1999:659 - KILCASHEL FORT, KILCASHEL, Mayo

County: Mayo Site name: KILCASHEL FORT, KILCASHEL

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 99E0531

Author: Martin Fitzpatrick, Arch. Consultancy Ltd, Ballydavid South, Athenry, Co. Galway.

Site type: Stone fort

ITM: E 555102m, N 792745m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.882177, -8.682877

This stone fort in the townland of Kilcashel is marked on the first and subsequent editions of the Ordnance Survey maps. The excavations were carried out in conjunction with a programme of consolidation work on the cashel walls and in the interior of the monument undertaken by Dúchas. The excavations, which were concentrated on the entrance to the fort, were carried out in September- October 1999.

A trench 5.4m long and 1.25-1.3m wide was excavated through the entranceway. The removal of sod and topsoil revealed a loose layer of stones (C4) that formed the surface of the entrance passage. A spud stone at the east end was associated with this surface and indicates that a gateway or doorway spanned the entranceway. At the west end of the entranceway two post-holes suggest the presence of a doorway/gateway at this side also. Removal of C4 exposed a well-defined paving layer that extended for the length of the passage. This layer was made up of large, flat stones in the centre with smaller, rounder stones at either side. Below the paving layer, excavation revealed the original earthen surface layer of the entrance passage. Two post-holes in this layer indicate a possible door/gate feature in the east, while further activity in the west was suggested by the presence of two large pit features.