2003:1069 - N7 HEATH-MAYFIELD MONASTEREVIN BYPASS, Laois

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Laois Site name: N7 HEATH-MAYFIELD MONASTEREVIN BYPASS

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0554 EXT.

Author: John Tierney, Eachtra Archaeological Projects, Ballycurreen Industrial Estate, Cork.

Site type: Fulachta fiadh

ITM: E 644825m, N 693938m

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

Monitoring took place of five areas outside the road-take of the proposed M7 Heath–Mayfield (Monasterevin Bypass) route. In the original excavation, Areas 2–5 were monitored and two fulachta fiadh, 25m apart in Area 3, were recorded. No archaeology was uncovered in three of the external works areas (Areas 2, 4 and 5).
An area of 7m2 was cleaned around Site 1, and an area of 5m2 was cleaned around Site 2. Both sites are on the side of a gentle north-west-facing slope and a natural spring is located downslope to the north-west. Jamestown House is situated c. 50m east of Site 1. A pond is located a short distance to the north-east of the sites, which are between 65 and 68m OD.
Site 1 consists of a number of spreads of burnt limestone and sandstone and peaty soil which appear to be truncated by three modern furrows or drains. Because of its rectangular shape, F3, a stony mid-blackish-brown sediment 1.24m by 0.9m, may be the trough of the burnt mound. A subcircular spread of brownish-black sediment containing burnt limestone and sandstone indicates the extent of the original mound. No waterlogged wood or timbers were encountered in the course of the surface cleaning. This site was not observed during the initial EIS of the road and the spreads are not represented on the first-edition OS map.
Site 2 consists of a large spread of burnt black sediment with burnt sandstone, some limestone and a strip of mid-yellowish-brown sediment near the edge of the black material and peat. There was no obvious trough location visible from initial cleaning; it may be located under the large spread of burnt black material. A linear yellowish deposit, measuring 4.35m by 0.3m, may be the fill of a slot-trench for a fence, perhaps to keep the burnt-mound material in place and not allowing it to spread down the hill. No artefacts were uncovered during the cleaning of the site.
Both fulachta fiadh will be left in situ, as no further groundworks will be carried out on the sites in Area 3.