Notes and Queries

Notes and Queries

The purpose of this part of the website is to provide a space for future notes and enquiries regarding ongoing souterrain research in South Munster.

  • The Peake Souterrain, Aghabulloge, County Cork

    Discovered in the mid 18th century and reported as being a souterrain with several chambers and lots of burnt human remains. Might it have been a hermitage souterrain in which people sought refuge in a time of conflict only to die as a consequence of attempts to smoke them out?

  • Eochú Airem. The first to dig caves in Ireland.

    Why is there such a difference in dating between Irish souterrains which are largely seen as of the Early Christian period, and the souterrains of Iron Age date - if not older - on the European mainland, as well as in Britain, has long been a question of much interest and speculation. Is it possible that as a consequence of Roman expansion into western and northern lands of Europe major movements of clan and tribal societies took place under a variety of circumstances. Might some of these clans have introduced souterrains to the Irish landscape, especially in South Munster?

  • Cills and Cluains

    Cill (Kil, Kill, Keel) as a place name element in Ireland usually refers to a cell, a religious person's cell most often. Cluain refers to a meadow though meadows are often the site of a religious cell be it that of a solitary, a hermitage group or a great monastic foundation in the Celtic style such as Clonmacnoise. In Irish place names its anglicised form creates word elements such as Clon, Cloon, Cloyne.

  • Stepping down into Souterrains in Cork

    The attached file contains a table of Cork souterrains for which entrance steps have been recorded.

  • Eoghan Mór of the Fiteccs and Ballycatteen

    The story of Eoghan Mór and the Fiteccs is an important text when considering souterrains from the perspective of using them as storage places: either as a repurposing of existing monastic cells or the creation of certain souterrain spaces to act as protected storage areas attached to a hermitage with hospital. Also, perhaps, at Ballycateen one souterrain was converted to act as a habitation space, modified to have a timber roof structure, to be used for a guardian or monastery cellerar. Was Ballycateen a 'dangan' to protect the food resources, imports and other valuables of the hermitage/monastery at Kilmore? Also some thoughts about Bronze Age and Iron Age dating issues in the context of souterrains and associated structures.

  • The Saxon Church in South Munster

    What effect did the Synod of Whitby in 664 AD have on Christianity in South Munster. Where did the Saxon Church impact upon the landscape of South Munster in its aftermath? Why might Kielnarovanagh (Cell of the Romans) in Kilmichael Civil Parish, Cork, have a bearing on this story?

  • Built Upon the Cells of the Founders

    Were medieval parish churches built above the cells of those who initially introduced Christianity to South Munster?

  • Currabinny and Nemed's Tomb

    Did the great flooding of Cork Harbour circa 822 AD result in a plain overlooked by the tomb of Nemed of the Nemedians becoming Currabinny Hill and result in the formation of Cobh Island?

  • Roger O'Connor and the Scythian Irish

    When he died in 1834 Roger O'Connor was buried at Kilcrea Friary, Cork, having spent his last few years living in Ballincollig. Editor of the United Irishmen's journal Erin Go Bragh, he also wrote an alternative history of early Ireland based on the idea that the Irish language was Carthaginian in origin and that it was a Scythian dialect of Punic.

  • Beware the Leprechaun : Thomas Crofton Croker and the Faeries

    Folk tales, fantastical tales, faery forts and little people with pots of gold living underground.

  • Folk Christianity and Spirituality in South Munster : A Likely or Unlikely Profile?

    What happened to the original Irish folk Christianity - and the earlier pre-Christian religious beliefs it absorbed, in the aftermath of the Synod of Whitby, in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest and its religious reforms, and in the aftermath of the dissolution and suppression of the monasteries under the reign of Henry 8th of England?

  • A Place In-between: Castlemartyr / Killeagh and the Bronze Age

    With evidence for the Bronze Age in the South West of Ireland and suggestions of Greeks visiting the South East, beyond Waterford's Copper Coast, was there a Bronze Age settlement between Castlemartyr and Killeagh villages in east Cork, one connected to Pilmore Harbour? Was Castlemartyr a place of 'the furnaces'?

  • The Farran, the Garrane/Gurrane, the Gort/Gurt and the Garrai

    Rather than work with multiple, and variant, meanings as used in the above place name words, I have used a single meaning for each of them though aware of the variability seeing this as a consequence of changing land use practices and decisions over time.

  • Ancient Seaways : West Cork to the Coast of Barbary in North Africa

    Was the famous Pirate Round of the 16th and 17th centuries between West Cork and the North African Coastline of Barbary - once the land of Ancient Carthage and its Phoenician trading people - a sea route with Bronze Age roots?

  • Christianity in Ireland before St. Patrick

    Did Christianity exist in Ireland before the arrival of St. Patrick in 432 AD? If so what was it like and what forms did it take?

  • To whom were Ogham Stones dedicated

    Who were the persons to whom ogham inscribed stone slabs were dedicated? Why were the slabs made for these people? Where did these persons come from? Why is South Munster the part of Ireland which has the 'lion's share' of them?

  • Souterrain drawings and surveying : with examples

    Are there modern alternatives to the traditional 'base line, compass and offset' survey method?

  • Monastic Farming and Food Production, Cellaring

    Some thoughts. What was the agricultural and food knowledge of Irish monasteries? What of their cellars?

  • Irish monasticism and a souterrain landscape, from the North East coast of America to Russia?

    Is there a basis for comparative studies of Irish souterrain forms, especially those of South Munster, with souterrain forms found from the north eastern coast of the United States of America to mainland Europe, to Russia, in the light of early medieval christianity (Hibernian and Roman) and its geographic spread and extents?

  • Dating Irish Souterrains and also a 'Souterrain City' or was it an early monastery?

    Some thoughts.

  • End of Empire and a Curious Thing

    If the Whitby Synod of the mid 7th century AD impacted on the nature of Christianity in Ireland, did the 'outpouring' of Christian missionary work from Ireland to mainland Europe and beyond, receive some of it impetus from that event?

  • Weaving and Reweaving a ‘Gaelic’ Tapestry.

    What can be understood of the nature of traditional Gaelic farms - and farmlands, monastic and secular, before and subsequent to the Norman Conquest of 1169 AD?