1990:119 - Robinstown, Westmeath

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Westmeath Site name: Robinstown

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

Author: Niall Brady, Medieval Studies Program, 259 Goldwin Smith Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853-3201, USA.

Site type: Stone platform

ITM: E 640142m, N 745324m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.456452, -7.395581

The excavation was undertaken as part of the joint Cornell University – National Museum of Ireland Crannóg Archaeology Project, which is examining the lacustrine archaeology of Lough Ennell. The Robinstown site is one of a number of stone platforms that the survey is finding around the old lake edge. They typically occur in small clusters of two or three, and are often in close proximity to large crannógs. There has been no known analysis of this type of site in the past and this preliminary excavation was aimed at collecting information relevant to constructional methods, dating, and purpose.

The site is distinguished as an ovoid concentration of loose stone, measuring 13m x 16m in diameter. With the exception of a slight slope along the eastern side, the site is flat. Two narrow cuttings were made across the site, revealing it to consist of a natural core of limestone drift, the underlying glacial till of the region. A rough stone surface, revetted with larger stones around its perimeter, was laid over part of it, forming the platform. There was no evidence for any structures erected upon it and the excavation did not recover any artefacts of visible faunal or floral remains. Further excavation is planned for the summer of 1991 and soil samples will be retrieved for laboratory analysis. The 1990 season ran from 5-20 June.