Lough Gur, in South West Ireland, was once a lake that fully circled the hill of Knockadoon, home to one of the four provincial entrances to Tír Na Nóg, the land of everlasting youth (subject of previous HX blog posts).
During the great Irish famine (1844 to 1849), as it was known, British Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel introduced public work schemes to create employment & income that might alleviate the consequences of the potato crop failure, on which millions of people depended. It employed some 150,000 people at peak. One such scheme was the excavation of a trench to lower the level of the Lough Gur lake.
Consequently, the lake became hoseshoe-shaped around the hill, no longer a complete circle. Another consequence of the reduced lake level was that many thousands of archeological artifacts were discovered on the newly exposed shoreline. They were found primarily at a distance where one might have thrown them from the former (higher) shoreline, leading archeologists to conclude that that lake received offerings from the local peoples during some of its 5,500 year history of local human habitation. Locals loaded the artifacts onto horse and carts and they were sold to traders in nearby Limerick city. Many of the items ended up in museums in Britain and in Ireland.
Photo taken during MBs Christmas trip home of two weeks back: