Knockmacoony townland is called simply Knocke on the Down Survey Barony map (1655-8) when it was owned by John Plunkett, an Irish papist. No features are shown in Knocke on the parish map but cabins are represented on the nearest part of Drumsawry townland. The terrier or commentary accompanying the map says there is a castle at Knocke. See this web-page accessed on 03/10/2018: http://downsurvey.tcd.ie/history.html It is fairly certain that the extant structures still evident on the landscape post-date the Cromwellian settlement, but they were abandoned by the time of the first Ordnance Survey map (1836), so all the features probably date to the late seventeenth century or the early eighteenth century.
Situated on a fairly level, low-lying pasture landscape. An area of about 20 acres (c. 6ha) has evidence of silted field drains (Wth c. 3-5m; D 0.2-0.4m) forming a rectangular field system that is parallel with a current NE-SW field wall at its NW edge. The fields are rectangular (dims c. 80-120m NE-SW; c. 60-80m NW-SE) with no evidence of lazy bed cultivation, except at its E edges. Within the fields and coeval with them is a circular enclosure (ME009-026----) (diam. 26m NE-SW) defined by a scarp (at W: H 0.8m) and outer silted drain (Wth of base 1.5m; ext. D 0.3m). Within the enclosure but displaced to the N is a grass-covered circular mound (diam. 8.2m N-S; 7.8m E-W; H 1m), which may have been a windmill mound. The enclosure has an outer D-shaped enclosure (Wth 6-12m) attached to the S defined by a silted drain E-S-W.
About 50m W of the enclosure are three house-sites visible as raised grass-covered platforms (dims 7.5m NE-SW; 4.4m NW-SE: 15.2m NE-SW; 5.2m NE-SW; 18.5m NE-SW; 5m NW-SE; H 0.6-0.8m) placed 10-20m apart around what must have been a rectangular farmyard although no boundaries for it can be seen. There is also evidence of what might be an older field system of a similar pattern and defined by field drains but aligned ENE-WSW.
The above description is derived from the published 'Archaeological Inventory of County Meath' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1987). In certain instances the entries have been revised and updated in the light of recent research.
Compiled by: Michael Moore
Date of revision: 31 October 2018
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.