameter. The low inner bank has a gap on the west side that would appear to be modern. It is surrounded by a shallow, narrow ditch. The small church nearby (H195122) has some corbels with carved masks. There is another carved mask below the window in the east wall and a very small mask high up on the wall. This is Drumreagh Parish Church.
Saturday 12 February
Drumanone Dolmen (G768024) has portal stones more than 2m high and a doorstone about 2m high. The capstone is about 4m square and has slipped back to cover the polygonal chamber.
St Attracta's Well (M666988) is contained within a small enclosure. Above it is mounted a crucifixion panel depicting the Cross flanked by the symbols of the Passion. A stream runs through the enclosure which also contains a bullaun-stone. Just outside the enclosure is a fine domestic well.
Clogher Fort (M663983) is a relatively intact cashel about 25m internal diameter with the wall being about 4m thick and 2m high. A number of stairways lead to the top of the wall. Just to the right of the entrance is the entrance to a short mural passage. To the left of centre of the cashel is the entrance to a souterrain. This is about 5m long and rises at the inner end to a curved passage about 9m long within the cashel wall. This emerges through a low creep at the base of the wall. Just outside this exit is the entrance to a second souterrain which is short and wide.
Moygara Castle (G692028) is a large rectangular castle with four square corner flanking towers. One of these is three storeys high. In the middle of the west wall are the remains of a rectangular gatehouse. Lying among the rubble of the gatehouse are some stones with crude carving. They appear to be part of an arch. The base of a large rectangular building is set against the north wall. The bawn encloses an area about 45m across and the wall has many square defensive loops within deep recesses.
Ballymote Castle (G661155) is a large rectangular keepless castle. The entrance is in the north wall and had twin D-shaped towers. The outer portions of these are mostly reduced to ground level. There are round flanking towers at all four corners and in the middle of the cast and west walls. There is a blocked postern gate in the south wall.
A rath in Doonmeegin (G702155) was investigated. It consists of a circular platform about 40m diameter. It is quite high and there are no traces of an outer bank or ditch. There is possibly an entrance on the east side and some traces of an inner bank. A short distance to the northwest is a smaller rath (G701157) but this was not closely inspected.
Castle Baldwin (G758144) is a large house with two storeys plus a basement and a double attic. None of the floors remain but the gables stand to full height and are topped by very fine chimneys. There are good roof weepers. The doorway in the cast wall was protected by a machicolation at roof level. There is a flanking tower at the south-west corner. There are a number of small defensive slits at the lower levels with larger windows at the upper levels.
The cairn at Heapstown (G772162) was viewed. This huge structure has been extensively disturbed and quarried but much of it remains including a number of large kerbstones.
Ballindoon Friary (G789149) was visited. It is a rectangular church with a central tower and a small north transept. Access to the upper levels is by an external stairway which is now fragmentary. At the base of the tower are three barrel vaults one of which connects the eastern and western halves of the church. This arrangement is in place of a rood screen. There is a four-light traceried east window and a similar three-light west window.
Carrickglass Dolmen or the Labby Rock (G795197) is a portal tomb with a massive rectangular capstone. It is more than lm thick and about 2m wide and at least 3m long. The portal stones are more than a metre high and the door stone and three other orthostats form a rectangular chamber.
A megalithic tomb in Barroe Upper (G799144) was investigated. A number of orthostats are visible in a long cairn and it is possible to distinguish at least one chamber or antechamber. It is possibly a court-tomb or wedge-tomb but not enough remains to determine which.
Sunday 13 February
At Tulsk (M832811) the remains of the friary are scant. There are some good crucifixion panels. The church appears to have had a south transept and the arches of the arcade leading to this are intact. There is little else of the church apart from a fragment of a possible residential tower at the east. Only one wall of this remains with a fireplace at the upper level. Across the road is a large low circular mound which appears to be an ordinary rath platform. There is no trace of the castle mentioned in the literature.
In Toberrory (M800835), Rath Cruachan, is a large mound about 60m diameter. It is the inauguration site of the Kings of Connaught. From it can be seen many earthworks of different types and ages including barrows and raths. There are also some standing stones. One of the biggest of these earthworks is Rathnadarve or the Fort of the Bulls, in Glenballythomas (M795835). It is about 85m diameter and consists of a large grassy knoll surrounded by a bank and outer ditch. There are a number of breaks in the bank. The break in the north-east is opposite a causeway over the ditch and may be an entrance. Traditionally this is the site of the final battle in the Tain Bo Cuailnge, in which the Brown Bull of Cooley, Donn Cuailnge, defeated the White Bull of Ailill, Finn Bennach, thus avenging the death of the Ulster hero Cuchulainn.
Ballintober Castle (M727747) is another large keepless castle with large polygonal flanking towers at the corners and a twin-towered gatehouse in the east wall. The ruin of the gatehouse is very low. The flanking tower in the SW corner is the largest. The tower in the NW corner seems to have been used as a dwelling at a later date. It has large windows with square hood moulds and some fireplaces. There are remains of a spiral stairway. The castle was surrounded by a water-filled ditch and some good traces of this remain, especially on the west side.
