Google imagery reveals fantastic array of drought archaeology in Ireland

New Google Earth satellite imagery showing parts of Ireland at the end of June 2018 reveals significant numbers of archaeological sites. Some of these were previously recorded and show superb new details. Others had not been known about until now.

Google Maps/Google Earth updates its imagery occasionally. Recently Google added some satellite imagery from parts of eastern Ireland taken on 28th June 2018 - during the biggest drought in Ireland since 1976. The imagery reveals significant numbers of monuments, archaeological sites and features, and possible monuments. The major discovery of summer 2018 was that by Mythical Ireland's Anthony Murphy (along with Ken Williams) of a giant late Neolithic henge at Newgrange in the Boyne Valley.

Here follows a gallery of images from Google Earth showing various archaeological sites and features, with a brief explanation in the caption. RMP refers to the Record of Monuments and Places and more details about each site can be found on the Historic Environment Viewer on the Department of Heritage website. A great deal of these are unrecorded, i.e. previously unknown. A significant portion of the recorded monuments were found using old aerial images and are probably being revealed in more detail in the drought imagery in Google.

Stunning detail of a recorded monument referred to as a "ringfort" at Donadea, Co. Kildare. (RMP KD009-005----)
Unrecorded enclosure at Ward Lower, Co. Dublin.

 

Truly gigantic enclosure at Knockbrack, Co. Dublin. Maximum diameter 350m. Previously surveyed by the Discovery Programme and recorded along with several other monuments on the hill at Beldaragh.
Field system and possible ring barrows, Tippeenan Upper, Kildare. (RMP: KD032-074----)
Subrectangular ringfort (upper left of centre) and smaller circular enclosure (lower right of centre) at Dalkinstown, Co. Kildare. KD032-084---- and KD032-007----
Enclosures at Clogorrow, Co. Kildare (RMP KD035-108----).

 

