Canovee Historical

& Archaeological Society.

Visit to Kilbrennan

Annual Outing Sat. 10th July '04


Officers 2003-2004

President:   Rev. Fr. T. O'Sullivan

Vice-President:  Dan Looney  

Chairperson:    Nora O'Leary

Vice Chairperson: Peter Scanlan

Hon Secretary:    Jim Crowley

Assist. Secretary:   Mary O'Sullivan

Hon. Treasurer:   Sheila Hurley.


2005 - 2006

15th of September
Annual General Meeting.


12th of October "Landlord and tenant farmer"
by Michael Galvin


9th of November "Folklore Night"
local customs and traditions


8th of Feb. "The Brehon Laws"
By Kenneth Nicholls


8th of March "History of Crookstown Village"
By Henry Wall


12th of April "Local emigrants to America in the 1800s"
By Nora O'Leary.


10th of May Field outing to Cnoc An Tobair.


14th of June Annual Outing




Canovee Historical & Archaeological Society.

The Canovee Historical and Archaeological Society, founded in 1981 and a registered member of the Federation of Local History Societies, meets on the second Thursday of the month from September to April at Canovee Hall. Generally a guest speaker is invited to give a talk/lecture on local history, folklore or archaeology.
In the summer time members usually have a field outing, sometimes in company with one of the other local societies and visit one of the many interesting sites of historic importance in the district.
Canovee also organise an annual excursion, before the harvest time during the month of July when John and Bridie Sheehan very kindly act as guests.

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Canovee Historical and Archaeological Society

Field Trip To Upper Bellmount

Thurs. 11th of April 2002. By kind permission of Denis & Mary Murphy,
Mary Lynch, Brendan & Margaret Hayes


The group met at Crookstown Hall at 7:30 and first stop was a Stone Circle in Upper Bellmount. The following account is take from a talk given by Peter Scanlan on the night

Bellmount Upper 721 acres
This townland was appropriated by the Baldwins of Mount Pleasant who
took patent for it in the time of King James I. In this they had the
privilege of four fairs in the year,17th of March, Corpus Christy,
21st of September and the 8th of November.

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Please scroll down this page for more information and photos
Stone Circles




In Kilmurry parish there are six known Stone Circles, two in the
townland of Knockavullig, two in the townland of Upper Bellmount
and two in the townland of Currabeha. Four of the circles are what
is known as "Five Stone Circles", the two in Currabeha are multipliable
stone circles.

Stone Circle Number 1 Upper Bellmount


Stone Circle Number 2 Upper Bellmount.

(Part of this circle is missing)

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This Stone Circle is a good example of its kind to be found in this area, it has all the features of a five stone circle. Stone Circles consist of a ring of free standing stones, in this case five stones, uneven in number and symmetrically arranged so that one stone, the axial stone, is set directly opposite two stones, usually the tallest, marking the entrance to the circle. Characteristically, the stones reduce in height to the axial stone, which is set consistently in the south-western part of the monument with a common basic design. Though cremated burials in small unmarked pits were discovered at some circles, such as at Drombeg in West Cork, This multipliable stone circle at Drombeg was excavated, by Dr Fahy and published in C.H.A.S. Journal in 1950.

These monuments are not primarily burial burial places but are generally
regarded as ritual sites where ceremonies took place. Many stone
circles appear to have been deliberately orientated so that the main
axis of the circle (a line extending from the middle of the gap between
the entrance stones across to the centre of the axial stone ) is
aligned north-east/south-west - ( This circle is aligned NNE-SSW)
those sectors of the horizon in which the sun rises or sets at significant
times during the year, an equinox or a solstice. For example at
Drombeg, during the midwinter solstice, the sun appears to set at
a point on the horizon in line with the axis of the stone circle.
In Ireland stone circles are concentrated in mid-Ulster and in South
Kerry/West Cork, as are stone rows. Exact dating evidence is lacking,
but they are likely to be Bronze age in date, which would date them
to about three and a half or four thousand years old.

Group Photo taken at a Stone Circle in Upper Bellmount

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The Group then paid a brief visit to a Ringfort

Ringforts are the most widespread field monument to be found in
the Irish countryside. Excavation has shown that the majority of ringforts
were enclosed farmsteads, built in Early Christian times. The earth
works acted as a defense against natural predators, like wolves, as
well as human predators. Local warfare and cattle raiding were common
place at that time. As well as farming related activities, the ringfort
was home to a wide variety of craft industries, including spinning,
weaving, metal and glass working. Dwellings and outhouses were built
of timber posts, with walls of wattle mud and sods, which usually
leave no trace above ground today. There are three ringforts in Upper Bellmount


One of the three Ringforts in Upper Bellmount


Next stop was Commons Holy Well

in the farm of Brendan & Margaret Hayes.

Commons (meaning Coimin, Commonage.)

This well was known as Tobernafoora which means Tobar na Fuaire,
The Well of Cold Sting. When the Archaeological Survey Team visited
the site on 29th of March 1994, they recorded "That the well is situated
in east facing pasture, now infilled since about 1988. Nothing remains
of it" They quoted Mrs. Hayes (ne Long) as saying rounds were made
here until about 1957. The rounds were made at the well during Holy
Week - at Easter time over a few days, and that money would be left
at a rock in the field to the east of the well, this was also part
of the round. This rock was removed during land reclamation and another stone put there to mark the site. At one time a stone slab covered the well. There is a tradition that water from this well would never boil. There was also another well close bye called called,
The Well of the Goddess.

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