2003:1546 - Friarshill, Ballaghaderreen, Roscommon

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Roscommon Site name: Friarshill, Ballaghaderreen

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0771

Author: Martin A. Timoney, Bóthar an Chorainn, Keash, Co. Sligo.

Site type: Well

ITM: E 561144m, N 794521m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.898629, -8.591216

The site for 23 houses and works in Friarshill, to the west of Ballaghaderreen, was tested over a two-day period. It was the former grounds of the Sisters of Charity convent, which was completed about 1877. Their Industrial School was opened in 1886 and a shirt factory in 1890. This was closed about 1971 and demolished about 1995. The Mercy Order came here in 1971.

Seven trenches tested this development, totalling over 900m2. The ground in Trenches 1 and 2 in the grass field was sterile. Trenches 3 and 4 in the walled garden had many long-abandoned paths and surface drains and water soon flowed in after the trenches were opened. Trenches 5 and 6 were across the foundations and redundant pipes of the Industrial School buildings. The undisturbed ground here was at a depth of 1.2m. Close to the north end, an opening with a red-brick roof and limestone sides was partly exposed. The former caretaker, John Hanley, told me it was one of two wells. In Trench 7, large quantities of rubbish, metal, glass, crockery and textiles were encountered. Under this was a 0.1m-thick layer of white lime, about 4m across, perhaps from the building of the convent.

Besides the two wells, which may be of some architectural merit, no archaeology was revealed in the site testing.