2003:1566 - CLOONEYBEIRNE, Roscommon

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Roscommon Site name: CLOONEYBEIRNE

Sites and Monuments Record No.: RO039-094---- Licence number: 03E1168

Author: Leo Morahan

Site type: Fulacht fia

Period/Dating: Undetermined

ITM: E 588335m, N 765209m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.636547, -8.176385

This poorly defined fulacht fiadh was discovered during pre-development testing at the site (No. 1565, Excavations 2003, 03E0509). It lay at the north edge of a damp marshy area which sloped from 0.6 to 0.9m down to the south and which originally formed a lake which has white marl at its base.

The burnt-stone spread measured 13m north-south by 9m, with the depressed cooking area facing the low-lying damp area to the south. A substantial hole for burying household refuse was dug into the south part of the site some 35 years ago, causing considerable damage. Subsequent to this, an ash tree grew close to this hollow, and both these factors resulted in a considerable cavity at this part of the site.

The cooking pit area was roughly subcircular in outline with an overall diameter of 2.5m; it was cut into the yellow daub. A heavily burnt stony area above the pit area may have represented the last hearth at the site. A very dense area of blackened earth and ash, together with heat-shattered stone, formed the primary composition of the site throughout. This had a maximum thickness of 0.4m. There were no features or artefacts evident from within the burnt-mound spread.

The trough fill consisted mainly of burnt sandstone and ash fill, with flecks of charcoal staining through it. Near the base of the trough some substantial pieces of charcoal were retrieved, which will provide dating for the site. At the base of the trough a narrow film of fine grey sandy gravel resulted from the sandstone grains being washed down. Some larger stones were lying at the base of the trough area and some of these were partly embedded in the pale yellow daub. The trough depression varied from 0.4m deep along the south to 0.65m along the northern half.

52 Phoenix Court, Ennis, Co. Clare