1991:048 - King William, Dublin

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Dublin Site name: King William

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

Author: Claire Cotter, 1 Northbrook Villas, Northbrook Road Dublin 6

Site type: Medieval/post-medieval rampart

ITM: E 712260m, N 739161m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.390666, -6.312262

Ten test trenches were opened at a greenfield site opposite the Fire Station at Mellowes' Road, Finglas, over a four-day period in May 1991. A rampart, known as King William's Rampart, formed the southern boundary of the site. The investigation was carried out in advance of the erection of an employment exchange. The earthen rampart runs for a distance of c. 80m north-east/south-west and rises 1.5m on average above the level of the development site. There is a drop of 3.5m to private gardens at the rear. Both faces are revetted by walling and the rampart is 3.5m to 6m in width. The proposed development did not impinge on the rampart. The rampart may have been erected by William of Orange during his sojourn in Finglas after the Battle of the Boyne. Alternatively it may have formed part of Ormond's defences of Dublin in 1642 or 1649. Other sources suggest that the earthwork may define the boundary of church land in the area.

The remains of a townland boundary wall were uncovered running north-cast/south-west through the western sector of the site. The wall was cut down into a layer of dark brown silty clay which yielded some sherds of South Leinster cooking ware. Similar deposits uncovered elsewhere on the site yielded a small amount of l3th/l4th-century Dublin ware. No structures or occupation layers were evident and it is most likely that the area was open ground in the medieval period. The proximity of the site to the medieval settlement in Finglas would account for the presence of stray finds of the period.