- Borris Little, Co. Laois, Laois

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Laois Site name: Borris Little, Co. Laois

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


Site type: Graves of indeterminate date

ITM: E 672966m, N 650375m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.599739, -6.922910

In March 1988 human remains were discovered in the grounds of Portlaoise prison, Co. Laois, in the townland of Borris Little.148 A crouched burial was discovered at a depth of c. 0.6m during the construction of a new security fence. The site was investigated by Nessa O’Connor. By the time of the site investigation, the burial had been removed from its context. According to the finders, the burial lay with the head to the north. No artefacts had been found in the vicinity of the burial, and there does not appear to have been any stone protection around the remains. A lime deposit was noted in the soil surrounding where the skeleton was found, and was thought by O’Connor to perhaps be of significance. The bones did not appear to have been damaged, however, as would be expected if this was quicklime. The only indication of date was that the burial pre-dates the prison wall, built in 1830. The remains were retained in the Museum (2010:89). In 1996 excavations undertaken in advance of developments on the site of the old gaol at Church Street found evidence of several burials. It was suggested that the area might have been a burial plot attached to the earlier gaol.149

148. Parish of Borris, barony of Maryborough East. OS 6in. sheet 13; exact location not marked.
149. See www.excavations.ie, 1996E365 and 1996E365 extension, for reports on these excavations. These are not
connected with the burial discussed here.