2003:1285 - Newtownbalregan, Louth

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Louth Site name: Newtownbalregan

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0114

Author: David Bayley, for IAC Ltd, 8 Dungar Terrace, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.

Site type: Neolithic house; fulachta fiadh

ITM: E 702044m, N 808839m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.018663, -6.442836

Site 113, Newtownbalregan 5, was excavated in advance of the M1 Dundalk Western Bypass. It consisted of a circular structure, made up of an arc of seven post-holes, with two central post-holes that may have acted as a roof support. The diameter of this structure was c. 5m. Outside the structure were two shallow, curvilinear trenches that may have formed a small boundary around the structure. To the south was a large fulacht trough, which measured 2.9m by 1.52m and was 0.4m deep. The trough contained six post-holes in the corners. A second fulacht trough was located in the south-eastern corner of the site. This measured 1.62m by 1.42m and was 0.42m deep. In addition to the structure, twelve pits were also recorded, one of which contained evidence of in situ burning.

It was originally believed that the activity on-site dated to the Early Bronze Age, due to the 276 sherds of prehistoric pottery that were recovered, mostly from the post-holes that formed the structure. However, analysis of two flint blades also recovered from post-holes of the structure showed them to be Neolithic, so it is possible that the structure is a Neolithic roundhouse, with a later phase of activity marked by the fulachta.

No evidence of any industrial activity was recovered on-site. The site was badly disturbed by post-medieval activity, including the construction of a dwelling (marked on the 1835 first-edition OS map).