2003:1374 - Grange Rath, Colp West, Meath

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Meath Site name: Grange Rath, Colp West

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 99E0472

Author: Robert O'Hara

Site type: Monitoring

ITM: E 711771m, N 774194m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.705459, -6.307097

Monitoring of topsoil removal in advance of a large residential development in Colp West continued. The site incorporated two fields separated by a large north-south-oriented drainage ditch, with an east-west-oriented ditch along the southern limit of the stripped area. The fields had been heavily ploughed and topsoil deposits up to 0.5m deep in places were noted. Topsoil consisted of a mid-brown loam, with occasional large boulders but mostly containing small to medium pebbles. A single flint flake was recovered from the topsoil deposits and was located close to the area of the settlement remains. No other archaeological finds were recovered; modern delft ceramic and earthenware was occasionally noted, though not collected. The subsoil was gravelly yellow/grey marl, with large areas of decayed stone in places. The impression of the area from the underlying geology was that it was formerly quite marshy and this was borne out by the discovery of fulachta fiadh sites in the immediate vicinity and the presence of large drainage features noted above. As a result of monitoring, two previously unknown sites were uncovered. They were located in different areas of the same (eastern) field and did not have any surface indications prior to development.

Site 1 (No. 1375 below, 03E0641) was the ploughed-out remains of heat-fractured stone deposits, representing fulacht fiadh activity. Very little remained of the mound material and there was no indication of either charcoal or burnt stone in the overlying topsoil deposits. The implication, therefore, is that the rest of the mound had been extensively ploughed-out over a number of years. A number of cut features, pits and trough-like features were located next to thin spreads of charcoal and heat-fractured stone.

Site 2 (No. 1376 below, 03E0660) is to the north-east of Site 1. It consisted of a number of post-holes and pits, with areas of oxidised clay notable among the remains. A circular pattern to the post-holes was immediately discernible and the remains appeared to be prehistoric. The occurrence of a flint flake nearby was indicative of a Bronze Age date; however, no finds were associated with any of the features at this stage and only the most cursory of examinations was undertaken of the remains.

Archaeological Consultancy Services Ltd, Unit 21, Boyne Business Park, Greenhills, Drogheda, Co. Louth.