Enclosures at Boley Great, Co. Kildare, from summer 2018 imagery. Previously recorded monument: KD031-005001-
Previously recorded ringfort, Rathangan Demesne, revealed in detail by the 2018 drought. plus possible larger enclosure to the east. (RMP: KD017-023----)
Previously unrecorded circular enclosure/ringfort at Rathangan Demesne, Co. Kildare.
Enclosure at Boley Great, Co. Kildare, revealed in more detail by the 2018 drought. © Google. (RMP: KD031-042----)
Subrectangular enclosure at Kilboggan, Co. Kildare. (RMP: KD031-037----)
Tippeenan Upper field system, Co. Kildare. (RMP: KD032-067----).
Enclosures, associated with a burial ground and cross, at Lipstown Lower, Kildare.
Twin enclosures, Kilgowan, Co. Kildare. Originally discovered on a 1969 CUCAP (Cambridge University aerials) image. (RMP numbers KD032-008---- and KD032-009----)
Enclosures at Skerries North, Co. Kildare (RMP: KD031-021----)
Moated site, Clogorrow, Co. Kildare (RMP KD035-005----)
Unrecorded circular enclosure, Killeen, Co. Kildare.
Enclosure, Oldgrange, Co. Kildare. (RMP: KD031-053----). Cropmark of roughly circular-shaped enclosure with entrance gap at SE, annexe to N and radiating field system visible on Google Earth aerial photograph taken 28/06/2018. Oldgrange could be (like Newgrange), a name for a grange or farm.
Enclosure, Rahoonbeak, Kildare. (RMP KD032-073----) Discovered on Google Earth image from June 2018.
Unrecorded enclosure at Rahoonbeak, Co. Kildare.
Unrecorded possible circular enclosure, Ballintaggart, Co. Kildare.
Conspicuous bright circle in field of crop, Holdenstown Lower, Co. Wicklow. Unrecorded. Might not be archaeology, but brighter crops suggest stones underneath. Possible denuded/destroyed mound/cairn.
Bronze Age ring barrows, Inchaquire, Co. Kildare. (RMP KD032-071---- and KD032-070----)
Ringfort (rath) at Kilbride, Co. Kildare. (RMP KD004-027----). Originally seen on a 1970 Cambridge University aerial image.
Enclosure at Cloncurry, Co. Kildare. (RMP: KD004-051----)
Recorded rectangular enclosure and (possible) unrecorded circular enclosure (lower right) at Ballycarn, Co. Meath.
Unrecorded circular enclosure, Kilmore, Co. Kildare. Thanks to Brian Doyle for pointing this out.
Possible unrecorded enclosure (lower centre) at Nuttstown, Co. Meath.
Possible circular enclosure at Court, Co. Meath.
Recorded ring-ditch and other possible features at Ballintry, Co. Meath. (RMP: ME051-015002-)
The two small ring-ditches on the left are recorded (RMP ME051-016001-) but there are other possible (unrecorded) circular enclosures and features towards the right of the image. Rowan, Co. Meath.
Recorded double-ditched enclosure (ME051-003----) and other features at Rowan, Co. Meath.
There is only one monument, a mound-barrow, recorded here at Piercetown, Co. Meath (RMP ME050-004----), but Google Earth is showing a likely second one. 
Unrecorded ring barrow, Warrenstown, Co. Meath.
Elaborate field system at Greenogue, Co. Meath.
Unrecorded barrows at Greenogue, Co. Meath.
Several features at Skidoo, Co. Dublin. The large dark feature is marked as a "gravel pit" on old OS maps. There is an impressive multivallate ringed structure on the far upper left which is recorded as a ring-ditch (DU011-104----). The single ring overlaid by the dark patch is also recorded as a ring-ditch (DU011-103----). There appears to be at least one more.
Possible enclosure, Jordanstown, Co. Dublin.
Only one of these ring-ditches (the one on the right) at Irishtown, Dublin, is recorded. (RMP: DU010-001----)
Unrecorded ring-ditch at Kilreesk, Dublin.
Possible unrecorded ring-ditch at Coolatrath East, County Dublin.
Unrecorded ring-ditches and enclosure at Newpark, Co. Dublin.
Possible enclosure at Balheary, Swords, Co. Dublin.
Recorded enclosure and field system at Rath Great, Co. Dublin.
Three ring ditches and an enclosure (far right at hedge) at Tullog, Co. Meath. Only one of the ring-ditches is recorded (ME034-026----)
Recorded enclosure at Salmon, Co.Dublin (RMP:DU005-080----)
Two unrecorded ring-ditches at Herbertstown, Co. Meath, and a possible third smaller one.
