Other Excavations – Bronze Age Burials, Knocknacart

Andrew McL May and those who knew him
21st March 2022
Other Excavations – Sweat Houses of County Londonderry
24th March 2022

Other Excavations – Bronze Age Burials, Knocknacart

Project Attributes


Andrew McLean May


Mountsandel Discovery and Heritage Group


21st March 2022

Bronze Age Burials, Knocknacart, Crossgare, Co. Londonderry

Crossgare or Little Cross lies about 4.5 miles South West of Coleraine in the Parish of Macosquin. The site is now mainly cultivated land but once was known for its monoliths or standing stones dating from pre-historic times until 1937. This gave name to the area known as Knocknacart, (The Hill of the Standing Stones).This hill was opened in 1939 and a food vessel found along with calcined bones. This find featured in an article published in the Belfast Telegraph (7th October 1939) with a focus on the pottery find and ignored the find of bones.


A later discovery uncovered a small rectangular cist thought to be a second cremation site. Again a food vessel was found, this time containing oak charcoal and further calcined bones nearby. Analysis showed these to be of a young female.

A similar third cremation site was uncovered and when examined the pottery suggested late bronze age and the bones were  from a male about 40 years of age.

In these excavations Andrew May was assisted by his son Laurence who recorded drawings of the finds on the sites, and these urns and food vessels are now on display at Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Museum who kindly provided the photographs below.



May, A. McL. “Bronze Age Burials, Knocknacart, Crossgare, Co. Londonderry.” Ulster Journal of Archaeology, vol. 7, Ulster Archaeological Society, 1944, pp. 65–73, http://www.jstor.org/stable/20566453


For more information on Andrew May, explore the following links:

Other Andrew May excavations: