At Kilmichael Point, the old Coastguard Station and the surrounding area have been the subject of repeated surveys to monitor the rate of change on this heavily eroding section of coastline. The team have conducted laser scan survey of the old Coastguard station as well as UAV (or drone) mapping survey and aerial survey of the coastline from a light aircraft.
The site of Glascarrig motte and bailey is located on a slight promontory overlooking the coast. In 1167, Diarmuid Mac Murchada landed at Glascarrig on his return to Ireland, having requested the help of King Henry II to recover his kingdom of Leinster.
The motte and bailey castle were probably constructed by William de Caunteton at the end of the 12th century. In 1311, Glascarrig was destroyed by MacMurchadas. At this time a substantial settlement consisting of 48 burgages is recorded at Glascarrig and the site may have been abandoned after this attack. The site of this settlement was not located by an extensive geo-physical survey of the area, raising the possibility that the settlement site has already been eroded. Previous research in the are estimated that the motte was originally 240m further inland. The motte, a grass-covered flat topped mound, almost 6m in height and 36m in diameter, is defined by a flat bottomed fosse. To the south of the motte is an enclosed area or bailey which is outlined by an earthen bank. The site is located in an area of glacial drift making it particularly susceptible to erosion. Erosion of the eastern extent of the bailey and the fosse has produced a rich collection of pottery and animal bones.
The motte and its landscape setting have been mapped by UAV survey twice so far for the CHERISH project (June 2018 and February 2019). The 2018 survey established the baseline, against which future surveys could be precisely compared to detect change. The CHERISH team have engaged with the landowners and the the Glascarrig Medieval Village Historical and Archaeological Survey Group.
Looking through 19th- to 21st-century maps and aerial images, the rath or ringfort at Killincooley Beg advances towards the cliff edge. Today, the sea has arrived to erode the external bank. Today, the rath sits precariously over the 20m high cliffs of soft collapsing glacial till.
This area has a contemporary early medieval site of Saint Mochain’s well revealing an important tradition of early connections across the Irish Sea. Saint Mochonóg was an early saint who founded a monastery at Kilmuckrige. He was a son of Saxon princess Dína and a 5th-century south Wales king called Brychan Brycheiniog. There are further local reports of the discovery of a 4m-long canoe in a nearby stream.
The circular rath is around 28m in diameter with a ditch and two banks. It lies on a south facing slope. The ring fort has had post medieval field boundaries built over its northern and western sides. These walls are thinner and higher than the original older banks of the rath. The original double banks have spread out over a wider area from gravity over 1000 years since abandonment. The entrance was probably on the southern side where the banks are lower and the ditch is shallower.
There is local folklore about the ring fort. This includes it being a fairy ring, and cattle and sheep strangely never graze in it today.