Shore erosion exposes ancient shipwreck

Low tide at Thallabawn beach, Mayo, North-western Ireland, revealed remains of a wooden shipwreck that has not yen been identified.

Remains of a shipwreck (by Michael Gibbons)

According to the archaeologist who examined the vessel, it might date from the late medieval period onwards and in an area replete with shipwrecks. The best known example of a wreck known from the area is he sailing vessel Gem which was en route from New York to Galway when it foundered on January 18th, 1849.

Parts of the ancient shipwreck (by Michael Gibbons)

Research conducted by the archaeologist further north in the mouth of Broadhaven Bay suggests that a monastery or a late Bronze Age or early Christian fortress was built on Kid island, also known as Oileán Mionnán. The island has 80-metre high cliffs and is used for summer sheep grazing. Low circular earthwork enclosure and a sub-rectangular structure within an enclosure close to the western side were reported on the top of the island. The enclosure is surrounded by a field system, which is similar to that on the Inishkea islands where early Christian buildings are also surrounded by worked land.

(after Michael Gibbons & The Irish Times)

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