1994:154 - Abington, Limerick

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Limerick Site name: Abington

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 14:14 Licence number: 94E0159

Author: Martin Byrne, 19 Monread Gdns., Naas, Co. Kildare.

Site type: Environs of Abbey

ITM: E 571357m, N 653644m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.633263, -8.423140

An archaeological evaluation was conducted on behalf of three landowners who proposed to construct detached residences on adjacent plots. These plots are located within a zone of archaeological potential, as defined by the OPW (Kirwin et al, 1992) and for this reason it was decided to carry out testing prior to applying for planning permission.

The plots are located in a field situated immediately to the north of a graveyard, to the south of which are located the ruins of Abbey Owney, a Cistercian foundation which dates to c. 1205. Trial trenching in the western part of the field was conducted in February 1992 by Celie O Rahilly (Excavations 1992, 41), who opened two machine trenches, both of which yielded deposits of an “archaeological nature”. Further testing by means of resistivity survey was carried out by the writer in April 1992, but no further features of archaeological interest were detected.

Four trenches were excavated by machine in an effort to evaluate the nature of any sub-surface archaeological features. All of the trenches were 1.2m wide and the topsoil depth was recorded as being between 0.2m – 0.5m. In general, the depth of the topsoil was deepest in the southernmost trench (Tr. I). Below the topsoil horizon, a layer of yellowish clay was noted. This material was quite ‘sticky’ and sterile in nature and was identified as being a ‘natural’ boulder clay. Trenches I-III were all aligned in a west-east orientation across the entire length of the testing area (130m), while Tr. IV was located with a north-south orientation between Tr. II and III (25m).

The only features of interest were shallow field-drains which were bisected by all of the test trenches. The general environs of ‘Abbey Owney’ was the location for Famine Relief works. Since all the field-drains produced sherds of 19th-century pottery, it is reasonable to assume that they date to the period of the Famine Relief scheme.ReferencesKirwin, S, et al. 1992. Sites and Monuments Record : County Limerick. OPW.