1999:144 - KILBARRON, Donegal

County: Donegal Site name: KILBARRON

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 99E0544

Author: Malachy Conway, Archaeological Consultancy Services Ltd, 15 Trinity Street, Drogheda, Co. Louth.

Site type: No archaeological significance

ITM: E 584755m, N 864699m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.530445, -8.235527

A pre-development assessment was undertaken on 19 October 1999 at five sites (Sites A-E) within Kilbarron townland, south of Rossnowlough. The sites lie to the north (C-E) and south (A-B) of a narrow laneway running west from the main Ballyshannon to Rossnowlough road. Two archaeological sites are close to the proposed development at Site A. A wedge tomb, SMR 107:2, lies at least 53m east, and an enclosure, SMR 107:1, marked as Carrickcullen on the 1900 OS map, lies on the opposite side of the laneway c. 40m to the north.

Three test-trenches were excavated by mechanical digger at each of the five proposed development plots. They ranged from 12m to 20m long, and all were 2m wide.

Site A contains the remains of a wedge tomb. Trenches 1 and 2 contained topsoil 0.3m deep over mottled, grey/brown clay subsoil with a high stone component. Trench 3 contained topsoil 0.4m deep over subsoil of mottled, orange/brown clay with numerous stones and boulders, with a rock outcrop 2m long at the northern end of the trench.

Site B lay within a field immediately east of Site A. Removal of dark brown topsoil 0.26m deep revealed mottled, orange/brown clay subsoil at either end of Trench 4, with a central spread (7m long) of grey/brown subsoil containing much stone. Trench 5 revealed topsoil 0.26m deep over mottled, orange/brown clay subsoil with intermittent spreads or outcrops of rock. Trench 6 comprised topsoil 0.3m deep over a thin layer of sandy, brown loam containing fist-sized stones, in turn over the mottled, orange/brown clay. A single sherd of 18th-century brownware was recovered from the loam interface deposit.

Site C was north-east of Area B within a field immediately north of the laneway and east of a small, abandoned and derelict farmyard. In Trench 7 topsoil removal to a depth of 0.32m revealed sterile, mottled, light brown, sandy subsoil, with numerous stones protruding, some flat and slab-like. Trench 8 lay on sloping ground. Removal of topsoil to a depth of 0.32m revealed mottled, orange/brown clay subsoil with intermittent spreads/outcrops of limestone. Trench 9 revealed topsoil 0.32m deep over mottled, orange/brown clay subsoil with intermittent spreads or outcrops of limestone.

Site D was just over 130m north-west of Site C at the end of an overgrown, stone-lined trackway. The field was very wet underfoot during assessment. In Trench 10 topsoil consisted of wet, brown, humic peat 0.3m deep lying over mottled, grey/brown limestone boulder clay with intermittent spreads of decayed stone. In Trench 11 a peaty topsoil 0.3m deep overlay mottled, grey/brown limestone boulder clay. In Trench 12 peaty topsoil 0.3m deep overlay alternate south-east to north-west bands of limestone outcrop and mottled, grey/orange-brown boulder clay.

Site E was just over 170m north of Site D at the end of an overgrown, stone-wall-lined trackway. The field consists of very rough and waterlogged ground. The field was characterised by numerous limestone outcrops including a vertical face along the southern field perimeter and the denuded remains of several north-south-aligned stone walls, mostly consisting of large limestone boulders. Trench 13 was not fully excavated owing to difficult ground conditions. Trench 14 was excavated across very uneven and wet ground. Removal of wet, dark brown, humic topsoil to a depth of 0.3m revealed mottled, orange/brown and grey boulder clay. In Trench 15 removal of wet, peaty topsoil to a depth of 0.3m revealed mottled, orange/brown and grey boulder clay.

No archaeological features or finds were uncovered during the assessment.