Enclosure at Clonard, outside Balbriggan, Co. Dublin. Previously detected in a geophysical survey, it's now visible in Google Maps imagery thanks to the 2018 drought. (RMP: DU001-027----)
Previously unrecorded ring-ditch at Gormanston, Co. Meath.
Series of enclosures at Oldtowndonore, Co. Kildare. These are recorded and were discovered using Google Earth. See, for example, RMP KD018-041----
Unrecorded bivallate enclosure/ringfort and other features at Oldtowndonore, Co. Kildare.
Unrecorded enclosure at Oldtowndonore, Co. Kildare.
Enclosure straddling two fields at Baronstown West, Kildare (RMP: KD018-018002-). Likely to be an ecclesiastical enclosure, associated with a recorded burial ground at the site (RMP: KD018-018001-)
Unrecorded enclosure and possible ring barrow at Ballintine/Newpark, Co. Kildare.
Recorded deserted medieval settlement at Ballintine/Newpark, Co. Kildare. (RMP: KD018-025----)
Possible medieval enclosure at Newpark, Co. Kildare (unrecorded). Close to previous deserted medieval village at Ballintine (see next photo above).
Unrecorded enclosure at Lowtown, Co. Kildare.
Unrecorded enclosure and other features at Drumsru, Co. Kildare.
Recorded enclosure at Conlanstown, Co. Kildare. (RMP: KD017-058----)
This previously recorded ringfort and field system at Boherkill, Kildare (KD017-025001-), shows up in incredible detail in the new imagery.
Only one of these enclosures at Boherkill, near Rathangan in Co. Kildare, is recorded (RMP: KD017-057----)
Unrecorded enclosure and ring-ditches at Christianstown, Co. Kildare. The large enclosure is c.160m wide.
Previously unrecorded enclosure at Barnacrow, Co. Kildare.
Unrecorded enclosure of unusual outline at Barnacrow, Co. Kildare.
Enclosure at Coolaght, Co. Kildare, discovered on Google Earth by Faith Bailey. (RMP: KD018-037----)
Three enclosures at Coolaght, Co. Kildare, discovered using Google by Faith Bailey.
Unrecorded probable enclosure at Garrisker, Co. Kildare.
Enclosure. Kilmartin, Co. Dublin. Previously seen in 1968 Cambridge aerial photo. (RMP: DU013-001----)
Old field systems, Kilmartin, Co. Dublin.
Two possible unrecorded enclosures, Kilbride, Co. Carlow. One upper left of road, in green crop, the other visible as a bright ring in ploughed field to south of road. This is from Google Earth imagery dating to 2013.
Concentric ring-ditch or ring-barrow sites. One triple-ringed structure towards upper left (encroached by house and garden) was first seen on a Cambridge (CUCAP) aerial image in 1989 (RMP: CW016-093----). The more visible double-ringed enclosure to lower right is about 50m in diameter. (RMP: CW016-007----)
Recorded ringfort, towards left (RMP: CW007-045----) and unrecorded subrectangular enclosures two fields to the east, Ballybar Lower, Co. Carlow.
Unrecorded enclosure with possible entrance/gap on east side, at Oakpark just outside Carlow Town.
Unrecorded enclosure (probable ringfort), Barnhill East, Co. Kildare.
Double-ringed enclosure at Abbeyland (Castledermot ED) Kildare, only previously seen on an aerial photograph. (RMP: KD040-052----)
Recorded ring-ditch (RMP:KD039-038----) and other interesting features at Blackcastle, Kildare.
Recorded ring-barrow (RMP: KD037-051----) with concentric fosses, max diameter SW-NE c. 160m.
Enclosures and field system, Kilkea Upper, Co. Kildare. (RMP:KD037-038001-)
Recorded ring-ditch cluster at Castleroe West, Co. Kildare. The one straddling the two fields on the left is not recorded.
Enclosure and field systems at Kilkea Upper, Kildare. (RMP: KD037-034----)
Previously unknown enclosures at Raheenduff Little, Co. Laois.
Enclosures at Toberboe (Killenny More), Co. Laois. (RMP: LA035-031004-, LA035-030----)
Series of enclosures straddling the M8 motorway in Co. Laois, the largest of which is quite henge-like in appearance. (RMP: LA034-051---- and others). 
Enclosures at Clomantagh Lower, Co. Kilkenny. The middle of the three, which appears to be bivallate, was discovered on Google Maps imagery by Simon Dowling. (RMP:KK013-149----)
Enclosure at Clomantagh Lower, Co. Kilkenny. First discovered as cropmark in aerial photos, now revealed in impressive detail by Google Earth. (RMP: KK013-134----)
