Derrygorry Woodland Site, County Monaghan; Archaeological Report

2.10.1 Introduction Location
This site is located approximately 15km north of Monaghan town, on the Tyrone border, Co. Monaghan (Figure 31). The site is located within a 'Natural Heritage Area' (NHA).

2.10.2 Receiving Environment Placenames
County Monaghan; "Muineachán", F.M., a 'place full of little hills or brakes' ("muine") or 'a place of thickets' (Joyce 1856, 97; Flanaghan & Flanaghan 1994, 239).

Derrygorry; "Derry" or in Irish "doire" meaning 'an oak grove or wood' (Joyce 1856, 98). Derrygorry meaning " wood of the goats" (McKay 1999, 37).
Another explanation for the derivation of the name is as follows:
"Derrygorry" or in Irish "Doire gorraid" meaning "Godfrey's Wood". Adjacent is Favour Royal, the handfome feat of the Mountray family in the county of Tyrone. The greater part of this townland is ftill woodland. Present proprietor is Rev. John James Mountray" (Shirley 1879, 396).

Trough; Errigal Trough in Monaghan, the church of (the barony of) Trough (Joyce 1856, 98). Errigal trough has been associated with the holy well of St. Mellan (Livingstone 1969, 27). The medieval parish of Donagh included the present parish of Traugh (Livingstone 1969, 75).

Errigal Trough; "Errigal", in Irish "Aireagal", meaning 'a habitation, a small church' (Joyce 18566, 98). The name "Errigal Trough" is associated with St. Mellan (Walsh Rev. P. 1915, 4). Topography
The topography of the site comprises:
(i) Typical drumlin country, conical hills and low lying areas in between. Cartographic Sources
An analysis of Ordnance Survey maps from the early nineteenth century to date gives a picture of the development of the townland over time.

The Down Survey map c.1656 shows the barony of 'Traug' and the parish of 'Erigale' (Figure 33). The area comprising the parish of Errigal Trough at this time shows no detail as the land was owned by Protestants and thus unsurveyed at this stage. The word 'Protestant' appears within the area in which the forest site is located and thus no information can be gleaned from this map. However, no indication of woodland is evident in the surrounding townlands within the parish of 'Erigale' in c.1656.

The 1st edition Ordnance Survey map (1835) shows the forest site of Derrygorry completely wooded (Figure 34). Derrygorry townland contains 184 acres 1 rood and 22 perches. There are no trails evident within the woodland site. The north-eastern corner of the townland and the south-eastern corner of the townland are not wooded in 1835. 'Derrygorry' is denoted in the southern area which is devoid of trees which also shows a large house. Dernaved townland and Mullaghmore townland to the south and south-east of Derrygorry are devoid of trees at this stage but shows areas of poor land. Esker townland to the east is not laid out and is devoid of trees in 1835. Corgreenan townland to the north-east shows a large proportion of the land as poor quality with some portions of the townland laid out in field plots. However, there is no tree cover in evidence. To the north-east of Derrygorry within Corgreenan townland there is a large circular area of woodland called 'Creaghan'. There is a trail evident curving through the woodland in this location.

The 3rd edition Ordnance Survey map (1907-1909) shows similar areas of forest cover as identified on the earlier O.S. edition (Figure 35). Within the townland of Derrygorry, 'Derrygorry Wood' is defined with numerous trails now in evidence. The townland contains 184 acres 1 rood and 26 acres. There is no woodland cover visible in the townland of Derrynaved or Mullagh More to the south. Esker townland to the south-east shows no woodland while the townland of Corgreenan now shows planting in the south-west corner as well as the already noted forest in the north of the townland, now called 'Creaghan Wood'. History
"The barony of Trough, originally 'Triucha-ced Cladaigh, or cantred of Cladach, is the smallest as well as the most northern of the five districts which comprise county Monaghan. It contains two parishes Errigal Trough and Donagh and is bounded on the west and north by the county of Tyrone, on the east by the river Blackwater and further east by Armagh and to the south by the parishes of Tedavnet and Tehallen, in the barony of Monaghan. Its area is stated at 37,369 acres" (Shirley 1879, 133).

There are two mentions of the district in the Annals of the Four Masters, first in 1436, where it is stated that 'Niall, the son of Owen O' Neill, was slain by the Clann Kenna of Trough' and secondly in 1576, when 'Conor oge, the son of Donough Maguire, and some of the nobles of Fir-Luirg (Lurg, a barony in Fermanagh), were slain in Triucha'. "Trough was and is the country of the Mac Kennas, so common today. The tribe of the Mac Kenna's were natives of Meath, although located in Oriel therefore a branch of the southern Hy-Niall" (Shirley 1879, 133).

