Tourmakeady Woodland Site, County Mayo; Archaeological Report

2.9.1 Introduction Location
This site is located approximately 1km west of Lough Mask, Co. Mayo (Figure 27).

2.9.2 Receiving Environment Placenames
County Mayo or in Irish "Magh eó" [Ma-ó], "the plain of the yews". Full name "Magheo-na-Saxan", F.M., 'Mayo of the Saxons' from a number of English monks that settled there in the seventh century; by St. Colman, an Irish monk, after he had retired from the see of Lindisfarne (Joyce 1856, 58).

Tourmakeady or Toormakeady townland has been subdivided into two parts e.g. Tourmakeady East and Tourmakeady West. "Toor" or "Tuar" meaning a 'bleach green or drying place' (Joyce 1856, 59). "Tuar" is another word for "field" particularly a dry or well-drained field, with a specialised sense of a 'bleach-green' (Flanaghan & Flanaghan 1994, 158). Some terms denote ownership such as "Tourmakeady" or in Irish 'Tuar Mhic Eadaigh' meaning 'Mac Eadaigh's bleach-green' (Flanaghan & Flanaghan 1994, 259).

Carra; in Irish "Cairthe" meaning "Standing Stone" (Flanaghan & Flanaghan 1994, 188).

Ballyovey or in Irish 'Baile Odhbha'; no placename derivation could be found for this parish. "Bally" is the anglicised form of "Baile" meaning "town". Ballyovey was also known as the parish of Partry (Knox 1908, 324). Topography
The topography of the site comprises:
(i) flat dry land with a stream and small lake. 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. There is no Down Survey map available for this county.

The 1st edition Ordnance Survey map (1838-1839) shows the forest site as densely wooded with portions of the western side left open (Figure 29). Tourmakeady was spelt 'Toormakeady' at this time and the townland is divided into Toormakeady East and West. The forest site lies mainly in the townland of Toormakeady East but its south-western corner extends into Toormakeady West. Toormakeady East contains 200acres 1 rood and 3 perches while Toormakeady West contains 104 acres 3 roods and 18 perches. Several trails are shown transversing the forest. 'Toormakeady Lodge' is well noted in the northern end of Toormakeady East surrounded by forest.

The portion of the forest site that extends into Toormakeady West does not appear forested at this time. Toormakeady West is devoid of woodland and is not laid out. Large irregular sized fields are in evidence in 1838-1839. The area to the west of the forest site within Toormakeady east is well laid out into six rectilinear field plots in 1838-1839. SMR MA109:018 does not appear on this O.S. edition (1838-1839). SMR MA109:019 may be represented by an oval enclosure with trees within to the south of SMR MA109:018 within Toormakeady East townland. The surrounding townlands including Cappaghduff East to the south; Gortfree to the north and Gorteenmore to the east are all devoid of woodland cover. Toormakeady village to the east of the forest site is not noted at this time but a 'R.C. Chapel' and 'Dispensary' are noted in 1838-1839.

The 3rd edition Ordnance Survey map (1914-1919) shows the forest site densely wooded with significant changes in the surrounding landscape with the addition of a marked increase in forest cover (Figure 30). Toormakeady east contains 236 acres 1 rood and 31 perches with Toormakeady Lodge noted in the northern end. An additional feature called 'Pheasantries' denoted by a number of buildings are located in the north-west corner of the townland. SMR MA109:018 and MA109:019 are both denoted at this stage within Toormakeady East. Toormakeady West contains 147 acres 2 roods and 6 perches in 1914-1919. The area located within the forest site is now forested. 'Glensaul River' marks the southern boundary to Toormakeady east and also forms the townland boundary in this location. To the east of the forest site within Toormakeady East are circular groves of woodland noted on the previous 1st edition O.S. map (1838-1839). Toormakeady village is clearly denoted to the east of the forest site with a 'Rectory, Hotel, School, Constab. Bk., R.C. Church and Presbytery' all clearly marked in 1914-1919. History
"Umall was the baronies of Murrisk and Burrishoole, inhabited by the Clann Umoir families, from whom came Clann Maille, whose alleged descent came from Brian Orbsen. The Partraige were of the Clann Umoir which were in three divisions. One of these divisions included: 'Odba Ceara' who in historical times are known only in the parish of Ballyovey, 'Baile Odhbha'. They may have been in those of Ballintubber and Ballyheane in St. Patrick's time" (Knox 1908, 18).

