2003:961 - MOOREABBEY DEMESNE, Kildare

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Kildare Site name: MOOREABBEY DEMESNE

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0691; 03R051

Author: Deirdre Murphy, Archaeological Consultancy Services Ltd.

Site type: Burnt spread

Period/Dating: Undetermined

ITM: E 661833m, N 707441m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.113943, -7.076389

As part of the M7 Heath–Mayfield Motorway Scheme, it is proposed to construct a road bridge crossing the River Barrow 3km south-south-west of Monasterevin. The site of this assessment is located along the east bank of the River Barrow and comprises a high bank of dredged spoil covered with vegetation. The material was probably deposited during the Barrow Drainage Scheme of 1927 and 1933.

Four trenches were excavated by machine in an east–west direction through the bank to the original ground level. A fifth trench was excavated in a north–south direction and at right angles to the trench nearest the northern edge of the road-take, positioned to assess a mound located along the eastern extent of the bank. The assessment concluded that the bank was comprised of dredged material from the river, including grey gley, sandy gravel and brown mud. At the northern extent of the tested area, it was noted that vegetation and associated topsoil accumulated above this material to a depth of almost 2m. The bank was most substantial at the northern end, where it measured 4.6m in height, 17.9m wide at the base and 12.4m wide at the top. Further south it decreased to a height of 1.4m and measured only 6.5m wide at the base and 3.1m wide at the top.

All material was checked for non-metal artefacts and all excavated spoil was prospected using a metal-detection device. Finds consisted of metal objects and glass bottles, all 20th-century in date.

Archaeology was identified at original ground level beneath the bank in the northern and southern trenches (Trenches 1 and 5). At both locations, this consisted of oxidised spreads containing significant quantities of metal slag. No other archaeological features were encountered. The final trench excavated through the mound near the northern end of the site confirmed that this mound was composed of natural gleys and sand, and no finds were recovered from it.

This work was funded by the National Development Plan and administered through the National Roads Authority.

Unit 21, Boyne Business Park, Greenhills, Drogheda, Co. Louth.