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Mythical Ireland

Knowth medieval corn-drying kiln

Knowth medieval corn-drying kiln

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Long, long after the people who built the great passage-mounds had vanished into the mists of time, some of their monuments remained the focus of settlement and activity. At Knowth, for instance, evidence for ten different periods was unearthed during excavations over four decades there led by Professor George Eogan. From the late 12th century until the time of the Reformation in the 16th, there was "intensive settlement" associated with the great mound of Knowth. Knowth was granted to the Cistercians in 1157, and was used by the Anglo Normans in their conquest of Meath. Two interesting features of medieval date revealed during excavations were corn-drying kilns. This one, Kiln 2, consisted of a chamber, a passage and an entrance area, all constructed with stone walling. It was excavated and preserved and is now one of the many features that visitors can see during a visit to the site. I had the pleasure last week of a nighttime visit to Knowth during a stargazing and moon-watching event organised by the OPW in conjunction with the Irish Astronomical Society. I took this photo of Corn Drying Kiln 2, which I lit patiently with torchlight. I hope you like it.

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