1988:45 - Dromiskin, Louth

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Louth Site name: Dromiskin

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

Author: Eoin Halpin c/o 5 St Catherine

Site type: Souterrains, later features

ITM: E 705335m, N 797342m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.914726, -6.396619

(See Appendix 2.) The site lies on the north east facing slope of a small hillock (100ft OD.) of glacial drift to the north east of Dromiskin village and to the west of the main Drogheda-Dundalk road(T 1). The remains consisted of two almost completely destroyed/demolished souterrains, with a portion of possible medieval building lying almost on top of one. The slope on which the features were revealed had been very severely denuded since Early Christian times.SITE 1

The souterrain
The remains of this structure consisted of the severely truncated, robbed and partially disturbed construction trench of a narrow souterrain. The excavated structural remains consisted of a passage, creep and elongated chamber. The passage survived for 9.5m in length as far as the creep, some of the stonework of which was still in situ.The passage was represented by a steep-sided, flat-bottomed trench c.0.8m wide and a max.0.6m deep. The creep consisted of a stone-built step, which survived in the floor, and dry-stone built walls no more than 0.3m high on either side. The passage/chamber beyond the creep ran in an east-south-east direction, creating an overall curvilinear plan, upslope.

The very shallow remains of the construction trench for this portion of the souterrain was traced for a distance of 7.5m, but further investigation eastwards was prevented by the presence of the driving track of the pipeline corridor which remained in constant use while the site was being excavated. Where excavated it had a maximum width of 1 .7m and a maximum depth of 0.6m

Other features
A portion of a ditch 11.5m long was revealed, running parallel with and immediately to the south of the souterrain, cutting part of the chamber trench and its fill. It was not traced any further as it ran off the pipeline corridor to the west under the driving track to the east. It had a round bottomed profile l.3m wide, widening towards the east where it became flat bottomed and was up to 2.5m wide and 0.4m deep. Investigation of the site during trenching for the pipe did not clarify the nature or date of this feature but revealed the presence of a further east-west ditch further upslope.

Overlying the ditch fill were the remains of a stone structure, represented by three walls, 4.1m x 3.9m max. It was 0.9m wide at its best preserved point and survived a max.0.2m or two courses, in height.

Cut by the souterrain at the point where the creep occurs was an earlier stone and midden filled pit. It was oval in plan measuring 3.3m x l.2m max. Some 9m to the north of Site 1, and down slope from it, a second series of partially destroyed features was revealed. These included a large hearth site and the entrance to a second souterrain.

The hearth consisted of a rectangular setting of stones two courses high, measuring 0.5m x 0.25m overall and max.0.25m high.

The souterrain was represented by a trench 1.1m wide and max.0.35m deep with a metalled surface running to the north of the hearth. It was traced for some 3.5m at which point it ran off the pipeline corridor to the west.FINDSA range of Early Christian and medieval finds were recovered including several sherds of souterrain ware, fragments of Leinster cooking ware and other glazed medieval pottery fragments. Animal bone and shells were also recovered.