1998:415 - BALLINALEE, Longford

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Longford Site name: BALLINALEE

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 98M0005

Author: Jim Higgins,

Site type: Post-medieval

ITM: E 622735m, N 780665m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.775072, -7.655092

One day's monitoring took place at the Longford County Council OAPD Scheme at Ballinalee village on 29 July 1998. The site is known locally as both 'The Croppie's Acre' and 'Bully's Acre'.

Preliminary archaeological assessment of the site followed by trial-testing was carried out by Judith Carroll in 1995 (Excavations 1995, 56, 95E0095), and excavation of a large area of the site followed in 1996 (Excavations 1996, 72, 96E0196). In 1998 the removal of a stone structure or 'folly' of stone slabs and the excavation of the area beneath and adjacent to it was also completed by Ms Carroll (see No. 416 below).

In May 1998 Ms Carroll was contacted about the discovery of human bones in an area of the site where a former boundary wall of the cemetery was removed, and she prepared a report. This writer then carried out monitoring of the site on 29 July 1998.

Eight holes had been dug to insert a fence on the site. The subsoil into which the holes were dug was a hard, light brown to grey, compacted subsoil with many small stones. This gave way to natural limestone outcrop in four of the post-holes. The only finds from the holes were three fragments of 19th/ early 20th-century clay pipe stems, some sherds of 19th/20th-century pottery, modern clear glass and eight small pieces of bone. Of these, at least half were pieces of animal bone and three bore saw or knife marks. The cut bone came from the two holes dug nearest to the old stables. All finds came from the churned up topsoil and from introduced topsoil. A worn counterfeit of an Irish halfpenny coin of George II, dated 1760, was found.

The archaeological work consisted of monitoring the digging of the post-holes only, and no archaeological deposits or features were encountered in them.

The topsoil brought to this part of the site from elsewhere on the site was searched, but nothing other than 19th-20th-century glass was noted in them.