- Kilkenny West, Co. Westmeath, Westmeath

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Westmeath Site name: Kilkenny West, Co. Westmeath

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR WM023-082 Licence number:


Site type: Graves ofindeterminate date

ITM: E 611315m, N 748444m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.485893, -7.829509

In July 1999 human remains were discovered during quarrying operations in a sandpit at Kilkenny West, near Glassan, Co. Westmeath.290 The south-west corner of the field in which the bones were found marks the point where the three townlands meet, and the western and southern field banks mark the boundary of Kilkenny West with Tullaghan and Kilkenny Lanesborough respectively. A low ridge runs north/south through this field and the remains were uncovered just below the crest of the ridge on the eastern side. The site is elevated and looks down on Lough Mareegan (known locally as Auburn Lake) to the north. It is located some 1.25km south/west of Kilkenny West church.

Human remains had been discovered just under the topsoil at a depth of 0.3m. They had been badly disturbed by the digger and no details of the orientation or layout of the burials was known. The site was reported to the Gardaí, who informed the NMI. The site was investigated by Raghnall Ó Floinn. The Gardaí had dug around the area where the remains were found but could not locate any bones in situ. The redeposited topsoil and gravel was examined and some of the lower limb bones as well as the pelvis, ribs and vertebrae were retrieved. These remains came from the first scoop of the digger and suggested that the burials had been extended. In the course of the site examination, the toe bones of a second burial, 1m west of the first, were discovered. The in situ remains consisted of a supine extended skeleton in a dug grave just large enough to accommodate the body. As that area of the gravel pit was not going to be worked in the future, the in situ remains were preserved on site.291 The site is recorded on the SMR for the county.292

290. Parish and barony of Kilkenny West. OS 6in. sheet 23.
291. The remains were retained by the State Pathologist’s Office.
292. SMR WM023-082——. IGR 211367 248420.