1997:581 - IRISHTOWN LOWER, ATHLONE, Westmeath

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Westmeath Site name: IRISHTOWN LOWER, ATHLONE

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 97E0284

Author: Ruairí Ó Baoill, Archaeological Development Services Ltd, Westlink Enterprise Centre, 30–50 Distillery Street, Belfast BT12 5BJ.

Site type: Urban post-medieval

ITM: E 604504m, N 741356m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.422302, -7.932239

An archaeological assessment was carried out in the area of the carpark at Athlone Shopping Centre, Irishtown Lower, Athlone, in advance of the extensive refurbishment and extension of the complex. The assessment was undertaken on 24 July 1997, with subsequent monitoring in August 1997.

Nothing of archaeological importance was observed during the assessment. Much of this was probably due to extensive post-medieval and modern disturbance (some of this probably dating to when the Shopping Centre was originally built, in the early 1970s). Nineteenth-century maps show the area to have been occupied by plots at the time. No organic deposits were encountered during the assessment. Various layers of stony gravels observed in the carpark stratigraphy may therefore be the result either of introduced material to level up the ground or else to fill up areas which had been extensively quarried.

Although the Shopping Centre lies just beyond the zone demarcated in the Medieval Urban Survey, no evidence of the town’s later expansion was revealed as a result of the assessment.