1992:038 - Drimnagh Castle, Ballyfermot, Dublin

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Dublin Site name: Drimnagh Castle, Ballyfermot

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

Author: Clare Mullins, 19 Monreed Gardens, Naas, Co. Kildare.

Site type: Castle

ITM: E 710827m, N 731827m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.325082, -6.336360

Excavations at Drimnagh Castle were carried out from l0th-21st August as part of the Rathmichael Historical Society’s annual summer school. A castle has stood on this site since the 13th century but the present structures date to a number of different building periods. The castle also has a flooded moat which may be original.

An excavation trench measuring 8m x 2m was located north-west of the castle buildings in an area enclosed by the moat. A 0.2m depth of recent deposit was identified overlying another modern but distinct layer. Underneath the latter, an area of very rough cobbling was uncovered. This cobbled area was most concentrated in the east of the trench. A test pit inserted north-east of the main trench appeared to locate the eastern extent of this cobbled spread. That this surface dated to no earlier than the late 19th century is attested by the relatively modern pottery associated with it. Removal of the roughly cobbled layer in the test trench revealed a layer of brown sandy clay about 0.1m in thickness. Underneath this lay a deposit of mortar which extended over the entire area of the test trench. Next year it is intended to extend the main trench both northwards towards the moat and eastwards to incorporate the test trench. Amongst the modern pottery found, a few sherds of medieval pottery were identified as well as a fragment of a ceramic wig curler. These probably represent displaced finds within the relatively recent deposits.