2003:1437 - Mill Lane, Navan, Meath

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Meath Site name: Mill Lane, Navan

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E1751

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

Site type: 19th-century distillery/mill complex

ITM: E 687132m, N 768519m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.659166, -6.681743

In 1783 Messrs Connolly, Clarke and Fay built a large mill on the north bank of the Blackwater. It was closed by 1836 and James Morgan built a large mill and distillery in its place. The mill became a scutch mill and then a furniture factory known as Darker’s. These two buildings are marked (‘Mill and Distillery’) on the first edition of the OS 6-inch map, lying at the east end of Mill Lane.

The developer received planning permission to demolish the distillery building once a survey was carried out. The survey showed that it was greatly altered through its years of operation. It appears to have been completely gutted; all of the internal partitions are of modern timber and plywood. Windows and doors have been blocked up and replaced. No evidence for medieval fabric was observed during the survey.

Three trenches tested the ground on either side of the distillery building. On the south side (i.e. on the riverbank), there was evidence for a great deal of dumping of rubbish in the modern period. The third trench, on the north side, was shorter than intended, due to the presence of an ESB cable along the front of the building. This trench showed evidence for layers of stone introduced in order to raise the ground level. Archaeological material was not observed.