1972:0033 - St KEVIN’S RD (Brockagh td.), Wicklow

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Wicklow Site name: St KEVIN’S RD (Brockagh td.)

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

Author: Messrs. M. Ryan & P. Wallace, Irish Antiquities Division, National Museum of Ireland

Site type: Pilgrims’ Road

ITM: E 731308m, N 694020m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.980821, -6.044589

At the invitation of the Electricity Supply Board the National Museum of Ireland carried out a brief examination of St. Kevin’s Road in Brockagh td. Adjacent to the Turlough Hill Pumped Storage Scheme on Camaderry Mountain. The investigation was part of the Board’s programme of developing the amenities of the area. A previous excavation had been carried out by Mr. A.B. 0 Riordain of the National Museum in 1968 and a complete survey of the road was made by Mr. Patrick Healy of Sandymount, Dublin, on behalf of the Board.

St. Kevin’s Road is traditionally regarded as having run from Glendalough to Hollywood over the Wicklow gap. It was used as a pilgrims’ road until the 19th century. Excavation has revealed that the road was built of roughly rectangular granite slabs, some resting directly on the surface of the bog and others resting on smaller stones. At no point could a man—made substratum be identified. The surface of the road was covered by an average depth of l5cms of peat. A bronze token, possibly 17th century in date, was found lying on the paving.

The surface of the road was so irregular that it could hardly have been used for vehicles or people on horseback. The excavated sections would seem to support the tradition that the road had been built so that pilgrims could pass fairly conveniently between the shrines of St. Kevin at Glendalough and Hollywood. The date of its building is unknown.