Wakeman did ten different drawing of various aspects of Drumcliff monastic site on two visits in Aug 1880 and Sept 1882. Three of these are illustrated here. Druim Cliabh, its name in Gaelic, translates as the Ridge of the Baskets, but also as the Ridge of the Boat Frames, as an old text says that fifty boats were built here to launch an attack on another region. Drumcliff is not only an important early Irish monastic site, founded by St Colmcille (St Columba) in 574 AD, but it is also the burial place of the celebrated poet William Butler Yeats.

There are many references to Drumcliff and its importance in old Irish manuscripts and annals, and it appears to have reached its peak around the 13th century. It then went into decline, was often plundered and little is heard about it from the 16th century. Archaeological evidence from Drumcliff has shown evidence of domestic dwellings, craft workshops, animal pens and crop storage. A large ditch enclosing the religious area, with domestic and craft areas outside this, used to enclose the monastic area.

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