The Early Region
Ballyrenan Chambered Grave part of a series of such features near Baronscourt. Tucked away in remote places this, and similar monuments, are a strong reminder that there has been human activity in this area for a very, very, long time. This structure could be 6000 years old. When excavated in 1907, a flint arrowhead & stone beads were found at the site. Further excavations in 1936 uncovered sherds of at least 4 Neolithic pots, worked flints & beads.
An apparently similar structure is Clogherny Wedge Tomb, which is located on high ground between Plumbridge and Donemanagh. However, it is much younger dating from around the Early Bronze Age of 2,500 years ago. It is surrounded by a ring of standing stones which were shown in an excavation of 1937 to be linked to the monument by cobbles. It may be that the stones are a later addition to the site and reflect the interest of a later generation.
Island McHugh provides a link between pre-history and the late medieval history of the area with finds from the Neolithic (flint and pottery), Bronze Age (artificial extension of the island), Early Christian (main Crannog building) & Medieval periods (tower house). Crannogs are artificial islands built up in a series of stones and timber frameworks to provide a secure base for habitation. Often the home or retreat of a lord or king there are 1200 examples throughout Ireland and 347 in Scotland. This one, along with a nearby rath (circular earthwork) is associated with the king of the Ui Fiachragh people who occupied an area south of the River Mourne in the Early Christian period.
Ballyrenan Chambered Grave
Clogherny Wedge Tomb.
Island McHugh, Baronscourt.
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