Cantwell’s Castle 2019

Today I went to visit one of the farms in Sandfordscourt. I had actually met the owner last year, when I visited his tower house. I had sent him an atlas of his farm prepared on FieldPapers.org before, and I actually had gotten most of the fieldnames from his neighbour already, but we had other things to talk about too, especially the castle. This castle used to lend its name to the whole townland, but after Cromwell, the new owner Sandford renamed it. His family did not have the land for long, though. The Cahill family (who also partly owned Cramersgrove, I believe) came after them.

I got five names from him: The Near Court Field (see on OSM), Bell Field (see on OSM), L Field (shaped like an L – see on OSM), Rath Field (see on OSM) and Kiln Field (see on OSM). The last two are named a bit confusingly, because the Rath field leads to the field that the Rath is in and the Kiln field adjoins the quarry and kiln. Unfortunately, the owner does not know why the Bell Field is named thus.

However, they also told me that the family had found cobble stones in two of the fields leading to the Castle Field (see on OSM). I added that as a note to OpenStreetMap. The Court Field east of the and adjoining the Castle field contains a lost village, clearly visible on Bing’s satellite vew. The village might have extended into the Near Court Field; that is not as clear to see on the satellite imagery.

Someone discovered an enclosure between in the Rath Field and the Kiln Field on GoogleMaps in 2018 (imagery has since been replaced) and reported it to the Archaeological Survey of Ireland and their map has a screenshot of that GoogleMap from 2018.

When I was mapping those fields, I noticed a cropmark in the Rath Field (see screenshot). I see a circular enclosure with a rectangular something with a North-South alignment.  I will report it as well. On ground level, nothing can be made out at all.

Cropmark in the Rath Field in Sandfordscourt (screenshot from Bingmaps).

The circular feature is very faint, but the rectangular structure is easier to spot, I’d say. It is a very flat field, so I doubt it is another rath, but it could be some sort of enclosure. My first thought was a graveyard, but of course the alignment of the building is wrong for a church. The church for Sandfordscourt has been Rathcoole Church in Carrigeen just northeast of the farm across the road. It is now very much in disrepair.
And maybe it’s just my mind playing tricks on me.

Owen O’Kelly does not mention any field names here, and only talks about the history of the castle.

Another very pleasant and very interesting and inspiring visit!

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