1990:101 - Emmet Street, Burgagery Lands -West, Clonmel, Tipperary

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Tipperary Site name: Emmet Street, Burgagery Lands -West, Clonmel

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

Author: Suzanne Zajac, Carrowgarve, Crossmolina, Co. Mayo.

Site type: Urban/medieval

ITM: E 620246m, N 622551m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.354169, -7.702800

Clonmel Corporation funded a 3 week trial excavation to sample the archaeological potential of an area prior to redevelopment. The excavation began on the 8 January and was expected to reveal the eastern boundary wall of the medieval town as it ran south to the River Suir.

A consolidated area of derelict buildings and yards made up the excavation site. They had been purchased by Clonmel Corporation and are located within the centre of the modern town.

A continuous property boundary runs roughly north-south through this area and was thought to follow the line of the medieval town wall, though surviving remains above ground appeared to be modern. The poor remains of a tower were attached to the wall at north. It had been pebble-dashed externally and incorporated into two later boundaries. Internally an embrasure appeared to contain a blocked-up arrow loop.

Four trial trenches were examined in the vicinity of this boundary and the town wall appeared directly below present ground level. It had an outer face of roughly coursed, unmortared limestone with a mortared rubble core. There was evidence for a slight batter but it had no apparent plinth. The wall was built on or near boulder clay. In places it had been robbed of facing stones and core material, then re-used in the construction of two stone-walled pits built onto the outer edge of the wall. They appeared to be a modern feature. The wall had a surviving width of 2m though it had been disturbed in the area and may originally have been wider. It had a maximum height of 2.2m. There was no clear evidence for an outer ditch. The base of the tower was also uncovered for a short distance. The original foundations were built on a thin layer of gravel which overlay boulder clay. The foundations extended to a depth of 1.2m below the ground, and refacing occurred on some areas of the outer face. With both the wall and the tower a noticeable change in masonry occurred between the surviving remains above ground and the foundations below.

The south-east corner of a substantial structure, possibly medieval, was also uncovered just inside the town wall. A sherd of sgraffito ware was removed from a stratified layer just below the upper levels of modern fill suggesting that the underlying layers pre-date the 16th-17th century. Finds however were limited and, apart from modern pottery, those that did occur were unstratified.