NMI Burial Excavation Records


Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 00E0108

Author: Nóra Bermingham, Archaeological Consultancy Services Ltd, 15 Trinity Street, Drogheda, Co. Louth.

Site type: Metalworking area

ITM: E 684433m, N 803012m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.969489, -6.713111

A programme of archaeological monitoring of the Carrickmacross Sewerage Scheme Extension, Co. Monaghan, was undertaken in May/June 2000. The sewerage scheme was extended from Brewery Hill on the south-eastern edge of Carrickmacross through a greenfield area, formerly convent grounds, as far as the north-west edge of Lough Naglack. The extension linked in with an existing treatment plant and involved the excavation of two pipeline routes and the construction of a new pumping station located at the junction of the two pipelines. One pipeline (A) was 300m long and was aligned north-west/south-east, while the second (B), located at the south-east end of the first, extended in a south-westerly direction for 120m into the treatment plant. The pipeline corridors were each up to 5m wide.

The scheme is situated within the townland of Drummond Outra, in which seven recorded monuments are to be found. However, there are none within the area of the development.

Fieldwork involved the monitoring of topsoil-stripping of both pipeline corridors and of the site of a new pumping station. The remains of a limestone field boundary wall, a field drain and a circular pit were uncovered along pipeline corridor B. All of these features dated from the 19th/20th centuries, with associated finds of clay pipe, crockery, red brick and glass bottles. At the north-eastern end of the pipeline, topsoil was removed onto an underlying peaty, organic soil. Elsewhere topsoil overlay natural, a yellow, sandy clay with occasional limestone boulders.

A single pit and four charcoal deposits were uncovered at the south-eastern end of pipeline A. The circular pit, with gently sloping sides, measured 1.8m x 1.4m and 0.36m in depth and contained a friable, charcoal-stained soil with medium-sized limestone rocks. There were traces of burnt clay and ash present. Fragments of slag, c. 20mm x 10mm x 5mm, as well as four small pieces of oxidised decayed metal, were retrieved from within this pit. The associated deposits consisted of a shallow cut containing charcoal and loose, friable clay, 1–1.1m in diameter and 0.08m deep; a roughly oval, shallow spread 1.3m long, 0.9m wide and 0.05m deep; an oval, shallow spread 1.4m long, 1m wide and 0.08m deep with slight charcoal staining, within a dark brown, friable soil; and a shallow rectangular cut 1.7m long, 0.55m wide and 0.08m deep, which contained an ash- and charcoal-stained soil. The pit and spreads formed a circular arrangement. Fragments of slag and pieces of oxidised decayed metal were retrieved from the pit. These finds indicate that the site formed part of a metalworking site. As no hearth or other more substantial features were uncovered within the pipeline corridor, it would appear that the pipeline clipped the edge of a site. There were no other finds made in association with the pit or the other deposits.