Have you ever thought of delving into the ancient history of Ireland?
Hopefully I can spark your interest by telling you a little bit about the earliest known inhabited site in Ireland where ancient Mesolithic man lived around 7,600 BC.
Irish History starts here!
The site at Mountsandel, one mile south-east of Coleraine, on the banks of the River Bann was excavated back in the 1970s and it was discovered that a group of hunter-gatherers lived in this settlement in huts made of wood and animal skins. They lived here all year round because of the abundance of food yielded by the river and the surrounding woods. This included salmon, eels, wild pigs, birds, nuts and berries. Hundreds of flint tools including axe heads, arrow heads and fish hooks were found at the site. The River Bann facilitated easy travel to the coast, about 4 miles downstream. This gave access to the beaches along the Causeway Coastline.
Beside the ancient site and the natural weir in the River Bann, there is the remains of an earthen Norman Fort, called Mountsandel Fort.
When the restrictions have been lifted, the Mountsandel Wood is a beautiful place to visit for a riverside walk. There are interpretation panels depicting what the huts would have looked like and timelines to show just how far back in history man inhabited these shores. It is a lovely quiet woodland that gives you an opportunity to step back in time and imagine life all those years ago.
If you would like to find out more about Mountsandel please visit: www.irisharchaeology.ie www.visitcausewaycoastandglens.com