Brian Orbsen was King of Connaught after Eochy Moyvane died in A.D. 365. Brian's druid, Drithlin, was killed on the shore of Lough Carra, whence Aenach Drithlind took its name. This was a royal fort of the kingdom of Carra (Knox 1908, 24). St. Mochua came to Bella in 616 and founded a monastery which became the ecclesiastical centre of the Hy Fiachrach of the Moy, claiming supremacy over and dues from the territories of Carra and Tireragh. It was also held that the descendants of Fiachra Elgach had estates in Carra (Knox 1908, 34-35).

Based on the inquisitions of 1333 the partition of Connaught occurred after the death of the Earl of William de Burgo. Large tracts of land were let as a result to the principal barons for low rents and services, and sometimes for knight-service only, as they had to incur great expense in establishing themselves and settling colonists (ibid, 101). Adam Staunton, a great baron of Kildare, got Carra proper at this time.

A strong castle was built in each fee and held by a garrison. The owners of the fees formed them into manors. The records show that there was a manor at Carra (ibid, 104). During the Anglo-Norman settlement period the county of Mayo was described as ' woods are plentiful in most parts of the country, but the richest lands appeared to have been cleared. Rough hills and coarse land were generally covered with wood and brushwood. The latter mixed with marsh and water (ibid, 109). In the mid fifteenth century Henry Reagh O' Kelly, head of the sept called the Clann an Airchinnigh, settled in Carra. Henry was ninth in descent from King Donnell Mór, who died in 1224 (ibid).

The first Englishman to acquire lands in the barony was John Browne in 1530 who 'acquired 30 quarters of land in course of time in the baronies of Kilmaine, Carra, Gallen, Clanmorris and Erris' (Knox 1908, 219). When baronies were formed Muinter Crechain was thrown in Carra because the Bourkes were chieftains over it. The Bourkes were the chief family of Carra (Knox 1908, 282-3). By 1566 Sliocht Walter held a part of ancient Carra. Minor chiefries were carved out of the cantred of Conmaicnecuiklle and part of Carra (ibid). Sir William got a footing in Carra. In 1585 the parish of Partry or Ballyovey was in Carra (Knox 1908, 324). In 1588 some small families of free holders included the MacEnallys of Carra (Knox 1908, 194). In the fourteenth century the MacStephenson estate was originally held in the barony of Carra (Knox 1908, 310).

General Background
An early account of the parish of Ballyovey is gained from Samuel Lewis in his Topographical Dictionary of Ireland during his travels in the early nineteenth century:
"Ballyovey, a parish in the barony of Carra, county of Mayo and province of Connaught, six and a quarter miles north by west from Ballinrobe; contains 4,025 inhabitants. This parish which is pleasantly situated on the border of boroughs Mask and Carra and on the high road from Castlebar to Ballinrobe, comprises 19,823 statute acres, as applotted under the Tithe Act. The surface is mountainous and there are extensive tracts of bog; the lands now in cultivation are principally under tillage. The scenery is boldly varied; in the bosom of the cuts is Tarmacady, the summer lodge of Dean Plunkett; and Partree, the seat of J. Lynch, Esq., is beautifully situated on Lough Carra. It is a rectory and vicarage in the diocese of Tuam partly appropriate to the prebend of Killabegs in the cathedral church of St. Mary, Tuam and partly included in the union of Burnscarra: the tithes amount to £162 of which £23.5.2 and three quarters is payable to the prebendary of Killabegs and the remainder to the incumbent. There is neither church, glebe house, nor glebe. In the Roman Catholic division it forms a separate benefice called Partree, there are two chapels, one at Partree, a small thatched building and the other in the mountains at Ballybannon on a spacious slated edifice. There are six pay schools in which are educated 340 children" (Lewis 1837, 32).

In 1833 Bishop Plunkett first acquired Tourmakeady demesne and began evicting tenants. Last eviction in 1858 and involved aided by British soldiers from the Curragh. Prior to Bishop Plunkett the land was owned by the Moore's of Moorehall. Before owned by the Stanton's family. They were famous for kidnapping the son of the Earl of Tyrone. He was drowned at earls Island in nearly Lough Mask by the Stanton's. Bishop Plunkett is supposed to have been responsible for the construction of Tourmakeady Lake i.e. an artificial lake circa 1839.

