NMI Burial Excavation Records


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

Author: Mary Cahill, National Museum of Ireland, Dublin

Site type: Bronze Age hoard?

Period/Dating: Bronze Age (2200 BC-801 BC)

ITM: E 711626m, N 628849m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.399772, -6.359642

Following the accidental discovery of two gold artefacts of Later Bronze Age date in topsoil spread in a garden at Rocklands, Maudlintown, Co. Wexford, a team from the National Museum organised an investigation at the site of the initial discovery and at the site where the topsoil had originated at Ballinesker, near Curracloe. Five other sites which had received small quantities of topsoil from the same source were also investigated. In total eight locations were searched and objects were located at three of them.

The investigation included both physical examination and a metal detector search of the mounds of topsoil. In areas where the topsoil had been spread a grid was set out and the area swept thoroughly using two instruments. The very large amount of topsoil was the product of site preparation for the building of three holiday bungalows at Ballinesker. The topsoil was dumped in the adjoining field where it remained for about fifteen months before being dispersed to various locations. In all eight objects were found. These were the gold dress-fastener and bracelet which initiated the investigation and a pair of gold discs folded together, all found at Rocklands. At Ballinesker two gold boxes and a fragment of a third were found at the topsoil dump site while in some re-deposited soil in the garden of the bungalows a second gold dress-fastener was discovered. Unfortunately no evidence of the original site of deposition was found. Any such evidence must have been destroyed during the site clearance.