In the British Museum there's a gilt copper cross dating from the 8th or 9th Century. At its centre is a black glass disc inscribed with early Arabic script, possibly the 'Bismillah' - the opening lines of the Muslim prayer meaning 'In the name of Allah'.
The Ballycottin [sic] Cross - a much talked-about example of an early relationship between Celtic and Islamic culture - was found in Ballycotton Bog, Co Cork. A man called Philip T Gardner donated it to the British Museum in 1875.
The British Museum also has a gold decorated gorget, an armoured neck ornament, unfortunately broken, but also unearthed in Ballycotton.
It goes to show what can be found around those parts, although from now on, anyone who finds priceless artefacts in Ballycotton might do his country some service by not dispatching them to London. Metal detector enthusiasts could be kept going for some time searching the 29 acres of a seaside farm at Ballytrasna, near Ballycotton. But even tireless amateur archaeologists need to sleep, so happily the farm comes with a two-bedroom farmhouse as well.
The cottage is a traditional one from the front, but it's been refurbished and extended to 1,662 sq ft. It has views of the sea to the south and there's access to Ballycotton beach from the land. There are two main reception rooms - a lounge with a fireplace and a wood-burning stove, and a conservatory which overlooks the decking outside towards the sea.
There's also a good-sized kitchen/dining room with a vaulted ceiling and a centre island, an office, a bathroom and two bedrooms, one of which is ensuite.
The agent for the sale of the house and farm is Cronin Wall Properties in Midleton (021 463 0400) and the asking price is €660,000.