Unrecorded enclosure at Tubbrid Lower, Co. Kilkenny.
Unrecorded enclosure at Kyleballynamoe, Co. Kilkenny.
Unrecorded enclosure, Ballylarkin Lower, Co. Kilkenny.
Sub-rectangular enclosure at Oldtown (Fassadinin By.), Co. Kilkenny. It was depicted on old OS maps but was levelled probably some time in the 20th century. (RMP: KK010-027----)
This ringfort (rath) at Oldglass in Co. Laois was sadly levelled about a decade ago, according to the National Monuments Service. I'm wondering if that's not a slightly smaller enclosure to its northeast (just above the tree in the centre of the image)?
Unrecorded enclosure at Ballycolla Heath, Co. Laois.
Unrecorded ring-ditch at Griffinstown Upper, Co. Wicklow.
Only one of these ring-ditches at Knocknagull in Co. Wicklow is in the Record of Monuments and Places. (RMP: WI014-007----)
Unrecorded ring-ditch at Jordanstown (Moyfenrath Lower By.), Co. Meath. 
Enclosure at Kilcorney, Co. Meath, first discovered on Google Earth by Edward O'Regan. (RMP: ME048-049----)
Unrecorded ring-ditch at Dolanstown, Co. Meath, near the town of Kilcock.
Unrecorded sub-rectangular enclosure at Cappagh, Co. Kildare, and possible field system. Cappagh is the Irish word for field or plot.
Substantial enclosure at Ardrums Great, Co. Meath. This is c. 140m in diameter. (RMP: ME049-028----)
Ringfort (rath) at Piercetown (Deece Upper), Co. Meath, discovered in Google Earth by Edward O'Regan.
Unrecorded ring-ditch (left) and enclosures (right) at Ballymacoll Little, Co. Meath.
Unrecorded sub-rectangular enclosure at Glascarn, Co. Meath, not far from Fairyhouse racecourse.
Possible sub-rectangular enclosures (overlapping?) at Harlockstown, adjacent to the M2 motorway, Co. Meath.
Unrecorded ring-ditch at Colbinstown, Co. Kildare, in close proximity to Kileencormack Graveyard.
Large enclosure and ring-barrows at Raheen Old, Kildare, near Rathcoffey. Discovered using Google Earth by Edward O'Riordan and recorded. (RMP: KD010-049----, etc)
Oval-shaped and other enclosures at Westown, Naul, Co. Dublin.
Ringfort (rath) at Loughmain, Co. Dublin. This was discovered by the landowner during the drought and later imaged from a drone. (RMP:DU004-074----)
Unrecorded enclosure at Rush Demesne, Co. Dublin.
Unrecorded sub-rectangular enclosure, Rallekaystown, Co. Dublin. (Between Lusk and Skerries).
Unrecorded enclosure, Coolderry, Co. Meath.
Unrecorded enclosure, Adamstown, Co. Meath.
Recorded enclosures at Iffernock, Co. Meath, showing in fantastic detail in Google Earth. (RMP: ME036-064----, etc)
Unrecorded enclosure, Ardgreagh, Co. Meath. 
Field system, Cloncullen, Co. Meath. Unrecorded.
Field system, Dunlough, Co. Meath. Unrecorded.
You never know what your house might be built on! Possible enclosure at Dunlough, Co. Meath.
Possible bivallate ringfort (rath), Hanlonstown, Co. Meath.
Unrecorded enclosures at Macetown, outside Navan, Co. Meath.
Unrecorded enclosure at Bellewstown (Navan Lower By.), Co. Meath.
Enclosure complex, Bective, Co. Meath. (RMP: ME031-063----)
Unrecorded enclosure, Bective, Co. Meath.
Unrecorded oval enclosures, Bective, Co. Meath.
Unrecorded ring-ditch, Grange, Navan Upper By., Co. Meath.
Concentric enclosures at Kilcooly (Navan Upper By.), Co. Meath. While the church on the hillock and the field system to its north are recorded, there is no mention in the RMP of the concentric enclosures. (RMP: ME036-014----, ME036-015----) 
Unrecorded field system, Crumpstown (or Marshallstown), Co. Meath.
Enclosure within an enclosure? A sub-rectangular enclosure within a circular enclosure, Crumpstown (or Marshallstown), Meath.
Unrecorded enclosures at Walterstown, Co. Meath.
Unrecorded enclosure/ringfort at Windtown, Co. Meath.
Unrecorded ring-ditch close to the Boyne in Trim, Co. Meath.
Unrecorded enclosure and field system, Kennastown, Co. Meath.
Two unrecorded circular enclosures at Gillstown, Co. Meath.
Field system, Kilmessan, Co. Meath, close to the old railway station. Unrecorded.
Unrecorded enclosure, Ballynakill. Co. Meath.
Unrecorded enclosures at Siddan, Co. Meath.

 

 

 

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