1990:100 - BALLYVANRAN, Tipperary

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Tipperary Site name: BALLYVANRAN

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

Author: Muiris O'Sullivan

Site type: Ringfort- rath

Period/Dating: Early Medieval (AD 400-AD 1099)

ITM: E 590439m, N 674260m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.819224, -8.141844

Before excavation this site was seen to be an earthwork having two enclosing banks. There had also been a short arc of a third bank which no longer survives. In addition a further bank, less imposing than the others, ran concentrically with them. It was clear from surface observation that at least two ditches survive: one inside the inner extant bank and one between the two extant banks. Arising from this, there was a suspicion that the structure might not have been a straightforward ringfort. The outer extant bank and ditch were heavily overgrown with trees; the interior of the site had been cleared of trees but there was heavy undergrowth and the mound of cleared timber covered a significant area.

Excavations were conducted during the period 3 September–26 October 1990. All trees and undergrowth were cleared and three cuttings were made in the interior of the structure. Cutting 1 ran north-south from the top of the inner bank towards the centre of the site; Cutting 2 ran parallel to Cutting 1 and east of it;
Cutting 3 ran north-south across the two banks and two ditches on the southern side of the structure.

In addition two further cuttings were made to investigate the low bank which had been observed running concentrically outside the structure.

The investigation revealed that considerable disturbance, in the form of drainage work and cultivation, had taken place in the interior of the site at various times in the past. An iron knife was found in the inner bank on the southern side of the monument and bone fragments bearing decorative patterns akin to those on early Christian enamel and glasswork were found in a disturbed deposit on the inner face of the inner bank on the northern side of the structure.

Dept of Archaeology, University College Dublin