1991:058 - 'Boilingbrook Fort', Galway, Galway

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Galway Site name: 'Boilingbrook Fort', Galway

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 82:14 Licence number:

Author: Hannah Kieley, 'The Cove', 2 St Mary's Ave., Taylors Hill, Galway.

Site type: Cromwellian fort

ITM: E 530566m, N 726329m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.282727, -9.041230

The excavation took place in the property of Mr Seamus Egan of Boilingbrook, Townparks, Galway, for a 4 week period in August 1991, in compliance with planning permission for a warehouse development.

The site of the present Boilingbrook Fort, which straddles three properties, is the remains of the northernmost of three forts which were erected in mid-July 1651 by the Parliament forces who were besieging Galway. The fort is depicted on various plans as a star-shaped work which is confirmed by the surviving evidence. Three quarters of the fort have been levelled since the 1940s and only a flat, slightly raised area now survives to indicate the former presence of this work.

The fort is believed to have had a linear embankment which would have adjoined one of the aforementioned forts.

Four trenches were dug within the fort and on the possible linear embankment to assess the extent of the subsurface remains. The trenches, averaging I 3m x 2m, were excavated to a depth of 1m+.

Trench I ran north-south from the footpath to the centre of the fort; Trench 2 ran parallel to this and to the west; Trench 3 ran for 23m south-north across the possible linear embankment and Trench 4 went through the centre of the fort.

The excavations revealed traces of ditches in both Trench 1 and Trench 2, and evidence of disturbance in recent times. A number of objects were recovered during the excavation. The majority of these were musket balls and pottery sherds. Animal bones and shells were also collected.

Towards the end of the investigation a metal detector was used on this site under my supervision and over 40 objects were recovered. They mainly consist of iron objects, especially musket balls, a key and an as yet undated coin. These finds are now in the process of being examined.