Our tour of archaeological sites in the District takes in the following:
Better known as Binderís Cove, an interesting underground site that dates back to around the 9th Century and comprises of one main passage with two side passages. Lit by solar lighting, visitors to the souterrain will enjoy a unique experience.
An unusually tall tripod-dolmen, located on the southern fringe of the Slieve Croob mountain range. The dolmen consists of two portal stones, one 5ft 9ins high, the other 6ft and a further single stone 4ft high. The long capstone, almost 2ft in diameter gives the structure its distinctive tripod appearance, the site enjoying terrific views of the Mourne Mountains.
One of the less well-know archaeological sites in the area and one of the most important. H C Lawlor, the famous Northern Irish archaeologist, suggested that Seafin Castle was the castle called Magh Cobha, an important fortress mentioned in 12th and 13th Century Irish and English documents. Seafin Castle looks across the River Bann to the impressive Ballyroney Motte and Bailey and exhibits two phases of medieval building. During excavations in the 1950s a number of pottery and iron artefacts were unearthed.
Dromore Motte and Bailey
One of the finest examples of a Norman Motte and Bailey to be found in Ireland and indeed, in the British Isles today. The Motte rises 40 foot above the enclosing ditch and has an egg shaped summit about 65ft across.
Lisnagade and Lisnavaragh Forts
Lisnagade or "The Fort of the Hundred", a Royal fort situated near Scarva consists of three massive banks with intervening ditches. The interior is about 160ft across and during the clearing of the larger ditches in 1832 a bronze cauldron, spear and arrowheads were found. Nearby is Lisnavaragh Fort, another triple-banked fort with an interior of 125ft in length.
Coolnacran Fort and Loughbrickland Crannog
Coolnacran is an earthwork set within the grounds of Loughbrickland House, the interior of which is about 100ft across. Coolnacran is now part of the Loughbrickland Town Trail and has a fairly massive inner bank. Loughbrickland Crannog, set in the middle of the lake, was surrounded by a row of stakes and partly built up of occupation debris. A house in the lake was occupied by rebels in 1642.