2003:1418 - Ninch, Laytown, Meath

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Meath Site name: Ninch, Laytown

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E1820

Author: Donald Murphy, Archaeological Consultancy Services Ltd, Unit 21, Boyne Business Park, Greenhills, Drogheda, Co. Louth.

Site type: No archaeological significance

ITM: E 715674m, N 771943m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.684392, -6.248842

Monitoring was carried out on Phase 4 of a residential development at Inse Bay, Laytown, Co. Meath. The site is within an area of high archaeological potential; substantial archaeological deposits were uncovered and excavated by Eoin Halpin, James Eogan and Martin Reid during Phases 1-3 (Excavations 1999, Nos 695 and 705, 98E0501; Excavations 2000, No. 760). These included a fulacht fiadh, a large ring-ditch, an extensive multi-phase settlement including prehistoric pits and hearths, three pre-7th-century circular enclosures, a 7th-century burial ground, an 8th-10th-century settlement site with house slots, a souterrain and cobbled pathways, three 10th-12th-century subrectangular enclosures, a 13th-century circular enclosure and an early medieval souterrain, kilns and industrial area.

Previous testing of Phase 4 of the development by Eoin Halpin indicated that the archaeological activity associated with Phase 2 extended into the southern portion of Phase 4. This area of activity will be preserved below green space within the development, as already agreed with the Heritage Service. This testing indicated that the northern portion of Phase 4 had low archaeological potential but may nevertheless include pockets of archaeology.

The entire area to be developed was stripped of topsoil over a two-week period from 17 November to 1 December 2003. No features of archaeological significance were exposed. The area stripped was located just off the ridge on which the multi-phase settlement site was exposed. A large quantity of land drains, all modern in date, were uncovered cut into the natural marl and boulder clay. This suggests that this area was extremely waterlogged in the past and may account for the notable absence of any archaeological deposits.