2003:1335 - Lisgowel, Mayo

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Mayo Site name: Lisgowel

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E1024

Author: Martin Jones, No. 6, Newgarden, Belclare, Tuam, Co. Galway.

Site type: Testing

ITM: E 518977m, N 788458m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.839285, -9.231077

Testing was carried out at Lisgowel, Breaghwy, Co. Mayo, on 14 and 15 July 2003 at the proposed location of two detached dwelling-houses and their access routes, etc. The site is at the end of a narrow laneway in a gently rolling landscape of relatively low hills. The hill slopes downwards from east to west and is in pasture. The site provides good views of the surrounding countryside in every direction.

The development is close to a circular enclosure (SMR 79:54). Planning conditions stipulate that the enclosure be fenced off at a distance of 5m from its edge, following the curve of the monument.

The topsoil consisted of a mid- to dark-brown clay loam, while the subsoils took the form of a mid-brown A/B horizon or orange silty clay containing decayed stone in blackened pockets. These sat above a sterile mid-grey to beige till containing a large amount of rough limestone gravel and large angular and subangular limestone and occasional sandstone boulders.

A single feature of possible archaeological significance was found. This took the form of a shallow, linear cut (2.2m wide, 0.3m deep) running in a north-south direction and a wider cut (5m in maximum width, 0.75m in maximum depth) running perpendicular to this. The feature was visible during testing for both the proposed dwellings. Considering the presence of these features of possible significance and the close proximity of the development site to a recorded monument, it was recommended that full topsoil-stripping of the area to be developed be carried out prior to the commencement of construction.