1991:101 - ‘St Secundinus’ Church’, Dunshaughlin, Meath

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Meath Site name: ‘St Secundinus’ Church’, Dunshaughlin

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 44:3 Licence number:

Author: Rosanne Meenan, Roestown, Drumree, Co. Meath.

Site type: Early ecclesiastical site

ITM: E 696830m, N 752522m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.513754, -6.540034

An area north of St Secundinus’ Church was tested for archaeological remains to comply with outline planning permission. The site lies within a possible ecclesiastical enclosure associated with the original 5th-century foundation. The enclosure is delineated in part in the modern road layout, particularly to the north of the proposed site which the road encloses in an arc.

Four trenches were machine dug. The longest was excavated from the modern churchyard wall (9m north of the present church building) out to the field fence. Seven ditches were exposed, roughly grouped into two series. The inner series comprised three ditches with a possible bank outside the innermost; they were spaced out over 1 2m. The second series was spaced c. 47m—65m north of the churchyard wall; it comprised four ditches. These features were picked up in the other trenches. A possible stone wall was exposed in the cutting to the west; this observed the line of the ditches and may have functioned as a boundary. Medieval pottery was found in the fill of the innermost ditch which also produced oyster shell near the bottom. A spindle whorl was found in loose soil around the stones of the wall.

This work was carried out by Rosanne Meenan and Beth Cassidy for Archaeological Development Services.