1985:48 - DRUMCLIFFE SOUTH, Sligo

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Sligo Site name: DRUMCLIFFE SOUTH

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

Author: Joyce Enright, for the National Parks & Monuments Branch, Office of Public Works

Site type: Church

Period/Dating: Multi-period

ITM: E 568058m, N 842003m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.325754, -8.491026

Excavation continued at the monastic site (traditionally founded in AD 574 by Columcille) prior to Co. Council developments. (Previously excavated in 1981, '82, '83 and '84.)

The upper levels of the 350 sq.m area under excavation in 1985 had been partially disturbed by a mechanical digger, and partially recorded in 1982. A section of two east-west ditches was revealed, one cutting across the other, immediately west of the point where they crossed a north/south ditch; these ditches are thought to be internal site divisions. The east-west ditch formed portion of the northern side of the inner monastic enclosure. In the north-west quadrant of these crossing ditches, an 80 sq.m metalled stone surface was revealed, into which a large polygonal structure, several pits, and two possible kilns and a possible furnace were cut. Crannog ware dates some of the pits and a 13th-century (?) brooch pin dates the upper levels of the stratified backfill of the north-south ditch.

Excavation was discontinued because of bad weather. This 350 sq.m area will be completed in 1986.

Supervision of the cutting of a trench for a septic tank, prior to a Church of Ireland development, was also undertaken on the site. Undisturbed archaeological layers were revealed.