The world’s oldest wooden musical instruments were found at Charlesland in 2003. Margaret Gowen’s archaeological team were investigating an early Bronze Age burnt-mound trough, possibly a cooking site, when the amazing discovery was made.

The find consisted of 6 cylindrical yew pipes. The pipes have been dated to c. 2120-2085 BC, making them the world’s oldest wooden instruments.

Gowen reports that ” the musical instrument appears to be 1000 years older than anything I can find on record.”

The tapered ends may indicate that the pipes formed part of a composite wind instrument, such as an organ fed by a bag, or else a complex pan-pipe-like device.


A significant early 9th century hoard of coins was discovered in 1874  in Delgany, by schoolteacher Miss Scott, during road improvements. The hoard was large, with over 115 coins. There was 1 foreign coin, the rest were Anglo-Saxon. One extremely rare coin is shown below.


Broken Socketed axes – 2005 A – Killincarrig, Co Wicklow – Only the well expanded cutting edge and the adjoining part of the body survives. There is one internal half- rib C. e 48mm – Present whereabouts not known (recorded in the NMI: IA/9/89)

Kindlestown Lower

1569 B. Kindlestown Lower, Co. Wicklow –

Discovered while digging in the back garden of a house in 1978. Oval mouth with beveled rim. Casting seems not well smoothed. Cutting edge is expanded. Half rib is present. Generally, well-preserved, except for slight pitting on surface and along the cutting edge. L 69mm.

Kindlestown Castle

The following are a mention of some of the artefacts that were found at Kindlestown Castle Greystones. The excavation was carried out by Linzi Simpson on behalf of Duchas, the Heritage Service, between the 5th of September and the 10th of October 2001.


Remanence of 2 no. cooking pots in Leinster Cooking Ware were found at the dig at Kindlestown Castle, dating from the late 12th century to the 14th century. Leinster ware was the most common  medieval pottery type found in the province of Leinster.

Also found were 69 shards of glazed medieval pottery called Dublin- type ware. It was part of two jugs from the 13th century.


Amongst the stone artefacts found at Kindlestown were a quarter of a mill stone,  rubbing stones, a spherical hammer stone and a possible window mullion. All these artefacts were of granite. The finding of a mill stone could back up the recording of a mill close by the Castle.


Amongst the metal artefacts found at Kindlestown were keys, various nails, horseshoes, coins, a buckle and lead. Two of the horseshoes were possibly from the 14th century. These horseshoes were found in the cavity of the North Wall. One of the keys that was found can be dated to the medieval period (from the mid thirteenth century to the fifteenth century). Three coins were found, one coin was an Edward I silver long cross penny (1279 – 1302), another coin found could have a date of c1860. Three iron knives were found. The best-preserved knife was a whittle-tanged knife, with a polished ivory handle and a triangular sectioned blade.  The second knife was from the seventeenth century.

Coins from Delgany Hoard
The British Museum website
Coins from the Delgany Hoard.
The British Museum website https://www.
Ancient and Foreign Coins in Gold, Silver and Copper : Featuring the John Dresser Collection, Selections from the James A. Stack Sr Collection, and Other Important Consignments, Public Auction Sale, 4th May 1995, Stacks, New York.
The Charlesland Pipes.
Courtesy of M. Gowen

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