2003:1141 - Bulgaden Eady, Limerick

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Limerick Site name: Bulgaden Eady

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0170

Author: Ken Wiggins, 8 The Dale, Brook Wood, Herbert Road, Bray, Co. Wicklow.

Site type: Vicinity of castle

ITM: E 564154m, N 629985m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.420185, -8.526986

The site was located c. 4km north-east of Kilmallock and c. 5.7km south of Bruff, Co. Limerick. It consisted of a single field measuring c. 38m north-east to south-west by c. 50m. The remains of Bulgaden Castle stand just 11m from the north-eastern corner of the field.

Groundwork associated with the construction of a single dwelling on the site was monitored in November 2001. A large ditch, aligned north-west to south-east, measuring 5-6.5m in width, was identified at the base of some of the foundation trenches for the dwelling. The surface of the ditch fill was not otherwise disturbed by the foundation layout, and construction work was allowed to continue on that basis. The ditch probably formed part of the defences of the castle during its occupation, from the late medieval period to the 16th/17th centuries. Following this discovery, it was recommended that further construction work on the site be monitored.

The next phase of work on the site was monitored in March 2003. This consisted of digging related to the installation of the septic tank and percolation area. The trench dug for the septic tank revealed two ditch-like features, F1 and F2, aligned north-west/south-east. F1 was c. 1m wide by 0.38m deep; F2 was c. 2m wide by 0.8m deep. There were no artefacts associated with the features, but there were some crumbs of charcoal in the backfilled silty clay deposits. A trench dug to connect the septic tank with the dwelling exposed another ditch-like feature, F4, aligned north-east/south-west. This measured c. 1.8m in width by c. 0.6m deep. The infill, grey-brown silty clay, was virtually identical to the overlying topsoil.

All three ditches were most probably field boundaries of relatively recent origin. Ditches F1 and F2 were parallel to the present-day eastern boundary of the field, while ditch F4 was parallel to the existing northern boundary.