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Shannon Pot or Legnashinna () is a pool in the
karst landscape Karst is a topography formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, Dolomite (rock), dolomite, and gypsum. It is characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves. It has also been documented for more weathe ...

karst landscape
in the townland of
Derrylahan Derrylahan, an Anglicisation of the Gaelic, ‘Doire Leathan’ meaning ''The Wide Oak-wood'', is a townland in the civil parishes in Ireland, civil parish of Templeport, County Cavan, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. It lies in the Roman Catholic p ...
near
Cuilcagh Cuilcagh () is a mountain on the border between County Fermanagh (in Northern Ireland) and County Cavan (in the Republic of Ireland). With a height of it is the highest point in both counties. It is also the 170th highest peak on the island of ...

Cuilcagh
Mountain in
County Cavan County Cavan ( ; gle, Contae an Chabháin) is a county A county is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geo ...
,
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...

Ireland
. An
aquifer An aquifer is an underground layer of water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital ...

aquifer
-fed naturally fluctuating pool, it is the traditional source of the
River Shannon The River Shannon ( ga, Abhainn na Sionainne, ', '), at in length, is the longest river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows i ...
. The pool itself is about wide, and has been dived to . Towns and villages near the Shannon Pot include
Dowra Dowra () is a village in northwest County Cavan County Cavan ( ; gle, Contae an Chabháin) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictio ...

Dowra
,
Blacklion Blacklion (; also ''An Leargaidh'') is a Republic of Ireland-United Kingdom border, border village in west County Cavan, Ireland. It is situated on the N16 road (Ireland), N16 national primary road, just across the border from the County Fermana ...
and
Glangevlin Glangevlin () is situated in the northwest of County Cavan, Republic of Ireland, Ireland, in the townlands of Gub (Glangevlin) and Tullytiernan, at the junction of the R200 road (Ireland), R200 and R207 road (Ireland), R207 regional roads. It is ...
.


History

An early reference to the Pot is in the Book of Magauran. Poem X, stanza 2, composed c. 1349 by Giolla na Naomh Ó hUiginn, which states, (In it is the well whence comes the Shannon, noblest stream in Inis Fáil).


Folklore

According to legend, the Shannon is named after Sionnan, who was the granddaughter of
Manannán mac Lir Manannán or Manann, also known as Manannán mac Lir ("son of the sea"), is a warrior and king of the Tír na nÓg, Otherworld in Irish mythology who is associated with the sea and often interpreted as a Water deity, sea god, usually as a memb ...
, the god of the sea. She came to this spot to eat the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, which was planted by the druids. As she began to eat it, the waters of the pool sprang up and overwhelmed her. She was drawn down into the pool and its water began to flow over the land, forming the River Shannon.


Diving and exploration

Shannon Pot was first explored by divers Roger Solari and John Elliot on multiple dives in 1971, to a depth of firstly 6, then . At this point the water was found to emerge from a wide slit, up to in height. Their progress was hampered by submerged tree branches, equipment problems and poor visibility in the dark brown water. The pot was later explored by Martyn Farr, among others, but no further progress was made until the late 2000s. In December 2008 and January 2009 the pot was dived again by Alasdair Kennedy and Paul Doig, and subsequently by Artur Kozłowski. After widening the slit and continuing downwards past a loose cobblestone slope, Kozłowski discovered an unstable chamber. A strong current was found to emerge from a tight, unstable shaft in the floor. Doig and Kennedy surveyed the chamber to a depth of .


Hydrology

Surveys have defined a immediate
catchment area In human geography Human geography or anthropogeography is the branch of geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellen ...
covering the slopes of Cuilcagh. This area includes Garvagh Lough, 2.2 km to the northeast of the pot. Water from Garvagh drains into ''Pollnaowen'''Poll nm1:' hole, pit, sink, leak, aperture (The Pocket Oxford Irish Dictionary – Irish-English) sink, before emerging at Shannon Pot. The highest point in the catchment is a spring at Tiltinbane on the western end of the Cuilcagh mountain ridge; this sources an unnamed stream which itself feeds into
Shannon Cave Shannon Cave is an active stream passage cave which straddles the border of County Fermanagh County Fermanagh ( ; ) is one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an isla ...

Shannon Cave
. Further sinks that source the pot include ''Pollboy'' and, through Shannon Cave, ''Pollahune'' in County Cavan and ''Polltullyard'' and ''Tullyrrakeeragh'' in
Fermanagh Historically, Fermanagh ( ga, Fir Manach), as opposed to the modern County Fermanagh County Fermanagh ( ; ) is one of the thirty-two counties A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposes Ch ...

Fermanagh
. Surveys suggest that Shannon Pot may once have had a much bigger catchment area. In times of high flow it has been shown to be hydrologically linked to Badger Pot and Pigeon Pot located 10.6 km north of the Shannon Pot in the
Cuilcagh Mountain Cuilcagh () is a mountain on the border between County Fermanagh (in Northern Ireland) and County Cavan (in the Republic of Ireland). With a height of it is the highest point in both counties. It is also the 170th highest peak on the island of ...
near Florencecourt Forest Park, Fermanagh.


Photography

Shannon Pot, entrance gate sign.jpg, Sign at entrance to the Shannon pot Shannon Pot.jpg, Reputed source of the river Shannon; 'Shannon Pot'


Notes


References

{{reflist Lakes of County Cavan River Shannon