2003:1404 - KELLS: Commons of Lloyd, Meath

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Meath Site name: KELLS: Commons of Lloyd

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 16:54 Licence number: 03E0020

Author: Angela Wallace, for Arch-Tech Ltd.

Site type: Hillfort

Period/Dating: Iron Age (800 BC-AD 339)

ITM: E 671682m, N 776732m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.735306, -6.913536

Testing was required in advance of the laying of ducting and the erection of a GSM base station at a multi-vallate hillfort. The area within the hillfort where ducting is to be laid is currently in use as the 'People's Park', a public park outside Kells, Co. Meath. Much of the area within the hillfort has been extensively landscaped; an 18th-century tower (the Tower of Lloyd) and a Famine burial ground survive at the summit of the hill. Five test-trenches were excavated near the tower.

Four trenches measuring 5m by 0.5m were excavated along the route of the ducting and a fifth, measuring 3.2m by 2.5m, was excavated at the location of the base station. The narrow width of the trenches made it difficult to identify archaeological layers with any certainty, but, as the services will not require a wider corridor, it was deemed unnecessarily intrusive to excavate a wider area. All trenches were excavated by hand. It would appear from Trenches 1 and 2 that there is a possibility that F3 and F4 may represent archaeological layers. F3 may represent an old ground surface or alternatively a natural outcrop of bedrock, which would be expected on the summit of a hill. F4, a stone rubble layer, may be from the inner bank of the hillfort or it may also represent rubble discarded during the construction of the tower.

No archaeological features were identified in Trenches 3–5 and the soil horizons exposed showed no evidence of previous disturbance. No finds were recovered, apart from some broken glass in the upper topsoil layer. Hand excavation of the duct trench was recommended within the most sensitive area of the route immediately north of the tower and monitoring was recommended along the remainder of the route.

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