Michael Cox and Tom Lally Interviews August 2000
Toormakeady Lodge located within the forest site was built in 1839. The main entrance to Tourmakeady demesne was called the 'Grand Gates'. The first motor car to cross the Shannon drove from Athlone to Tourmakeady and drove through these gates. It is said that the forest at Tourmakeady was planted by Bishop Plunkett after the people had been evicted. It was planted with oak, larch and scots pine. It is rumoured that the school in Tourmakeady was built from stone taken from the houses of evicted tenants. Both Eamonn de Valera and his wife met while teaching at the school in Tourmakeady. They courted at the waterfall within the confines of Tourmakeady forest site. The stone used to make the path to the waterfall came from the remains from stables and other buildings on the land once they had been taken over by forestry. Folklore
There was no material revealed during an examination of the Department of Irish Folklore in UCD.

2.9.3 Field Inspection Tourmakeady is a medium sized site consisting of mature conifers and large clearfelled areas (Plate 27). The site was in the process of clearfelling at the time of survey. No new archaeological sites were located. The lake in the centre of the study area, is the site of two possible crannogs (SMR MA109:018 and MA109:019) (Plates 28 and 29). The current site manager believes they are of recent origin, caused by brush from earlier clearances being dumped in the lake. Local legend holds that the lake itself was human made, by the first landlord at the beginning of the 19th century.

The house associated with the original landlord, Tourmakeady Lodge (Plate 30), is located just outside the study area and is currently inhabited. It has a fine, large stone outbuilding associated with it (Plate 31). Also located outside the study area is a beautiful waterfall (Plate 32) accessed by a cobbled path. This waterfall plays a significant role in the local legends of the last two centuries. New Sites
There were no new archaeological sites identified as part of the forest survey.

2.9.4 Desk Study The Recorded Monuments (Figure 28)
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 Tourmakeady Woodland, County Mayo.

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 Tourmakeady Woodland Site Type
MA109:018 Within Crannog possible
MA109:019 Within Crannog possible

There are two recorded archaeological sites within Tourmakeady Woodland.

Within the environs of Tourmakeady Woodland there are no known archaeological sites.

SMR No. MA109:018
Townland Toormakeady East
Barony Carra
Parish Ballyovey
Site Type Crannog possible
NGR 10871/26825
Height O.D. 200'-300'
Description The site is not marked on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map (1838) but is marked on the later 3rd edition Ordnance Survey map (1917). No other details appear in the file.
Classification C
Area of Interest 30m
Distance Within (to NE)

SMR No. MA109:019
Townland Toormakeady East
Barony Carra
Parish Ballyovey
Site Type Crannog possible
NGR 10864/26814
Height O.D. 200'-300'
Description The site does not appear on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map (1838) but does appear on the later 3rd edition Ordnance Survey map (1917). No other details appear in the file.
Classification C
Area of Interest 30m
Distance Within (to NE) The desk study revealed two recorded archaeological sites within the forest site and no archaeological sites recorded from the immediate vicinity. 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 Tourmakeady forest.

Townland Proximity to Forest
Tourmakeady East Within
Tourmakeady West Within
Gortfree Adjacent to North and North-East
Cappaghduff Adjacent to South
rteenmore To East

There are two stray finds recorded in the vicinity of the forest site. One from the townland of Tourmakeady East (in which the forest is located) and the other from Gorteenmore townland to the east of the forest. These comprise a prehistoric stone axe from Tourmakeady East and a bronze axe head from Gorteenmore dating to the Bronze Age both described below. There are no stray finds recorded from other adjacent and surrounding townlands in the vicinity of Tourmakeady forest site.

Townland Tourmakeady
Barony Carra
Parish Ballyovey
6" Co-Ordinates Not Indicated
Registration No. Not Indicated
Find(s) Stone Axe
Acquisition Not Indicated
Description Not Indicated

Townland Bog at Gorteenmore
Barony Clanmorrris
Parish Kilcolman
6" Co-Ordinates Not Indicated
Registration No. 1958:7
Find(s) Bronze Axe Head, flanged with stop-ridge
Acquisition Purchased from Mr. Fergus O' Boyle, Kilnagower, Claremorris, Co. Mayo
Description Found in cut-away bog, on the surface, during drainage operations by Board of Works. A narrow foot stream was made about two feet deep in this cut-away bog. The axe head was discovered on the surface of the material thrown up on the bank. A fort is situated c.400 yards from the spot where found.

2.9.5 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.