2003:1300 - BALLINLASSA, Mayo

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Mayo Site name: BALLINLASSA

Sites and Monuments Record No.: MA090-011---- Licence number: 03E0955 and ext.

Author: Paula King

Site type: Ringfort - rath

Period/Dating: Early Medieval (AD 400-AD 1099)

ITM: E 520555m, N 784744m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.806165, -9.206144

The enclosure consists of a grass-covered bank that encircled an area 25m in diameter. The bank broke to the south-west and east, measured up to 1m in height above the surrounding ground surface and was 2m wide at its base. A minor road cut to a depth of 2m bisected the enclosure. Excavation of part of the interior of the enclosure was undertaken to facilitate the completion of a local authority road-widening scheme. Prior to the excavation, the scheme removed an area of the enclosure 14m by 3m extending westwards through the eastern part of the bank.

Work on the site consisted of the excavation of an area of the interior of the enclosure that measured 7.5m by 3m. The sod was also removed from the road embankment at the northern edge of the excavation area. In addition, 25m of the exposed section face along the southern edge of the road was cleaned and recorded. No archaeological features or deposits were present in the interior of the monument. However, a drystone wall face, probably the exterior wall surface of a souterrain chamber, was uncovered in the road embankment, 1.15m below the top of the embankment. There was no cut for the feature in the subsoil in the overlying area. The exposed area of the wall face measured 1m in height and was 1.6m wide, narrowing at the top and the base. Gaps between the stones suggested the presence of a cavity behind the wall. The feature was left in situ.

Westport Road, Castlebar, Co. Mayo