2003:1347 - Killegland, Ashbourne, Meath

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Meath Site name: Killegland, Ashbourne

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E1902

Author: Finola O'Carroll

Site type: Fording site

ITM: E 705670m, N 752040m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.507723, -6.406963

An assessment was carried out for the proposed Ashbourne Sewerage Scheme at Ashbourne, Co. Meath. There is a castle site, SMR 45:5, beside the site of the proposed Pumping Station 3. A church site dating to the Early Christian period lies to the south of the area of the development (SMR 45:4). Historical sources and previous archaeological and geophysical investigation in Killegland have revealed a substantial complex of archaeology in the south-western area of the development, particularly around the area of the proposed Pumping Station 3 and the river crossing at this point, including activity associated with the castle site, later milling activity and possible activity from the early medieval period.

Test excavations were undertaken of the land on which Pumping Station 3 of the proposed development is planned. Two trenches were excavated, using a JCB fitted with a 2m ditching bucket, in the area of land which lies between the Broadmeadow River, Castle Street and the graveyard road in Ashbourne. Trench 1 was located roughly parallel to the river in the centre of the field and Trench 2 was to the south-west of this. Due to access restrictions, it was not possible to complete the excavations, which revealed a metalled surface and associated pillar bases, possibly representing controlled access to this crossing point on the Broadmeadow River, directly opposite the location of the stepping stones indicated on the first-edition map. The presence of small islands at this point in the river, in comparison to the fording points in Oldbridge, Co. Meath, support its use as a crossing point on the river. It is conjectured that the metalled surface will extend through the proposed site southwards to join the existing modern road stretching towards the graveyard. Material traces of an ancient roadway exist in the landscape; for example, the water-filled boundary which cuts through the site to the west of the test-trenches may represent part of a field system which respected the line of an earlier road.

CRDS Ltd, Unit 4, Dundrum Business Park, Dundrum, Dublin 14.