Saturday, 26 September 2009

Chapel Island, Greyabbey

We had a great day at Chapel Island - that is the one near Greyabbey in County Down. We all mustered at the car park just outside the village, gathered our tools and equipment and began the trek along the foreshore towards Chapel Island.

There were two dozen of us today, many from the Ulster Arch├Žological Survey. Incidentally, there was no dig today - the remains of the chapel are classified as being a historic monument - so it was purely a survey.

Our job, as NT volunteers, was to clear the remains of the chapel of all the nettles and scrub. One of the sites of the ancient kelp kilns was also cleared.

The aerial photograph atop is courtesy of Fat Tony. The other pictures show what we believe is the door-way.

We are really none the wiser than when we arrived! There was naturally an abundance of amateur speculation; and we did discover what appeared to be the original doorway of the chapel. The relevant parts of the island were surveyed and, no doubt, will be inwardly digested in the coming weeks and months with a view to further exploration.

The local environmentalist and broadcaster, Brian Black, was with us along with his two fine dogs - one, a pedigree Dalmatian. Mr Black had camera equipment and took hours of video film. I think he is freelance, so perhaps some footage will be shown on television at a later date.

On the way home, driving along the Portaferry Road towards Newtownards, some unidentified object hit the side of my car with force. I couldn't stop, and when I got home there was a dust mark and slight score on the door which is hardly discernible. Still, I have no idea whether the object was a bird, animal or something thrown out of a passing car.


Sharon Owens said...

Dear Tim,

what a descriptive style of writing you have - also the attention to detail - I would hate to drag you into the crazy world of freelance writing but have you read NOTES FOR THE NEXT TIME by Eirin Thompson? You could have written that book - your command of English is second-to-none. Anyway, just saying... I find being freelance quite wearying sometimes but it's also nice to have lots of tea breaks. Oh, the dig sounds great - a lovely pastime which also does lots of good for humanity. Well done.

Timothy Belmont said...

Cordial thanks for that, Sharon. I'm afraid I can only put it down to the influence of a great master of the English language himself, P G Wodehouse. I read his books constantly.

I was hopeless at English Lit. & Lang. at school because I didn't apply myself to anything; was utterly uninterested; and immature.

I have caught up!

I haven't read Notes For The Next Time - recommend it?

Have a lovely relaxing Sunday,