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Coney Island, Lough Neagh: Prehistoric Settlement, Anglo-Norman Castle and Elizabethan Native Fortress: An Interim Report on Excavations in 1962 to 1964

P. V. Addyman
Ulster Journal of Archaeology
Third Series, Vol. 28 (1965), pp. 78-101
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20627417
Page Count: 24
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Coney Island, Lough Neagh: Prehistoric Settlement, Anglo-Norman Castle and Elizabethan Native Fortress: An Interim Report on Excavations in 1962 to 1964
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Abstract

The recent excavations have shown that Coney Island, between the estuaries of the Blackwater and the Bann in the south-west corner of Lough Neagh, was the scene of human activity at various times in the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Early and Late Bronze Ages, and possibly in the Early Christian period. With the construction of a motte in the 13th century it became an Anglo-Norman frontier post; and a native settlement flourished there in the later Middle Ages at which time there was also a small iron industry. Subsequently the island was refortified with bank, ditch and external palisade. The circular stone tower, largely reconstructed in recent times, may also have been a part of this refortification, the occasion for which is probably provided by the wars of Shane O'Neill. The island, one of O'Neill's major strongholds, was delivered to Elizabeth's Lord Deputy Sir Henry Sydney in 1567, and apparently continued in use as a fort for a generation at least. The defences were at some subsequent time thoroughly razed. The island, sporadically occupied in the 17th and 18th centuries, became in the late 19th the country retreat of Alfred, Lord Charlemont, who built the modern cottages and is buried within the circular tower.

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