2003:1495 - MONAGHAN: Westenra Arms Hotel, The Diamond, Monaghan

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Monaghan Site name: MONAGHAN: Westenra Arms Hotel, The Diamond

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 9:40 Licence number: 03E0027

Author: David J. O'Connor, CRDS Ltd.

Site type: Town defences and Well

Period/Dating: Multi-period

ITM: E 667178m, N 833817m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.248788, -6.969202

Test excavation took place to the rear of the Westenra Arms Hotel, Monaghan town, in January 2003. It consisted of the excavation by mechanical digger of two trenches. Both trenches revealed a very substantial ditch, ranging between 14 and 20m in width and up to 3m in depth. It is believed to be the northern defensive ditch of the town, as displayed in Blaney's map of c. 1611/13. The ditch is saucer-shaped in profile and appears to have been lined with a white marl, presumably to allow it to retain water when it was flooded by the nearby lake. Historical sources would suggest the ditch was dug in c. 1602–4.

In addition, a 19th-century stone-built well was discovered cut into the fill of the ditch. The well was crudely built and subcircular in plan and contained modern rubble fill up to 2m in depth. A number of finds were recovered from the well, including two sherds of 17th-century pottery and some clay-pipe fragments.

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