Archaeological Report on Bonane

Here follows an Archaeological report on the Bonane Heritage Park, mapping sites and it’s geographical region. The valley of Bonane encompasses approximately 90km².

Bonane Valley Boundaries

This landscape is readily defined (clockwise):

  • From its northern extent by the Cooracahill townland east-southeast to Coomclogherane Mountain
  • South-eastwards to west of Coomclogherane Lake
  • South to Coolnagoppoge Mountain
  • Southeast to Knockboy following the county boundary to Knockboy Mountain to Priests Leap
  • West to Barraboy Mountain and Esk Mountain to Baureragh Mountain
  • Southwest to Killeen Mountain towards Ram’s Hill
  • Before it turns west northwest to Cnoc na Ceachan and northwest to Caoomnadiha
  • The boundary goes northwest to Knocknagorraveela following spur to Castle Rock
  • From which it travels north to Barraduff Mountain and then to Knockeirka
  • The boundary follows the spur north-westwards from Lough Eirk and Dromanassig to rejoin Cooracahill

Heritage Park Boundaries

The Park is in the north-west of the area:

  • The 5.2 hectare area lies between 100 and 150m ordnance datum on a south-southwest facing slope
  • It is situated on the western-most spur of Barrerneen Mountain that rises to 450m
  • A north-northwest to south-southeast shallow col of up to 20m in depth defines the area’s eastern border
  • A 20th century earth and stone field bank follows the same boundary
  • A perpendicular west-southwest to east-northeast earth and stone field bank of similar date comprises the southern boundary for circa 450m
  • Going north-northwest for circa 100m before resuming its west-southwest direction for the southern boundary’s remaining 380m
  • At this point the area’s western boundary is defined by a roughly north to south road for 130m, which hosts the Beara Way
  • The northern boundary consists of a 20th century earth and stone field bank that runs from west-southwest to east-northeast for circa 720m, where it joins the eastern boundary’s bank within the col.

While the man-made defining characteristics of both the eastern and western boundaries emulate the immediate contours, both the northern and southern ones completely ignore it by running at an angle against the incline of the hillside. The Sheen River runs roughly parallel to the road and a further 80m to the west of the site. The Coillte trees, which were felled in 2003, had been planted approximately 30years previously. The area consists of rough uneven ground with frequent sporadic hollows and flat sections on the sloping land. The surface is frequently saturated with several slow flowing rivulets, particularly within the eastern and south-eastern portion of the land.

Prior to the area’s use as a forestry, the land would have primarily been used for sheep grazing as it would have had limited other practical applications. The western most 7000m² of the site consists of a flat gravelled area adjacent to the road and given over to car parking that was in existence prior to tree felling activities and resurfaced after felling activities because of machinery degradation. A 3 to 3.5m wide track ran eastwards for 10m from the eastern end of the car park before it took the incline into consideration and curved northern border for 60m. At this point it narrowed to 2.5m in width and ran in an eastward direction angling away from the northern boundary for circa 270m. This portion of the track suffered significant degradation resulting from felling activities.

Archaeological and Historical Sites

This provides the Record of Monuments and Places list of Archaeological Sites within the area described above:

  • Ringfort

    (Townland) Curragraigue – (RMP) KY102:03001 – (Nat Grid Ref) 9580 6541

  • Stone Circle

    (Townland) Curragraigue – (RMP) KY102:03002 – (Nat Grid Ref) 9580 6541

  • Boulder Burial

    (Townland) Curragraigue – (RMP) KY102:03003 – (Nat Grid Ref) 9584 6535

  • Enclosure

    (Townland) Curragraigue – (RMP) KY102:031

  • Historic Building

    (Townland) Curragraigue – (RMP) KY102:03201 – (Nat Grid Ref) 9584 6535

  • Stone Circle

    (Townland) Curragraigue – (RMP) KY102:03202 – (Nat Grid Ref) 9584 6535

  • Boulder Burial

    (Townland) Curragraigue – (RMP) KY102:03203 – (Nat Grid Ref) 9584 6533

Unknown Archaeological Sites discovered by Bonane Co-Op Society

Field walking of Dromagorteen and other areas within Bonane Parish has revealed previously undiscovered archaeological sites. Within the area of Dromagorteen Forest these consisted of:

  • Two possible souterrain
  • One possible and one positively identified Fulacht Fiadh
  • One Bullaun Stone with possible Bronze Age Rock Art
  • Two possible Burial Cairns
  • One possible Standing Stone
  • One historic building complex

Methodology of Assessment

On-site assessment was conducted on Friday 5th November 2004. It consisted of field walking and examination of the sites to determine the full presence of visible subsurface historical or archaeological remains. The site’s boundaries were also examined for the same purpose. National Grid References were obtained with the use of a hand-held Geographical Positioning System, accurate to ± 5m. This was followed by desk-based research.

(Click on Images to enlarge)