Ballycastle Salt Pans excavation

Fascinating!!

The Archaeology of Salt production in Ireland

Last year we explored the remains of the early 17th century salt works in Ballycastle Bay, on the north coast of Co. Antrim. The site, located by nearby bucket pot, proved to be elusive. Walls were uncovered and evidence of meals, metal-working and fuel were apparent, but little other material culture, nor indeed direct evidence of salt production. This year we focused on the most recent of the salt working sites in the Bay. The Broughanlea site was in use from probably the second half of the 18th century to around 1823. It gave its name to the nearby Salt Pans colliery – coal continuing to be the key fuel; and the Pans Rock, which features the intriguing ‘Devil’s Churn’.

The site was rediscovered through the action of the sea – winter storms uncovering the iron evaporation pans. This had, in the past, undermined about half of the site leading…

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