1974:0024 - KILMORE (Parke’s Castle), Leitrim

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Leitrim Site name: KILMORE (Parke’s Castle)

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

Author: Miss C. Foley, National Parks and Monuments Branch, Office of Public Works.

Site type: Tower House

ITM: E 578156m, N 835205m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.265198, -8.335304

This year, excavation was concentrated in the Southern area of the bawn, and in two new moat cuttings, M viii and M ix.

Newly exposed features include a postern, two destroyed and apparently successive east-west walls, and an occupation floor south of these for which no direct dating evidence was found. The North-South trench in the western bawn area already partly exposed, was found to swing sharply westwards.

The south bawn area was found to be constructed on many layers of levelling fill. Many clay layers were removed, and the top of a coarse stone fill was reached. The difference in level between the cobbled surface inside the South bawn wall and the lakeshore is 6.40 metres.

Moat cutting viii had a good stratigraphy. The filling-in appears to have been commenced in the sixteenth century, but it was still only partly filled when the Eastern bawn wall was in the sixteenth century, but it was only partly filled when the eastern bawn wall was built. The run-off channel for a wall drain was cut into the side of the moat in the 17th was found in the earliest fill of the moat. Several bronze tailor’s pins and some buttons as well as iron nails were found in the 17th century drain material.

Moat cutting ix was not totally excavated but many fragments of window lead and glass were found in the upper fill. They seem to represent destruction of an earlier structure at the time of the building of the 17th century castle. The inner edge of the moat at this cutting lies under the line of the North East flanking tower, a further indication of its early date.

The most tantalizing find was a coin of Edward IV in fine condition indicating activity on the site as early as the fifteenth century. This was found in a layer of habitation debris and fragmented mortar, which was redeposited as a filling layer in the south-east corner of the bawn.