Archaeological Sites

Knocknashee Community Hub is surrounded by significant historical and archaeological sites.

Knocknashee Hill

A possible hillfort enclosure, rising 270m above sea level, the hilltop of Knocknashee, incorporates c.21.5 hectares and offers not only panoramic views of the Connacht plains but also a glimpse at early settlement within the Achonry Mullinabreena community.

Two cairns, possible passage tombs, are located to the north of the hilltop and suggest Neolithic activity (Late Stone Age/c.3500BC) while recent remote sensing surveys reveal the presence of the foundations of 50+ roundhouses dated to the Late Bronze age period. Three rectangular buildings, believed to be post medieval, and two D-Shaped enclosures were also confirmed.

The geology of Knocknashee is another interesting feature, consisting of limestone with underlying shale. Deposits of corals, some preserved in silica, are evident throughout and likely to have been preserved within the stone some 350 million years ago when Ireland was situated close to the equator.

Court Abbey

Situated in the townland of Lavagh is the remains of a 15th century, Franciscan Third Order Regular Friary, locally known as Court Abbey. Construction of a Gothic styled nave and chancel of coursed limestone, had begun prior to 1454 with the addition of a tower and transept in the 16th century.

The building has suffered greatly over the years, yet a number of architectural features, such as mullioned windows, arched ambries, piscinae and the remains of incised artwork are still notable. One of its depictions, a ship, is an unusual find so far inland.

Achonry Cathedral

This Church of Ireland Cathedral, St. Crumnathy’s Cathedral, was built in 1822, with seating for 250 persons. A stained glass window, depicting the Star of David, is located on the east wall of the chancel. Though small in size, the term ‘cathedral’ was assigned to St. Crumnathy’s due to its ecclesiastical status as the principal church in the diocese of Achonry.

The cathedral’s associated graveyard to the south east contains a number of elaborately decorated box tombs and Gaelic Revival High Crosses. The ruins of a medieval Catholic cathedral are also evident and a glimpse of an elaborate traceried window, of late 15th/early 16th dates can still be seen.

It is St. Nathy Cruimthir (St. Crumnathy) the patron saint of the Catholic Diocese of Achonry that the cathedral is named for. St. Finian is said to have placed a priest, Nathy, over the monastic settlement he founded here at Achonry (Achad-chonaire) in the 6th century.


Hilltop enclosure containing a number of archaeological features such as a cairn, barrow monument, ringfort and hutsite.

Carrowmore Schoolhouse

Built in 1834 on lands donated by Charles O’Hara and with the assistance of monies raised locally this small coursed limestone building is one of the few remaining schoolhouses built following the establishment of a new national education system and the National Board in 1831.

Originally a single roomed school house, the schoolhouse soon attracted students from surrounding parishes, who travelled daily for lessons via train. Carrowmore Train Station still stands, just 1km from the Schoolhouse. Student numbers fluctuated over time, at one point 170 children were taught the three R’s (reading, writing and arithmetic) at Carrowmore, until it’s closer in 1974. The simple appraisal provided by The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage describes a “tiny building …(with) slate roof and rubble stone walling” but with Knocknashee as its backdrop and a tributary of the Moy flowing close to its foundations it is an impressive part of our heritage.

Chaffpool House

A large country house located in the townland of Chaffpool to the south of our parish, now in a state of disrepair was once the home of the Somers and Armstrong families.

It is believed the house was originally built for the Somers family, whose estate in Chaffpool/Achonry/Tubbercurry areas boasted some 4000 acres. A large portion of the out buildings and walls remain. To the rear of Chaffpool House is the townland of Dohern which will soon have its walking trail developed.