2000:0558 - ANNATRIM, Laois

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Laois Site name: ANNATRIM

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 16:16 Licence number: 00E0785

Author: Dominic Delany, 31 Ashbrook, Oranmore, Co. Galway.

Site type: Ecclesiastical remains (vicinity of)

ITM: E 644825m, N 693938m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.994295, -7.332301

Test excavation was carried out at the site of a proposed dwelling on 21 October 2000. The site lies within the area of archaeological constraint around an ecclesiastical site comprising a church, a graveyard, a holy well, an incised stone and a settlement. The proposed dwelling site is centrally located between the church/graveyard and the holy well and lies c. 60m distant from each monument.

Four test-trenches were excavated on the footprint of the development. The results of testing suggest that there was some industrial activity in this area, but the findings were inconclusive in that the origin and nature of this activity were not clearly established. There was some evidence of burning across the tested area, but the deposits, some of which were over 0.5m thick, were sterile apart from moderate charcoal inclusions. The discovery of occasional burnt stones and fused matter (sand, stone and slag) suggests that some intense burning took place in the vicinity of the tested area.

However, the only feature of possible archaeological significance was a curvilinear feature, 2m wide, which was encountered at the junction of Trenches 1 and 2. A section through this feature revealed that it was quite shallow, 0.2m deep, and no clearly defined cut was identified. The finds comprised occasional lumps of slag and animal bone fragments. Heat-fractured stones were present in the upper fill, but the loose nature of this fill and the presence of rounded cobbles may indicate a post-medieval/modern date for this feature. Finds from the topsoil comprised two modern delftware sherds and a sherd of post-medieval/early modern stoneware jar.

Further monitoring was recommended.