1973:0022 - JERPOINTCHURCH, Kilkenny

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Kilkenny Site name: JERPOINTCHURCH

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

Author: Miss Claire Foley, National Parks and Monuments Branch, OPW

Site type: Medieval Rural Settlement

ITM: E 656038m, N 640947m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.517010, -7.174343

Excavation during four months in 1973 uncovered about one sixth of this 13th century settlement in the Nore Valley. The proximity of Jerpoint Abbey, and the generally contemporary date suggests that there may be an association; perhaps this site was a grange.
Two buildings were uncovered. The first had two phases of building and was orientated east-west. The internal dimensions were at least 10×6 metres; the west and was superimposed by the later building. There was evidence that stone-tempered mud walls stood on the stone footings which were all that remained. There was an internal division at the east end, and a paved hearth common both phases was the major internal feature. The entrance was to the south. Evidence for roofing was scanty, though some perforated slates were found in the upper levels. It is more likely that the mud walls were thatched. The north walls of this structure sealed a paved hearth
— the earliest stratified feature on the site.
The choir contained a number of late graves each delimited by a simple stone liner, in some instances re-using pieces of carved stonework and floor tiles. Two of these graves had been inserted through the remains of an earlier mortar floor. At the eastern end below a deposit of rubble and plaster another portion of a mortar floor had survived. Some of the plaster fragments still retained traces of the red and blue colours from a destroyed wall ‘fresco’. Towards the centre the remains of a substantial wall was exposed extending across the choir and underlying the existing side walls — this may represent the east wall of the original choir.
Excavation outside the north transept and the Lady Chapel revealed the foundations of the east aisle of the transept. Close to the north wall of the Lady Chapel and choir a considerable quantity of carved stonework was recovered to the east window of the choir with some fine sandstone dressings from the windows of the Lady Chapel. Stratified with this stonework, in a layer of slate and sandy gravel, were a number of almost complete ridge tiles — glazed and decorated.