2003:1004 - THE COACH HOUSE, INISTIOGE, Kilkenny

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Kilkenny Site name: THE COACH HOUSE, INISTIOGE

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E1052

Author: Cóilín Ó Drisceoil, Tulla, Threecastles, Co. Kilkenny.

Site type: No archaeological significance

ITM: E 663384m, N 637849m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.488370, -7.066722

A pre-planning assessment of a proposed residential development at the Coach House, Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny, was requested. The development included the restoration of an early 19th-century coachhouse and the construction of a small extension to the rear. The site lay within the zone of archaeological potential identified by the Urban Archaeology Survey of County Kilkenny (OPW 1993, 159–168; SMR 32:17) and 16m from the base of Inistioge motte, SMR 32:17(01).
Houses currently surrounding the motte (including the ‘coachhouse’) are predominantly of mid-18th–19th-century date. Their back gardens abut a steep limestone cliff, the result of limestone quarrying in the mid-18th to early 19th century. A comparison between the 1765 and 1842 maps clearly shows the extent of quarrying: much of the ground surrounding the motte, some of which may have contained the bailey, was removed during these operations.
Testing took place on 11 July 2003. Five trenches were excavated. Trenches 1–2 were dug by mini-digger with a 0.6m flat bucket in the area of the proposed extension. The remainder, which were located within the extant building, were excavated by hand. Testing of the northern half of the proposed new build footprint was not possible, due to the presence of the concrete foundations for a small modern sawmill.
Nothing of archaeological significance was noted in the trenches excavated in the area of the proposed new build. Here a thin layer of topsoil and modern rubbish overlay quarried bedrock. Within the ruins of the coachhouse, the stratigraphy encountered was broadly similar: below a layer of overburden was a cobbled floor surface, which was laid in a bed of mortar in Trench 3 and in a bed of sand in Trench 4. A series of gravel and mortar and red-brick-rich deposits underlay the cobbles. These were presumably formed during the construction of the coachhouse in the late 18th to early 19th century.