Link road a year delayed as 30 archaeologists work on dig

Published: 22 Nov 2012 13:001 comment

An ancient canoe paddle is reported to be among the recent "significant discoveries" at an archaeological dig near Enniskillen which is re-writing the history books.

Archaeologists at work at the route of the new link road .<<

The site is seen as being so important that a team of over 30 archaeologists is currently working to unearth its secrets.

The Drumclay Crannog, as it is known, is on the route of the new Enniskillen by-pass, between the Cherrymount Roundabout on the Irvinestown Road and a newly constructed roundabout on the Tempo Road.

Work on the road has been delayed and it is now not expected to be completed until next March, a year behind schedule, although two stretches are due to open before Christmas.

The joint contractors, P. T. McWilliams and McLaughlin and Harvey, are to be paid compensation for the additional work and delay caused by the archaeological dig.

A crannog is a type of ancient lough dwelling. Most are circular structures that seem to have been built on artificial islands as individual homes to accommodate extended families.

The excavation of the Drumclay Crannog is being undertaken on behalf of the Historic Monuments branch of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

The Medieval site, at least 700 years old, has already revealed evidence of its timber-and-soil construction, as well as a wicker-walled structure, possibly a house. It has also produced fragments of mill stones, wooden plates, small crucibles for metal-working, vast quantities of pottery and even pieces of cloth and part of a wooden plough. Some human remains were discovered, though it is thought that this was not their original burial place.

Two arrowheads found on the site, and dating to 3,000 or 4,000 years ago, were probably brought in accidentally with soil to build up the crannog.

A spokesman confirmed: "There have been a number of significant discoveries at the Drumclay Crannog excavation which are reshaping our understanding of medieval life at these kinds of sites. At present there is a team of over 30 archaeologists on the site, and this team has made rapid progress in excavating and recording the site. At present the archaeological excavation is scheduled to end on December 30, 2012. Officials are currently making arrangements for an open day at the site where the public will get the opportunity to see some of what has been found. It is hoped to arrange this within the next two weeks."

The archaeologists are working against the clock as the dig is holding up construction of the new by-pass.

A spokesman for the Department of Regional Development's Roads Service said: "Given the complexity and significance of the finds made to date, the time period for excavation of the crannog has been extended on three occasions and it is currently anticipated that the dig will stop at the end of December; a total duration of 28 weeks. In this regard, the Historic Monuments branch within Northern Ireland Environment Agency and Roads Service continue to work in partnership to ensure that the excavation of the crannog is brought to a satisfactory conclusion at the earliest possible time.

"Whilst the contractor has accommodated the archaeological dig and has progressed other areas of the works, the excavation of the crannog has impacted on cost and the time to complete the works. Despite this, construction work on sections of the new road are at an advanced stage and it is hoped to open parts of the new road to traffic in advance of full completion of the works. It is anticipated that the sections between Coa Road and Tempo Road and also between the Irvinestown Road and Carn Industrial estate will be complete and available to traffic prior to the Christmas break. The archaeological dig is due to stop in December and it is anticipated that the remaining section of new road between Coa Road and Carn will be completed and available to traffic in March 2013," he added.

"The contractor has accommodated the dig and been in attendance as and when required by the archaeologists. There will inevitably be additional costs associated with attendance, and the delay and disruption caused by the resolution of the crannog. The value of the additional costs owing are yet to be agreed with the contractor," the spokesman explained.

Jump to first paragraph.


comments powered by Disqus

Get more stories from our Roundup section

24 Apr 2014 19:00 • Editorial Department

Churches come together to commemorate the sadness of Good Friday

The sadness and poignancy of Good Friday was commemorated by the congregations of The Graan and Rossorry Parish Church, who came together for “The Way of the Cross”.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 19:00 • Rodney Edwards

#fermanaghspake This Week is...

