2003:1222 - Balriggan, Louth

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Louth Site name: Balriggan

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0158

Author: Shane Delaney, Irish Archaeological Consultancy Ltd, 8 Dungar Terrace, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.

Site type: 19th-century building?

ITM: E 702735m, N 810104m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.029886, -6.431870

This potential site (a pit and a masonry wall) had been identified during linear testing of the proposed Dundalk Western Bypass at Chainage 22690-22740 (Balriggan 3 and 4/Site 119). The site is adjacent to and probably associated with the nearby watermill, Scotch Green Mill.

Balriggan 3 had been identified as a charcoal-rich feature, possibly a pit, and an area measuring approximately 20m by 20m was stripped back over the potential site. Nothing of archaeological significance was recorded from the exposed area. There were charcoal-rich smears within the topsoil and it is suggested that the possible pit was related to tree clearance (burnt-out tree bole).

Balriggan 4 was identified as a wall during the testing programme. An area measuring c. 20m by 30m was excavated over the area of potential and revealed a large post-medieval building. The location and siting of this building is probably associated with Scotch Green Mill.

The building was constructed on a terrace cut, sunk into the gently rising valley side to the north. The building was orientated north-south, measured 6.5m wide by 21m long and consisted of two rooms. It was built of roughly coursed greywacke masonry bonded with a pinkish lime mortar. The walls were generally 0.55m thick and an ante-like buttress c. 1m long was incorporated into the north-eastern corner. Red brick was noted in possible repairs in the northern gable wall. There was no evidence for a fireplace and its location beside the mill suggests it was a store/warehouse. Most of the building had been thoroughly demolished and the foundations robbed out. The whole area had been sealed (landscaped) with dumped material up to 1m deep.

The building appears to have been 19th-century in date (indicated through the presence of modern finds) but is not marked on either the 1835 or the 1908-9 OS maps. However, as the landowner seemed to remember a building in this location being demolished around the mid-20th century, it is likely the building dates from the later 19th century and fell out of use with the mill.