2003:1154 - Clondrinagh, Limerick

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Limerick Site name: Clondrinagh

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 5:5 Licence number: 03E1144

Author: Florence M. Hurley, 8 Marina Park, Victoria Road, Cork.

Site type: Cairn

ITM: E 553565m, N 658425m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.675002, -8.686634

Testing of an 'enclosure' was requested by the developer. The monument, which lies near the northern edge of a large site being developed as a shopping complex, is on the route of one of the main distributor roads, which will give access to the complex and will also allow the development of lands to the north of the site. Both the developer and Dúchas sought further information on the nature of the monument, in order to develop a suitable mitigation strategy. The possibility of rerouting the road was limited by the location of the monument on the edge of the site and the design and financial implications of routing the distributor road further south into the site.

The monument is listed as an enclosure in the RMP, based on cartographic evidence. It is in fact a circular mound, c. 23m in diameter and standing 1.5m above the surrounding field. Small bushes and trees are present along its northern, eastern and southern edges.

Testing was carried out, with the excavation of two hand-dug trenches, one on the western edge of the mound (7m by 1m) and one on the top, in the centre of the mound (2m by 2m). These found that the mound, or cairn, is made up of small and medium-sized stones to a depth of 1m. On the western side of the cairn, a combination of larger stones and the natural bedrock acted as revetting for the cairn material. On the old ground surface beneath the cairn, fragments of cremated human bone were found in a discrete deposit. No evidence for any cists or deposits of bone within the cairn was found in the limited area examined. There was no external ditch.

The nature of the site and the presence of cremated bone indicate that the monument is a prehistoric burial cairn. This appears to utilise a small area of higher ground caused by an outcrop of bedrock in an otherwise low-lying boggy area. A mitigation strategy has not yet been finalised.