Led (as in ‘Lad’)

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 17:00 • Rodney Edwards

Villiers’ sums ‘don’t add up’

SINN Fein MLA Rosie McCorley used her Easter address in Fermanagh on Sunday to hit out at Secretary of State Theresa Villiers who last week said that any review into the past must have “proportionate focus on the wrongdoing of paramilitaries”.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 17:00 • Editorial Department

Tamboran expect to drill a well in Ireland in June or July, report says

FRACKING company Tamboran’s Chief Executive Officer Joel Riddle has said that it expects to drill a well in Ireland in June or July.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 16:00 • Rodney Edwards

Mass rule is ‘destroying the Orange Order’

A FERMANAGH Orangeman has spoken of how he has been on the verge of quitting the organisation over its “stupid rule” about members attending Catholic church services.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 16:00 • Rodney Edwards

Criticism of those who wear ‘convict uniform to toast Queen’

THE deaths of prominent Republicans Jim Murphy and Patrick McManus have been remembered during commemorative events in Derrylin and Swanlinbar, organised by the 1916 Sean MacDiarmada society.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department

Kilkenny man is new manager at Lough Erne

Kilkenny-man Andrew Phelan has been appointed as General Manager of the Lough Erne Resort.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 15:00 • Meadhbh Monahan

Shareholder claims that Glanbia made £10,000 offer at meeting

FIVEMILETOWN Co-operative Society shareholders have been offered £10,000 each from Glanbia, a shareholder has claimed.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 14:00 • Lily Dane

Quinton family dealt another blow with death of Christopher

The Quinton family has been dealt another tragic blow with the news this week of the unexpected death of Christopher Quinton whose passing is being met with shock and sadness in the community.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 14:00 • Rodney Edwards

Call for ban on GAA jerseys at universities debated

SINN Fein’s Phil Flanagan has discussed Jim Allister’s call for a ban on GAA jerseys from universities in Northern Ireland with the Employment and Learning Minister, Dr. Stephen Farry.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 13:00 • Rodney Edwards

'Nanny, nanny... he's dead, dead'

The call no mother wants - read Ruby Brown's moving interview following the death of her son Richard in a motorbike accident

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 13:00 • Julie Kenwell

Collegiate given chance of 11th hour appeal to WELB

PARENTS of Collegiate Grammar School are to make an 11th hour appeal to members of the Western Education Library Board (WELB) not to sign off on a development proposal which would see it merge with Portora Royal next year.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 10:15

3,000-year-old bogwood sculptures installed at SWAH garden

BOGWOOD sculptures over 3,000 years old have been installed at the South West Acute Hospital (SWAH) garden.


24 Apr 2014 10:00 • Editorial Department

Inside today's paper

Way of the Cross: Congregations walk together on Good Friday.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 09:30 • Editorial Department

In today's Impartial Reporter:

The phone call no mother wants as Ruby Brown tells of the moment she learned of the death of son Richard in a motorbike accident. Read her in-depth and moving interview.

Social: Comments0 comments

23 Apr 2014 21:30

Late Breen strike sends Town into final

Enniskillen Town Utd came from a goal down to book their place in the final of the Impartial Reporter Mulhern Cup with a 2-1 win over Kesh at Ferney Park tonight.


23 Apr 2014 15:35

Car stolen in "creeper burglary"

A car was stolen during a so-called “creeper burglary” at Raceview Court near the Cornagrade Road in Enniskillen.


23 Apr 2014 13:15

Castle Archdale hosts Dawn Chorus event

LOCAL people are invited to meet at Castle Archdale at 5am on Saturday, May 3, to listen to the birds welcome the new day in fine voice.


23 Apr 2014 11:30

Radio DJ includes Fermanagh stop in marathon challenge for charity

A radio DJ will bring her fundraising marathon challenge to Fermanagh this June in aid of Cancer Research UK.


23 Apr 2014 09:30

Arsonists responsible for 15 gorse fires since beginning of April

Arsonists are being blamed for starting around 15 gorse fires in the Garrison and Belcoo area since the beginning of April.