2003:1408 - Hill of Lloyd (Commons of Lloyd), Kells, Meath

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Meath Site name: Hill of Lloyd (Commons of Lloyd), Kells

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E1075

Author: Rosanne Meenan, Roestown, Drumree, Co. Meath.

Site type: No archaeological significance

ITM: E 671566m, N 776997m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.737703, -6.915248

Meath County Council designed a programme for an improved water supply for the town of Kells comprising: (1) an intake of water from the bank of the River Blackwater and (2) a newly constructed pipeline to take the water up to the existing reservoir on the south-east side of the Hill of Lloyd. There are three monuments on this side of the hill. After consultation with Dúchas concerning the route of the pipeline, Meath County Council agreed to run the pipeline parallel with and beside the N3 and then to swing it southwards up the hill to the existing reservoir, thus taking it away from the monuments in the fields. It would then approach the existing reservoir from the east side rather than from its west side as originally proposed. Dúchas recommended that monitoring should be carried out as a mitigating measure during certain parts of the project, if considered necessary.

The County Council agreed to remove the topsoil and a layer of subsoil, c. 0.3m deep, in one operation before pipe-laying commenced. This would serve two functions: the trench would act as a continuous test-trench along the route of the pipe and it would also shorten the duration of monitoring that would be required. The field closer to the N3 road was in barley at the time. The other field involved was in pasture. The trench was c. 600m long. Monitoring commenced at the northern end. The digger moved southwards up the slope towards the reservoir. On average, the topsoil was 0.4m deep, but it was thinner at the top of the slope and deepest at the bottom of the hill. It was grey in colour and contained many tiny rootlets. It also contained fragments of plastic, which were the remnants of sheet plastic mulching used for a crop of maize planted about three years ago. The bucket also removed about 0.3m of the light-brown subsoil, which had a high clay content. There were occasional large stones/small boulders. The nature of this subsoil was consistent up the slope.

At the west end of the field, where the topsoil was thinnest, there was evidence for plough marks etched into the subsoil. They were filled with loose grey clay and rootlets and were obviously associated with modern ploughing. Wild potatoes were growing through the barley, indicating that the field had also been ploughed recently for a potato crop. Archaeological features were not revealed during excavation of the trench. Artefacts, apart from 18th-century pottery, were not recovered.