Inishowen is an ancient area that spans 1000s of years, visible archaeological monuments that occupy the landscape testify to that fact. Yet recent discoveries at Cooley Moville, pictured below and Carndonagh have proven, that much more can be learnt about the Peninsula and its important ecclesiastical past by looking beneath the surface.
The Bernician Studies Group (BSG) based in the UK have been instrumental, alongside the Lands of Eogain Group formed in 2015, in increasing the profile of Inishowen as an area of important historical and archaeological significance. The BSG have visited Inishowen over the last five summers and within that time are responsible for locating the existence of four double precincts (boundaries) of monasteries located at Cloncha, Carrowmore, Cooley and now Carndonagh.
Archaeological Finds At Cooley, Moville Inishowen
Cooley is an area representative of an important ecclesiastical site which overlooks Moville Town and the expanse of the Lough Foyle. In a field behind Cooley Graveyard the BSG, based on a previous Geophysical Survey, carried out a small excavation through a section of the identified boundary ditch.
You can see the team, pictured above, alongside local archaeologists and undergraduate students from Newcastle University, excavating in a 3 metre test trench. Some of the finds pictured below include; metal, glass (to the right) and possible Souterrain Ware pictured on the left below. Max Adams, Excavation Director at the site, stated this indicates possible industrial activity such as Iron working as “early monasteries were centres of fine liturgical craftsmanship”. Another promising find was evidence of a palisade trench, only further excavation will allow us to learn much more about this complex and ancient site.
Geophysical Survey Results At Carndonagh, Inishowen
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