The stump of the Round Tower at Oran (M775695) was viewed. It is greatly overgrown with ivy. It stands on a good plinth and is about 4m high. The lower half is built of larger stones than the upper half.
Roscommon Castle (M873651) is another keepless castle bigger than Ballymote but smaller than Ballintober. It has large D-shaped corner flanking towers and a large twin-towered gatehouse in the east wall. There is a smaller rectangular gatehouse in the west wall. The inner portions of the twin-towered gatehouse are reduced to ground level but the double-D structure is clearly visible. The flanking towers and gatehouse have many large mullioned windows. There are also many defensive loops, including cross- shaped loops, and a number of fireplaces.
Roscommon Friary (M873640) is a rectangular church with a north transept and a north aisle. Only fragments of the large traceried cast window remain. In the north wall near the east end is a very fine effigy tomb with military weepers. These are clad in chain mail and have pointed helmets. Most of them carry swords; one carries a battleaxe. The panel is in two sections with the frames and the attitude of the figures in each half being different. The implication is that each section is from a different tomb. One section has a small carved leaf which may be a mason's mark. In the opposite wall is a piscina with a roseate basin. There is also a fragment of another tomb chest. There are five lancet windows in the south wall of the nave.
The Castlestrange Stone (M821597) is very similar to the Turoe Stone but about half as high. It is richly decorated with curvilinear designs of the La Tene style.
The ruined church at Fuerty (M823623) has a substantial square belfry which is almost detached from the main building. Set into the wall of this are two cross-inscribed gravestones of Clonmacnoise type. About 500m to the northwest is a wedge tomb (M826629). It is greatly ruined particularly on the north side. The burial chamber is about 7m long and the cairn stretches forward for about another 7m.
Monday 14 February
Boyle Abbey (G802026) is one of the best preserved Cistercian abbey ruins. The large cruciform church has north and south aisles and two east chapels in each of the transepts. The outer wall of the north aisle is now gone and the aisle arcade is now blocked. The arches of the north arcade are pointed and those of the south arcade are round. The pillars at the east end of the north arcade have corner pilasters and those opposite them in the south arcade are round. The pillars at the west end of the nave are square with pilasters on the inside. The north and south arcades are similar in this area. The capitals of all the pilasters are richly decorated with plant and animal motifs. The bases of the round pillars have some decoration. The church has a large square tower and a triple lancet east window. There are some carved masks on the outside of the tower. The site of the cloister garth to the south of the church is clear but there are no remains of the cloister arcade. Two elaborate doorways lead from the east range into the cloister garth. A small two storey building has been reconstructed in the west range. This serves as a gateway and visitors' centre. At the southwest corner of the abbey is a small round flanking tower. This is thought to be the stump of a Round Tower.
In the graveyard at Drumcliff (G678421) is a very fine High Cross. It is about 4m high and is carved with a mixture of ornament and figure scenes, framed by pellet moulding on the east and west faces. The ring is small and the high relief of some of the carving suggests 11th century date. On the east face are depicted the Fall of Man, Cain and Abel and Daniel in the Lions' Den. The Last Judgement, or possibly Christ in Glory, is shown in the centre of the head. On the opposite face is the Presentation in the Temple and the Arrest of Christ, with a Crucifixion on the head. The narrow sides of the cross have a mixture of ornament and animal carving. The Round Tower on the opposite side of the main road is about 10m high. The square-headed doorway narrows slightly from bottom to top. Legend has it that the tower will fall on the wisest person to stand beneath it.
Creeevykeel Court Tomb (G719645) is set within a large trapezoidal cairn. A short passage from the east leads to a full oval court. A two-chambered gallery leads under a lintel from the west end of the court. Three separate burial chambers pierce the cairn at the west end. Within the court is a small kiln where iron smelting was carried out in Early Christian times.
Moymlough Castle (G632250) was viewed. It appears to have been a rectangular tower, the SE corner of which is now missing. There were straight mural stairways in the south wall. The castle stood to at least three storeys and there is a very good base batter.
The megalithic tomb at Knockadoo (G573226) was examined. There are two possible burial chambers which suggests a court-tomb. However, not enough remains to be certain. The structure is about 10m long.
Tuesday 15 February
The megalithic tomb at Kilgarve (G904113) was viewed from a distance. It is apparently a court tomb but no details could be seen.
Drumlane Church (H342122) is a long rectangular building with a round-headed west doorway surmounted by a king's head. Only fragments remain of the large traceried east window. On the outside of this is a good hood mould with three masks, i.e. a cleric at the top and a king and queen at the sides. Inside the church is a trapezoidal coffin lid with an interlaced motif. Just beside the north-west corner of the church is the stump of a Round Tower. It is about 12m high and has a round-headed doorway above which is a small round-headed window. The lower half of the tower is built of large, well-fitted rectangular blocks. The upper half is built of irregular stones and is roughly finished.