Situated on top of a prominent hill c. 1.5km WNW of the monastery of Cenannas or Kells (ME017-033----) and overlooking a W-E section of the River Blackwater that is c. 700m to the N. An inland lighthouse was constructed on the hill in 1791 (Carr 2000) and the two or three low but visible earthwork banks on the hill (Newman 1997, 201) are concentric with each other, although not centred on this tower, and are late landscape features. Geophysical survey was undertaken on the hill in 2013 by the Discovery Programme as part of the ‘Late Iron Age and “Roman” Ireland’ project and demonstrated that the central feature is certainly modern (Dowling 2015b, 11-16). The survey identified an innermost summit enclosure defined by two ditch features (ext. diam. c. 120m) accompanied by inner banks with a possible burnt palisade trench inside the inner bank and an entrance gap through the three features at E. About 70-80m outside the summit enclosure the outermost visible earthwork is obscuring at least two earlier fosse features, the line of which incorporates the curved field boundary S-NNW, creating an outer enclosure (diam. c. 250m). Some uncertain ring-ditches were recorded between the two enclosing groups of features. One enclosure (diam. c. 22m) is defined by an interrupted fosse feature and is situated E of the entrance in the summit enclosure. An earlier test excavation (03E1778) produced evidence of what might be a pit or a ditch associated with the summit enclosure, which provided a C14 determination of 1130-91 Cal. BC from burnt animal bone (Neary 2004, 10-11, 60-1).
Compiled by: Michael Moore
Date of upload: 7 January, 2016Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.