1994:050 - Drimnagh Castle, Drimnagh, Dublin

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Dublin Site name: Drimnagh Castle, Drimnagh

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 93E0183

Author: Rónán Swan, 746 Howth Road, Raheny, Dublin 5.

Site type: Castle

ITM: E 710827m, N 731827m

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

Archaeological test trenching took place at Drimnagh Castle over a period of a month commencing in late January 1994. The project was funded jointly by FÁS and the Drimnagh Castle Restoration Committe. The reason for the trenching was to investigate the archaeological impact of the proposed construction of washrooms. The proposed washrooms will encompass an area approximately 8m by 10m. The trenching was carried out on the site of a demolished outhouse, on the northern side of the ballroom building. In consultation with the Office of Public Works it was decided that two trenches 1.5m wide and 1.5m deep would provide a sufficiently representative sample of the area. The two trenches were dug following the line of the proposed north and western walls.

The Northern Trench had three distinct layers, the uppermost being approximately 1.5m deep. This material appeared to have been mainly garden soil, which was well sorted. The remains of a dog were recovered from this layer although its association with a sherd of willow pattern suggests a modern date. A possible pathway was identified underneath this layer and an associated drain leading from the original stables. At the base of this layer appears to be the natural, deposited as part of glacial activity.

There were three principle layers within the Western Trench, although there was a certain amount of disturbance adjacent to the wall of the ballroom.

The presence of medieval pottery from this trial trenching suggests medieval activity on the site, although none of the contexts within which they appear can be considered as archaeologically significant. The presence of clay pipes, brick, mortar and a variety of glass indicates that these layers have been disturbed or are of a post-medieval date. The lower ground level of the southern end of the western trench reflects the use of the area in recent times as a chicken shed. This lean-to was demolished within the past twelve months. The evidence from the path and drain suggests that they probably date from the late 1700s and were constructed to facilitate work within the stables.