2003:1058 - BALLYSHANEDUFF OR THE DERRIES, Laois

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Laois Site name: BALLYSHANEDUFF OR THE DERRIES

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0238

Author: Matthew Seaver, for Valerie J. Keeley Ltd, Brehon House, Kilkenny Road, Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny.

Site type: No archaeological significance

ITM: E 657125m, N 706092m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.102340, -7.146944

Five trenches were excavated across two narrow gravelled roadways within woodland at Ballyshaneduff or The Derries, known as Site 6. These were part of preliminary investigations prior to the construction of the N7 Heath–Mayfield motorway. The roadways were possible access routes to the former large house at The Derries (SMR 9:15). Three trenches were excavated into the curving Roadway 1. All were 10m by 2m and ran east–west along the roadway. Trench 1 contained compacted builders’ rubble, 0.1m in depth, which included mortared limestone masonry, red brick and sandy gravel. This overlay compacted sand and gravel 0.2m in depth. It overlay natural grey silty boulder clay. Trench 2 contained builders’ rubble to the same depth as Trench 1 and overlay compacted sand and gravel 0.2m in depth. This overlay a peat deposit 0.15m in depth. This in turn overlay a thin deposit of silty sand with frequent flecks of charcoal up to 0.05m in depth and was followed by grey natural boulder clay. Trench 3 contained the same upper deposits as the first two trenches. This overlay a peat deposit containing frequent fragments of wood, charcoal and large parts of pine trees up to 0.25m in depth. This overlay a softer brown peat deposit, 0.3m in thickness. The demolition deposits may date from the destruction of the large house at The Derries.
Trenches 4 and 5 were placed east–west along the long access of Roadway 2. Both trenches revealed compacted gravel and sand deposits, 0.3m in thickness, overlying yellow/brown natural boulder clay. No archaeological deposits were present. Both roads are present on and therefore pre-date the 1840 6-inch first-edition map. They probably post-date the construction of the turnpike road which established the route of the N7. No evidence was found to suggest that they pre-date this.