"Tradition says that Mac Kenna lived originally in Meath, from whence he and a party of his people hunted a deer, until they killed it in the townland of Lis Kenna, in Errigal parish in this barony, which derives its name from that circumstance. From this period, stated to be in the eight century, the Mac Kennas have been fixed in Trough, their leader having married the daughter of a former chief of the territory" (Shirley 1879, 134).

The Four Masters indicate that in 1325, Donough Mac Kenna was slain in Mac Mahon's Church and in 1402 in the Annals of Loch Cé, Mac Cinaith of the Triucha was slain by his brothers per dolum. In the sixteenth century Shane O' Neill c.1569 mentions 'The Troo called M Kynors', as having forfeited their possessions. In 1589 Patrick Mac Kenna was chief of the sept and the largest freeholder in Trough. In 1591 ' three Ballybetaghs and twelve states; to freeholders under him, six Ballybetaghs in the same barony' were allotted to Patrick Mac Kenna. 'Remainder to Owen Mac Patrick Mac Kenna, second remainder to Shane Mac Kenna, his reputed sons. To Brian oge Mac Mahon, three Ballybetaghs in demesne (Shirley 1879, 134-135). In the year 1608 there was no change in the possessions of the Mac Kennas and the Mac Mahons. Of the estate of the Mac Kennas there was little change throughout the fifteenth century. In State Papers a record in 1611 shows that Sir Thomas Ridgeway purchased of Patrick Mac Kenna of Trough '700 trees, 400 boards and planks, besides a quantity of stone, timber for tenements, with timber ready for the present setting of a water mill' (Shirley 1879, 136). Patrick Mac Kenna of Lower Trough died in 1625. By 1626 John, alias Shane Mc Kenna had sold five townlands to Thomas Blaney and his heirs and three other townlands were taken by Tool Mac Kenna to Bartholomew Brett, of Drogheda, merchant.

By 1640 according to the "Books of Survey and Distribution" there were sixteen landed properties in the Barony of Traugh of the tribe of the Mac Kennas. Their estates, however, were small, seldom exceeding a townland or two in extent, and of this number three were Protestants (Shirley 1879, 136). There were eight other persons of Irish origin among the proprietors of the Barony of Trough, of whom the largest was Garrett Rooney who owned nineteen townlands. The largest English proprietor next to the Countess of Carlisle was Waterhouse Crimble, Esq., The land of the Mac Kennas had been broken up by the start of the rebellion of 1641.The last of the Mac Kennas was John or Shane who was killed at Glaslough in 1689 (Shirley 1879, 137).

Killykoman House is located to the north-east of the forest site. No details regarding the structure were obtained during research. Folklore Folklore Archive Collection, UCD
The following references refer to excerpts from the Irish Folklore Commission held within the Department of Irish Folklore. These include two main archival sources: (i) Irish Manuscript Collection (IFC.M) and (ii) Irish Schools Collection (IFC.S). The excerpts refer to accounts by locals of popular belief, customs, local place names and incidents that occurred in the parish as follows:

IFC.M 1567:172
"A blacksmith named McMahon said that on 12th July 1870 in a party, had been imparted in Truagh by Mountray of Fort Singleton reprisals bestowed in which a young Truagh man, Philip Treaner was murdered by two people on the Seminary bridge".

2.10.3 Field Inspection Derrygorry is a large site, measuring 48 hectares. It consisted mostly of mature coniferous forest (Plate 33) and large areas that were at the time of survey in the process of being clearfelled (Plates 34 and 35). No archaeological sites were identified during the field survey. All of the site was relatively accessible and was walked in totality. There was no evidence of vernacular buildings or field walls. New Sites
There were no new archaeological sites identified as part of the forest survey.

2.10.4 Desk Study The Recorded Monuments (Figure 32)
The Sites and Monuments record (SMR) of Dúchas-The Heritage Service, Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands refers to the following sites within and in the environs of Derrygorry Woodland, County Monaghan.

From the 6" Ordnance Survey maps, a list of the archaeological sites and their proximity to the woodland site was compiled.

SMR No. Distance to Derrygorry Woodland Site Type
MO001:001 450m SE Ringfort(Rath/Cashel)
MO001:010 730m E Potential Site-Tradition
MO001:002 650m E Ringfort(Rath/Cashel)
MO001:004 1110m SE Enclosure

There are no recorded archaeological sites within Derrygorry Woodland.

