1970:28 - BOWLING GREEN td, Tipperary

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Tipperary Site name: BOWLING GREEN td

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number:

Author: Mr. T. Fanning, National Parks and Monuments Branch/O.P.W.

Site type: Ringfort

ITM: E 613648m, N 659243m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.684167, -7.798154

The fort, which is roughly circular in appearance, is surrounded by a single bank and fosse. It is quite large with an interior diameter of some 50m. and an overall diameter of about 70m. Situated on a low ridge which runs northwards to the east of the town of Thurles it commands a good view of the Suir valley. Both its size and location would suggest, therefore, that it was a site of some importance.

In the course of the excavation a number of cuttings were made to determine the structural nature of the defences. These revealed traces of a substantial stone facing to the bank, particularly in the north eastern sector. Many of the large stones found during the excavation of the fosse must have originally formed portion of this facing. The bank itself, now almost levelled in places, was mainly composed of soil obtained in digging the fosse.

On excavation, the interior of the fort showed evidence of occupation in the Early Christian and Medieval periods. Post-holes and hearths, located in the central area, indicated that some form of houses structure originally stood there. The finds, which came. mainly from this sector, included a number of small iron knives, whetstones, bronze pins and sherds of medieval and post-medieval pottery. Some of the finds, e.g. the foot of a cast bronze skillet, can be dated to the 17th century when the bowling green, from which the townland name is derived, was flourishing. From the fill of the fosse came

large quantities of animal bone. Of particular interest was the discovery, in the south eastern sector, of a ‘buried’ layer of soil below the modern soil and nearly a metre deep in places, which indicated that the original ground level in this area had been deliberately raised to provide a level ‘platform’ within the fort.