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Other Excavations – Iron Age Pits, Camus Coleraine

Project Attributes


Andrew McLean May


Mountsandel Discovery and Heritage Group


31st March 2022

Iron Age Pits – Camus Coleraine

The townland of Camus is well known in the Parish of Macosquin, taking its name from its location on the bend of the River Bann  (Cam meaning  crooked). It is the site of an ancient monastery founded by St Comgall (580) but now only the foundations and graveyard remain.  It is also the site of the historic Camus Ford (Camsa Feartas ) one of the main crossings of the Lower Bann with evidence that man has lived on both sides of the river since prehistoric times.

The pits were discovered when the County Council built a retaining wall bordering the graveyard, and adjoining field. It is not clear if the trench for the foundation dissected the pits or how far they extended beyond the wall.

Four pits were discovered averaging 3 feet in depth and filled with dark soil, gravel and charcoal. These were of differing diameters the smallest being 3 feet and the largest 18 feet. The largest also contained pottery fragments thought to come from a cooking vessel from the Iron Age.


May, A. McL., & May, R. L. (1945). Iron Age Pits, Camus, Co. Londonderry. Ulster Journal of Archaeology, 8, 60–62. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20566481


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