The sun was shining on the Inishowen coast during the Lands Of Eogain event which celebrated the contribution of Mabel Colhoun to our understanding of heritage in Inishowen. The seminar was hosted in the beautiful Presbyterian Church and Hall in Lagg, Malin, a location with stunning views of Trawbreaga Bay. Crowds gathered, see below, at the Church to learn about the life and work of Mabel Colhoun, a pioneering female involved with archaeology at the turn of the 20th Century.
Spreading The Word: Mabel Colhoun And Heritage In Inishowen
Speakers on the day included; Denise Henry that completed an MA dissertation on the life and work of Mabel Colhoun, Dr Liam Gorry, chairman of the West Inishowen History and Heritage Society (WIHHS) currently involved in cataloging the Colhoun Archive and Dr Brian Lacey, Archaeologist, author and former colleague of Mabel’s
Connecting With The Past In Inishowen Co. Donegal
A wonderful exhibition was hosted on the day by the WIHHS in collaboration with the Tower Museum. Locals and visitors were excited to connect with the life and work of Mabel Colhoun by examining artefacts and personal effects on display at the event, see above. Its very exciting that the Tower Museum, based in Derry City, are working with the WIHHS to fully document Mabel’s Archive and share these findings with the Inishowen community. At the seminar, chair of the group, Liam Gorry, discussed recent discoveries identified during cataloging, which he describes will;
Lead to even more discoveries about Heritage in Inishowen and the North West.
In the afternoon local heritage expert and Tour Guide, Dessie McCallion, led a large group, to archaeological sites surveyed by Mabel Colhoun in the 1940s. Locations included; the historic site of Dunowen Promontory Fort, see above, situated near Bunagee Pier in Culdaff. This was followed by a visit to monastic sites in Cloncha and Carrowmore. See below, for a photo walk illustrating some of the highlights during the day.
The group gathered to hear all about the fascinating artwork visible on the Cloncha High Cross, also known as the Cross of St Bodan, pictured above. This beautiful High Cross dates between the 10th/11th century and was recorded by Mabel in detail in 1943.
Stepping Back In Time In Inishowen Co. Donegal
Everyone looked in awe at the beautiful monastic setting of Cloncha, a place where you can connect with archaeology and the beauty of the Inishowen countryside. On the grounds of Cloncha there is a picturesque stone church which dates to the 17th Century, see above.
Another stop along the trip took the group to Carrowmore High Cross, see above, where Dessie McCallion shared stories about this fascinating ancient site. Geophysical survey work was carried out at Carrowmore in 2015 which identified a connection between two High Crosses at Carrowmore, see below, to a monastic boundary. Geophysical survey results highlight that both crosses lie within a boundary that identify them as markers to the entrance, front and rear, of the monastery.
You can see Dessie pictured above, at a second High Cross at Carrowmore. This eye catching monument is situated on arable land with beautiful views. The cross has a number of markings on its surface that is visible in a certain light. It is significant that both sites in Cloncha and Carrowmore are a short distance from one another emphasising the point that they were both important monastic settlements in Inishowen.
Promoting Heritage In The North West Of Ireland
The Lands Of Eogain seminar highlighted the importance of the life and work of Mabel Colhoun, a remarkable lady who devoted her life to recording, promoting and protecting our Inishowen Heritage. With that in mind, many left with the feeling that Mabel’s story, combined with site visits on the day, emphasise how we should continue to promote and protect our culturally rich landscape for current and future generations to discover and enjoy.Heritage In Inishowen
We look forward to celebrating and learning more about our shared Heritage through events and research conducted by the Lands of Eogain and from the collaborative work carried out on Mabels Archive by the West Inishowen History and Heritage Society and Tower Museum