1988:06 - Barryscourt Castle, Barryscourt, Cork

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Cork Site name: Barryscourt Castle, Barryscourt

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

Author: Anne Marie Lennon, Dept. of Archaeology, University College, Cork.

Site type: Tower house

ITM: E 582054m, N 572462m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 51.904015, -8.260798

Barryscourt Castle has been acquired by Barryscourt Trust, who propose reconstruct the 16th-century tower house and 18th-century farm dwelling and outhouses, as part of a tourist development programme. The development is being undertaken in three phases.Phase 1, the reconstruction of the 18th-century farm dwelling
The farm dwelling into which the bawn wall is incorporated, is situated on the southern outer side of the courtyard. An initial requirement in the development is the provision of sanitary facilities. It was necessary to take the sewage trench through the courtyard of the castle to avoid contamination of the local water supply, which is provided from a spring situated close to the eastern side of the bawn wall. Both the soakway and cesspit were excavated by machine and produced no archaeological evidence. The sewage trench was excavated manually and four potential archaeological features were noted.

During the excavation of the trench in the adjoining field a spread of burnt limestone was found. It is possible that this spread of burnt stone may represent a fulacht fiadh, as the topography is ideally suited with natural springs occuring. In the excavation in the courtyard a series of five stones in lime and set into a mortar bed emerged. The trench was extended into a rectangle 1 .8m x 2.8m and it was found that these stones were part of a substantial wall foundation over 1.5m wide and situated at a depth of 0.6m-0.8m. The sewage trench was moved to avoid interference with the foundation and in doing so the trench cut a small area of cobbling at a depth of 0.6m. It is possible that the cobbling may be associated with the foundation. Situated 2m north east of the wall foundation during the excavation of a manhole, a deposit of waterlogged gravel with small pieces of wood was found at a depth of in. The extent or origin of this deposit is not known.

The archaeological brief was to monitor the excavation of the trench and to move its location if archaeological deposits would be disturbed. The brief did not allow further investigation when interesting material emerged. It was therefore not possible to determine extent, date, or relationship between features. Work took place during August and September 1988 and was funded by Cork County Council.