2003:1416 - NINCH, Laytown, Meath

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Meath Site name: NINCH, Laytown

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 28:25 Licence number: 01E0723

Author: John O'Connor, Archaeological Development Services Ltd.

Site type: Field boundary

Period/Dating: Multi-period

ITM: E 716437m, N 771543m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.680630, -6.237450

Monitoring of services associated with Phase 3b of a housing development at Ninch, Laytown, Co. Meath, was carried out from 16 December 2002 to 6 January 2003. The development is being constructed in a number of phases on a large site located between the Dublin–Belfast railway line and the Irish Sea. Testing carried out by James Eogan and Martin Reid between April and September 2000 resulted in a recommendation that all groundworks associated with the development should be monitored (Excavations 2000, No. 760, 98E0501 ext.).

Topsoil was stripped using a machine fitted with a toothless grading bucket. The stratigraphy of the site has been uniform across the area. Topsoil consists of loose, mid-brown clayey silt. The depth of topsoil removed has varied from c. 0.3 to 0.65m. The topsoil directly overlay the glacially derived subsoil, which varied from an orange/brown clay with moderate stone inclusions to yellow sandy clay and areas of gravel.

In all, some nineteen linear features were uncovered, some of which may be modern field drains but others may turn out to be of archaeological significance. Three areas of spreads of dark silty clay were also revealed. Two oblong features were uncovered in the eastern portion of the site, along with a spread of stones. Fragments of animal bone and evidence of charcoal were also discovered. Further investigations of these features are due to be carried out as a separate excavation. Some or all of these features may be associated with the large complex located to the east of Phase 3. However, it is also possible that some of the features may be the result of modern field clearance events or related to recent farming activity in the field.