2003:1129 - CLOONREASK, ASKEATON, Limerick

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Limerick Site name: CLOONREASK, ASKEATON

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 11:92 Licence number: 03E1690

Author: Jacinta Kiely, Eachtra Archaeological Projects, 3 Canal Place, Tralee, Co. Kerry.

Site type: No archaeological significance

ITM: E 532735m, N 650165m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.598584, -8.992912

An assessment with testing was undertaken in Cloonreask. The development site is located on an outcrop of bedrock on the western perimeter of the zone of archaeological potential for Askeaton. The D-shaped plateau is surrounded by roads. Askeaton Castle is visible to the south-east and the Franciscan friary to the north-east. A gallows shown on the 17th-century Pacata Hibernia map may have been located in this area. The eminent position of the gallows on the plateau would have been visible to all in the medieval town. The site is marked as open ground on the first-edition OS map.

The previous owner raised the level of the site by dumping modern building rubble and soil and levelling the surface of the area. The evidence recorded in the trenches would indicate that the rock plateau originally sloped steeply to the east.

Five trenches were excavated in the area. Modern rubble was recorded in all of them. At the eastern end of the trenches, it varied in depth from 2.5 to 3m. The level of the underlying limestone bedrock rose from east to west across the site. The rock was recorded 0.3m below the surface in the western portion of Trenches 3 and 4. At the shallower western end of the trenches, a horizon of red-brown sandy clay was recorded between the bedrock and the modern rubble. No archaeological features or artefacts were recorded in any of the trenches.