Gleanncholmcille is justifiably famous for its wealth of archaeological sites
and artefacts. This rich heritage of mounuments dates from 3,000 b.c.
"A guide to 5,000 Years of History in Stone" by
Michael Herity, is an invaluable guide to the area, available from the bookshop
in Oideas Gael and Easons.
Court Cairns: these are the characteristic tombs
of Ireland's earliest settlers. They were erected in Glencolmcille and in the
valley of Malinmore to the west. They are built of massive stones in the manner
current all over Atlantic Europe at the time.
The finest examples can be seen in Farrenmacbride and at the Cloghanmore.
These Court Cairns were burial places, built with huge stones, forming a court
area with burial chambers or galleries. A later group of settlers in the Stone
Age left the remains of their style of tomb building, the Portal Dolmens, which
consist of several standing stones surmounted by a capstone. At Malinmore there
is a group of six Portal Dolmens (reputed to be one of the finest example of
their type in Ireland).
Portal Dolmens: Built by stone
age farmers in a differnt style. Some excellent examples can be viewed in Malinmore
close the main Cloghanmore settlement.
Liosanna - Ringforts: These are
the monuments dating from our Celtic ancestors, from around 350 b.c. They consist
of a number of circular earthworks and stone forts like that of Doonalt. These
ringforts are 20 meters inside and were built for defensive purposes.
Turas of St Colmcille: This turas
(journey) is practised by locals and visitors alike on the 9th June. Many of
the stations of the turas have cross inscribed standing
slabs. It is dated from 500-800 a.d.
Churches: There are the Churches
of St. Kevin, near the Martello Tower in Malinbeg; Teampall na Manach (The
Monk's Church); Teampall na Spáinnigh (The Spaniards Church) at Faugher.
The Churches of St. Columba, both Catholic and Anglican are well worth visiting.
Martello Towers: built during the
Napoleonic era as part of a coastal defensive/communications system. Time spent
on a visit to Glen Head and Malinbeg to view the towers is worth the walk.