1998:278 - CASTLECONWAY, Killorglin, Kerry

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Kerry Site name: CASTLECONWAY, Killorglin

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 56:25 Licence number: 98E0319

Author: Laurence Dunne, Eachtra Archaeological Projects

Site type: Castle - tower house

Period/Dating: Multi-period

ITM: E 477445m, N 596848m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.109934, -9.789257

This excavation relates to a planning application for the renovation and extension of the Castleconway Arms public house and restaurant, Killorglin. The eastern end of the development site is bounded by the western wall of the upstanding remnant structure of Castleconway. The castle of Killorglin was burnt or razed a number of times since Maurice Fitzgerald built the first one in 1215. The current remains are possibly the fifth structure to be built and, according to Windele (1848), date to the late 17th century.

The proposed area of development comprises the current backyard and shed at the rear of the Castleconway Arms. The shed is built against the substrata of the castle, some 3m below the very basal stones. The exposed foundation levels consist of an undressed, coursed, sandstone-built wall, clearly visible 2.6m above the shed floor. This comprises the south-west external corner of the monument, from which all the quoins have been robbed.

An L-shaped trench running 5m east-west and 5m north-south x 1.5m wide was excavated at the base of the monument and inside the shed. The concrete floor lay directly on the sterile subsoil. The dismantled traces of an 18th/19th-century structure consisting of the foundations of two walls were evident. This whole area had been scarped out in the late 18th or 19th century to construct the adjoining crushing mill (now a furniture store) and ancillary buildings, and later, in more recent work associated with the public house. This resulted in the total removal of all archaeological remains and deposits along a section of the exterior of the south-west side and corner of the castle.

43 Ard Carraig, Tralee, Co. Kerry