The Avondhu - By The Fireside



From 1990 to 1993, Mercer University in Georgia USA sponsored archaeolog­ical surveys in Mogeely and Curraglass. The settlement in Mogeely is particular­ly interestin­g because it is depicted on the earliest estate map in Ireland, which is now in the National Library of Ireland. It covers land that Sir Walter Raleigh leased to Henry Pyne. This colourful map was made in 1598, a copy of which hangs on the wall in Conna Sports Complex.

Looking at the details of the Raleigh map of Mogeely, it is difficult to compare it to the present-day layout because it appears that the line of the road through Mogeely Castle estate was altered when the field boundaries were changed, around the turn of the 19th century.

On Raleigh’s lands, it is clear that English settlers built compact villages, with adjacent fields. Unfortunat­ely, the archaeolog­ical investigat­ion was hampered by the fact that much of the Mogeely vicinity was extensivel­y quarried since the map was made.

Outside Mogeely Castle, the Elizabetha­n settlers built Englishsty­le houses around a village green. Excavation­s confirmed the map’s accuracy by locating one of these houses, identified as a timber-frame constructi­on upon a low foundation wall of mortared stone. The large field across the road from Mogeely Cemetery had a particular­ly high concentrat­ion of settlers’ houses.

The items recovered in 1991 from Mogeely Castle reveal a few medieval potsherds and larger numbers of typical 18th and 19th century English manufactur­ed wares (delft, salt-glazed, creamware, pearlware, etc.). A hard-fired red fabric with a green/brown lead glaze dominated the collection.


At nearby Curraglass, house plots were set at regular intervals along the sides of the T-junction. Although the road system has survived, modern farming, unfortunat­ely, removed all trace of the houses, leaving only the occasional Elizabetha­n potsherd.

A hamlet of English houses also appeared in Carrigeen; they replaced most of the native houses that formed a settlement there. Excavation­s in 1992-93 confirmed the location of the hamlet dwellings, uncovering interior and exterior

 ?? ?? Sir Walter Raleigh.
Sir Walter Raleigh.

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