2003:1477 - Navangate Street, Trim, Meath

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Meath Site name: Navangate Street, Trim

Sites and Monuments Record No.: 02E1578 Licence number: SMR 36:48

Author: Donal Fallon, CRDS Ltd, Unit 4, Dundrum Business Park, Dundrum, Dublin 14.

Site type: Urban medieval

ITM: E 680434m, N 757122m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.557838, -6.786004

Monitoring of groundworks associated with an extension to Trim Sewerage Scheme took place between February and March 2003. The development took place within the zone of archaeological potential, as identified in the Urban Archaeological Survey, and crossed the projected location of the medieval Navan Gate.

Groundworks took the form of a primary pipe trench, 229m in length, extending east-west under the existing road surface of Navangate Street. The trench commenced at a manhole located c. 40m east of the junction with Haggard Street. Trench dimensions averaged c. 1.5m wide and c. 1.7-2.5m deep. In addition, ten smaller offset trenches were excavated at irregular intervals extending north and south of the primary trench. These trenches measured c. 0.8m deep, c. 0.8m wide and 2-12m in length. The total excavated length of all trenches amounted to 283m. The trenches were excavated by a backhoe JCB equipped with a toothless ditching bucket.

At the western end of the primary trench, two features of potential archaeological significance were exposed. The first consisted of a 10m stretch of metalled surface exposed 19-20m from the start of the trench, c. 0.9m below the existing road surface. The surface consisted of a compact layer of small stone c. 0.05-0.15m deep. The feature extended to north and south beyond the width of the trench and modern service trenches had truncated its eastern and western extent. It lay directly over natural subsoil. The second feature, a shallow organic deposit c. 0.3m deep sealing the surface, was exposed intermittently along the first 30m of the trench.

The exposed surface was excavated by hand, but no finds were recovered. No further features were exposed throughout the remainder of the development. Between 30 and 60m from its western terminus, the primary trench was excavated through pre-existing service trenches, obscuring any pre-existing features. From 60m to its eastern terminus, natural subsoil was exposed consistently at a depth of 0.4m, directly underneath a layer of modern road bedding.

The surface and organic layer are similar to deposits exposed by Clare Mullins in 1999 during monitoring of a previous phase of the same project, at the junction of Navangate Street, High Street and Haggard Street. The stone layer may represent the remains of a medieval street surface (Excavations 1999, No. 720, 99E0142).