1990:075 - 'Duiske Abbey', Graiguenamanagh, Kilkenny

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Kilkenny Site name: 'Duiske Abbey', Graiguenamanagh

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

Author: Alan Hayden, 14 Waterloo Road, Dublin 4.

Site type: Cistercian abbey

ITM: E 670935m, N 643946m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.542229, -6.954252

As a result of ongoing restoration work in the abbey, a drain was to be constructed to relieve rising damp that was severely affecting the 13th-century doorway that stands in the south wall of the south aisle. The doorway originally led from the east end of the aisle to the cloister.

Excavation took place over a three-day period in February. It was funded by the landowner.

A trench measuring 3.7m east-west by up to lm north-south was excavated to subsoil adjacent to the north side of the doorway.

The ground level in the vicinity of the doorway had been lowered by some 1.9m in modern times. This had resulted in the removal of the medieval floor level of the aisle. A number of medieval floor tiles had been reset in concrete outside the doorway. These tiles may have been uncovered during the aforementioned levelling.

No stratified medieval deposits survived beneath the modern levelling. Seven unlined graves, aligned east-west, all of which contained poorly preserved skeletons of medieval date, were uncovered. Traces of coffins were discernible in four of the graves. No complete skeletons were recovered. The skeletons were reburied after examination due to their fragmentary nature. The fills of all the graves contained fragments of two-colour floor tiles, suggesting that they post-dated the medieval floor of the abbey.

The finds uncovered from the excavation consisted of a number of plain and two-colour floor tiles and a single fragment of a Dundrystone roll moulding. All the tiles were of types previously recorded from Duiske Abbey and appear to have been of local manufacture.