1974:0013 - DOWNPATRICK, Down

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Down Site name: DOWNPATRICK

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

Author: Mr. T. G. Delaney, Department of Antiquities, Ulster Museum.

Site type: Cathedral Church

ITM: E 745300m, N 852123m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.396942, -5.762317

Excavation in the NE corner of Downpatrick Cathedral to accommodate a fire escape led to the discovery and destruction of several burials. At least four burials had been removed and 5 others were exposed in the section; three were enclosed by coffins of mortared masonry, at a level 1.20m below floor level; two simple unlined burials had been later inserted at a level 0.80m below floor level. All burials were inserted in a homogenous sandy gravel fill containing animal bone and charcoal which appears to be a makeup layer associated with the building of the chancel of the medieval church. At 1.90m below floor level part of a gilt bronze plaque was found, with a sherd of local pottery. The surviving bones were examined by Dr. M. Delaney who considers all the burials to have been mature males.