1991:103 - Kilbeg Upper, Meath

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Meath Site name: Kilbeg Upper

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 11:20 Licence number:

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

Site type: Anglo-Norman bailey

ITM: E 677734m, N 781816m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.780115, -6.820555

Excavation took place over five weeks in advance of extension of the burial ground. An Early Christian church and a motte and bailey lie within c. 100m of each other and trial trenching by Gretta Byrne in 1988 recorded evidence for activity in the area to be disturbed by the new burial ground to the west of the church and north of the bailey. The earliest activity on the site was a series of small shallow trenches; these averaged 0.4m—0.6m wide at the base. Some ran into each other while others were cut by each other. In a few cases, boulders appear to have been intentionally placed to block them. Green glazed pottery was found in the fill of these features. Their function is not clear; the site is on a gravelly boulder clay, on a rise, and drainage should not have been a problem.

An insubstantial stone wall was built at a later date cutting through the trenches; it consisted of one row of stones, surviving to a height of 0.5m-1m, up to 4 courses high in places. There was a shallow ditch placed to the north. Its orientation observed the line of the bailey to the south and it was interpreted as a boundary serving a domestic function. Green glazed pottery was found in the fill of the ditch associated with the wall.

A large quantity of slag was found during the excavation, from the sod down to the fill of the trenches; its presence in such large quantities could not be explained as it could not be related to any archaeological feature on the site.