I was reading a blog post by Sligo artist Stephen Rennicks about Knoxspark (*or Knoxpark) and an art project based there. So I went exploring and researching.
I found this on the Heritage Ireland website:
The multi period site at Knoxspark is evident as a promontory fort with enclosing fosse and internal bank, situated on a ridge at a bend of the Ballysadare River. The site is enclosed on three sides by the river and on the fourth by the expanse of a silted marshy lake. The eastern part of the site was to be removed by the Collooney/Ballysadare by-pass and so excavation was undertaken over three months from May to June 1994 in advance of the road construction. The investigation revealed an extensive Early Christian cemetery and as a consequence the proposed road was redesigned and the site preserved.
The site is also home to Regeneration, an art project commissioned by Sligo County Council, by three artists, Martina Coyle, Hilary Gilligan and Pauline O’Connell. You can read more about the project here.
Knoxspark is a really lovely walk and it amazes me that with the N4 on one side and the railway track at the other that there could be such an oasis of calm. There are several ways to enter the area, two are from the laybys on the N4 dual carriageway. The way I went in was from the old Sligo road from Collooney heading to Ballisodare. Parke’s garage is on your right and before you get to the housing estate on your left you will see a wooden gate on your right.
There’s a gravel path and a sign telling you more about the area. As you walk under the railway bridge you’ll find yourself in the company of sheep. Again there’s another sign directing you around the walk.
You’ll see the different sculptures on the walk and see wildlife along by the river. It’s a really lovely walk and not strenuous at all, so well worth checking out. Well done to Ballisodare Community Council for their work on making the site more accessible.
*I’ve noticed different spellings of Knoxspark and Knoxpark. Also Ballisodare/Ballysadare.