Within the environs of Derrygorry Woodland the following SMR sites are recorded:

SMR No. MO001:001
Townland Cavan (Mountray)
Barony Trough
Parish Errigal Trough
Site Type Ringfort (Rath/Cashel)
NGR 26230/35089
6" Co-Ordinates 19.40cm from west and 1.46cm from south
Height O.D. Not Indicated
Description A defaced ringfort but scarped outline is plainly visible. A circular flat area now enclosed by a low scarped embankment. No trace of a fosse visible. A slight wide depression in the embankment at east possibly denotes original entrance. A modern field fence skirts north side of embankment. The ringfort is sited on the summit of a high east-west ridge in poorish grassland (rushes). The whole field with the exception of the ringfort is under potatoes. Great views provided from the site.
Width of embankment at west = 2.20m
Height of embankment at west = 0.65m
Width of embankment at south = 2.10m
Height of embankment at south = 1.15m

Width of embankment at east = 2.50m
Height of embankment at east = 0.60m
Width of entrance at east = 3.90m
East-West diameter (rim-rim) = 29m
North-South diameter (rim-rim) = 29.60m
Classification C
Area of Interest 30m
Distance 450m SE

SMR No. MO001:010
Townland Clonisboyle
Barony Trough
Parish Errigal Trough
Site Type Potential Site-Tradition
NGR 26324/35154
Height O.D. Not indicated
Description Not marked on any edition of the Ordnance Survey maps. 'St. Patrick's Stone': imprint of St. Patrick's foot thought to be a stone. A natural rock (Information from Patrick McKenna). The "imprint" is natural.
Classification N/A
Area of Interest N/A
Distance 730m E

SMR No. MO001:002
Townland Clonisboyle
Barony Trough
Parish Errigal Trough
Site Type Ringfort (Rath/Cashel)
NGR 26323/35180
6" Co-Ordinates 28.30cm from west and 9.89cm from south
Height O.D. Not indicated
Description A flat circular area surrounded by the remains of two earthen banks with the remains of a fosse between. The interior slopes slightly from west to east and has old cultivation ridges running in the same direction. The inner bank is complete. The outer bank only exists from NNE-E as does the fosse, although there may be a silted fosse at north and south. At west a field fence built outside the ringfort bank has left a water-filled trench in the line of the fosse. There is a wide entrance possibly altered through both banks at ENE with a possible causeway over fosse. The ringfort is on summit of a high SE-NW ridge of poor grassland (rushes). Whitethorn and hazel bushes cover portions of the bank and south-east quadrant of interior. Great views from here. There is a modern hole outside the enclosure of outer bank at east.
Width of entrance in inner bank at ENE = 3.30m (2.10m bottom)
Width of entrance in outer bank at ENE = 3.20m (1.70m bottom)
Width of causeway at NE = 3.10m
Height of causeway at NE = 0.15m
Internal diameter North-South = 32.30m
Internal diameter East-West = 34.60m

Classification C
Area of Interest 30m
Distance 650m E

SMR No. MO001:004
Townland Dromore
Barony Trough
Parish Errigal Trough
Site Type Enclosure/Earthwork
NGR 26362/35135
6" Co-Ordinates 31.82cm from west and 5.52 cm from south
Height O.D. Not indicated
Description A very large circular top of hill surrounded by a field fence like bank with outer trench. Perimeter at north now open but faint trace of ploughed out embankment visible. Internally it slopes appreciably to east. The earthwork now divides into two segments by field fence running SW-NE. Several field fences join the earthwork and cross the trench. Old cultivation ridges run SW-NE. The south-east segment belongs to a different farm and land may have been filled. The earthwork is located in poorish grassland. Great view on high north-south ridge. This site is very similar to other sites in the vicinity, all of which seem relatively modern.
SE-NE diameter (crest-crest) = 103.50m
SW-NE diameter (crest-crest) = 103.50m
Height of defaced embankment at North = 1.60m
Width of defaced embankment at North = 0.45m
Classification C
Area of Interest 30m
Distance 1110m SE The desk study revealed no recorded archaeological sites within the forest site and four known archaeological sites from the surrounding townlands. Stray finds
The Topographical Files of the National Museum of Ireland were examined in which all stray finds are provenanced to townland. The following is a list of the townlands within and in the environs of Derrygorry forest.

Townland Proximity to Forest
Derrygorry Within
Esker Adjacent to South-East
Ardginny To East
Corgreenan Adjacent to East
Creaghan Adjacent to North-East
Dernaved Adjacent to S. and S.W.

There are no stray finds recorded from the townland of Derrygorry in which the forest is located. There are no stray finds recorded from other adjacent and surrounding townlands in the vicinity of Derrygorry forest site.

2.10.5 Predicted Impacts
The scale of works planned for this site will involve both clearfelling and planting. Both of these processes are inherently destructive with ground disturbances associated with the use of heavy machinery (for tree removal) and preparation of the land for planting (with the excavation of drainage ditches).

While the areas to be affected have been surveyed in an attempt at locating and identifying previously unknown archaeological sites, no new sites were revealed. However, it must be borne in mind that archaeological remains with little above ground surface expression may survive below the ground surface. Such features would only be revealed during earthmoving and ground preparation works where such archaeological sites would be directly compromised by these subsequent works. Please see the mitigations and recommendation section in volume 1 for suggested mitigations.

*Please note that it was not possible to reproduce figures for inclusion on the website version of the reports.