Digging down with the long, broad-mouthed spade of the district, he encountered a
block of wood, and on further excavation unearthed the dug-out…I visited the spot
on VE Day…On completing my examination it was covered in once more and the
potatoes replanted. The site is a small shelf of bog about a quarter mile long, by
100 to 150 yards wide, between a range of hills and a glaciated trough-valley. The
peat has grown on the shoulders of the waterlogged soil ponded up behind a low
gravel ridge on the edge of the main valley…The boat lay in a prepared
anchorage…These facts suggest a prepared channel in a shallow waterway and
coupled with the fact that fragments of two paddles were found, lead to the
conclusion that this dug-out had been used for water transport and might be called a
These early settlers of the Stone and Bronze ages left behind stone structures that were most likely connected to some type of ritual to include burials. They are all that remain. It is likely other sites have long disappeared or have yet to be discovered. These individuals appear to have been hunters and nearer the coastal areas, most likely fisherman. The settlers’ successors from the New Stone Age were farmers, and both groups, pagans.
Ancient sites of these settlers can be seen in the following townlands:
Carnalea: all that remains here today is a number of old, standing stones, locally known as a “giant’s grave.” The site is located in a field on the property of Andrew McGlinchey, Knockahorn.
Doocrock: another “giant’s grave”, situated on land of Michael Gallagher, approximately half mile south of Doocrock Lough. Described as:
a long, chambered grave running north and south. At the end is a wedge-shaped
chamber with two portal stones at each end, the entrance being blocked. To the
south of these are the remains of what is perhaps another chamber. There may be
traces of a horn on the north. 2
Dr. Ruaidhri De Valera visited this site and published a plan of this court tomb in 1960, when he described it as follows:
“Fair preservation. Indefinite traces of mound. One court-stone. Two entry-jambs
with stone set upright in front of them. But this may be collapsed lintel or cover.
Two segmenting jambs. No back-stone. Two or more chambers”. 3
Dullaghan: burial site on land belonging to James Curran. Described as:
small, wedge-shaped, single chamber grave with two side-slabs leaning together
and two portal-stones; no capstone. The end has probably fallen out.4
16 J. M. Mogey, “Wooden Canoes”, in Ulster Journal of Archaeology (1946), vol ix.
27 Preliminary Survey of the Ancient Monuments of Northern Ireland (PSAMNI), (Belfast, 1940).
38 R. De Valera. The Court Cairns of Ireland (Dublin 1960), p. 114
49 PSAMNI, (Belfast 1940)