Knockanally Crannog

Published in Oughterany, 1999

The Crannog at Knockanally was discovered during drainage work in 1973 and is situated at a joining of the river Blackwater with a tributary stream.1 Mounds of spoil remain on both sides of the stream as well as the river. However no over-ground remains of the monument have been recorded to date.

The site of the Crannog is situated in three fields and a plot of ground covered in shrubbery2 near the rear entrance into Knockanally House, which is now a cul-de-sac. Two fields are situated north of the river Blackwater, in the townland of Knockanally. The other two divisions are situated south of the river in the townland of Dysart and are divided by the stream.

There are interesting earthworks visible in the two divisions which may be associated with the Crannog. The south-west field which is owned by Seamus O’Brien has a barely visible sloping feature extending north to south across the field. This feature marks a lowering of the field and may well be the original shore line of a post-glacial lake. Another feature in the lower section of the field extends east of this ridge in the direction of the Crannog. It consists of a slightly raised, three meter wide by approximately seventy-five meter long field feature and is made up of a gravel type substance.3 This may have been a causeway extending from dry land through the lake to the crannog.

The shrubbery area is situated east of the stream, south of the river and west of the cul-de-sac. It has mounds of spoil on the north side. However, a raised area close to the stream covered with trees and shrubs does not appear to be spoil from recent excavations. This area appears to be higher than surrounding land which was below the level of the lake, and as it is on the site of the crannog an archaeological examination could determine whether this feature dates from the recent past or from the era of lake dwellings.

  1. The existence of the Crannog came to light when Martin J. Kelly reported to the National Museum. See also JKAS XV, P. 250.
  2. Shrubbery; here defined as an area covered by trees and shrubs.
  3. Interview with Mr O’Brien regarding the make-up of the causeway.