Raven Mad

Published Monday, 04 February 2013
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A popular destination for Victorian pleasure seekers to take in the sea air, the Vikings raided in the 8th century and it's one of the initial homesteads for the English and Scottish settlers during the plantation.

Yes it's Bangor, the location for Week five of 'Ulster Unearthed'.

Day one and we hit Bangor seafront. Now, on the last dig at Ballycarry, if you remember, I was holed up in the car due to torrential rain and filming was running about three hours behind.

Similarly, this week we were somewhat delayed but this time lovely tourists came over for a bit ofbanter and to see what was going on. I was even brought a coffee by one well wisher. How nice!

Anyway why are we here? Well, we have come looking for evidence of early Scottish settlers houses.

With expert Nick Branning at my side off we go to Bangor Townhall where I am told we will find out more detail of their exact location.

Its gloves on and 'barely breathe' time as Nick produces the original Thomas Raven maps which show intricate detail of the houses' supposed location.

Why do such maps exist? Well James Hamilton, who pioneered the migration of the lowlands Scots to co. Antrim and co. Down commissioned them and so had detailed maps of his estates.

Well worth a trip to the townhall to see them. So impressive! Without a doubt Raven wanted to impress with these maps, the detail is exquisite.

So map in hand, or should i say copy of map in hand, off we go digging.

It's evidence of houses we came looking for and houses we find.

But..... from some thousands of years earlier!

Hope you enjoy.

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Rita Fitzgerald
Rita Fitzgerald

Rita FitzGerald is a presenter and journalist who joined UTV and U105 in 2008.

Before that she presented a current affairs and lifestyle program for the Northern Media Group at their 7fm radio station in Ballymena.

Rita lived in France for a number of years and enjoys returning on holidays.

Outside of work she enjoys reading, travelling, cooking, singing and relaxing with her husband, daughter and friends.

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