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Conducted by D.M.Irving
Greyabbey Bay, Bootown
MRD 168:80 Wooden Fish Trap
Description On File
A large V-shaped fish trap, open to the north-north-west is represented by at least 300 poststumps. It lies on flat sand close to an eroded drumlin in Greyabbey Bay. A channel of water,
which may have a fresh water component flows north-west/south-east a little to the east of the eye.
Its course may have altered over a long period of time. A stone trap MRD 168:70 lies just to the
north. the leaders measure c. 200m in length, enclosing an arc of 1170. Both consist of a double
row of posts on average 30cm - 50cm apart. Bark was found on all the stumps, and the diameters
are generally between 7cm and 9cm. Traces of wattling were detected below ground surface. Poststumps in the western leader extend onto the clay and gravel of the drumlin. The outline of a small
sub-rectangular structure measuring 4.3m by 3.5m at the apex or eye of the trap is also shown by
stumps. A sample of wood produced radiocarbon dates of 1037 -1188 AD.
The feature is little more than a ghost with only ten post stubs visible at the far western end of the
fish trap where it merges with the eroded drumlin.
The ten visible posts at the end of the western arm.
Staring from nearest the camera in the previous picture.
The first post.
The second post.
The third post
The fourth piece, as you can see by the variation in barnacle growth in this
part of the bay the layer of sand regularly changes depth.
The fifth post.
The sixth post.
The seventh post.
The eighth post.
The ninth post.
The tenth and last visible post.
Taken from NE end of the eastern arm looking towards the eye, showing the fish trap as it
passes through to northern edge of the eroded drumlin. The alignment consists of a few
rocks and patches of seaweed growth, by my calculations the eastern arm is at least 270m
long and may continue further under the sand/clay.
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