2003:1597 - Mercy Convent, Convent Road, Roscommon, Roscommon

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Roscommon Site name: Mercy Convent, Convent Road, Roscommon

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0741

Author: E. Eoin Sullivan, for Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd, 2 Killiney View, Albert Road Lower, Glenageary, Co. Dublin.

Site type: No archaeological significance

ITM: E 586854m, N 764221m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.627629, -8.198739

The site was tested in advance of proposed development. It consists of the southern portion of two fields to the rear of the Mercy Convent, partially within the zone of archaeological potential for Roscommon. An enclosure (SMR 39:54) is shown on the OS map in a field adjacent to the site of the proposed development. The site backs onto the present Roscommon railway line.

The Mercy Convent was opened in Roscommon in the mid-19th century and the order has been involved in children’s education since the mid-1840s. The small convent graveyard is outside the limits of the proposed development and served the members of the community. The earliest burial visible in the graveyard dates to 1860.

Five test-trenches were excavated immediately to the rear of the convent, within the convent garden. They ranged from 25 to 35m in length and consisted of a thick topsoil which overlay a sandy light-brown soil which produced occasional sherds of 18th/19th-century ceramics. A small raised mound at the centre of the garden was tested and was found to be a man-made garden feature associated with a base for a statue.

The second field was located to the west and separated from the garden by a 1.8m-high stone garden wall lined with mature deciduous trees. The field was tested on the basis of five trenches which ran across its length. Trench 6, located parallel to the exterior of the western boundary of the convent graveyard, revealed a man-made surface associated with recent agricultural practices. Three of the trenches produced occasional sherds of 18th/19th-century ceramics. Trench 10, nearest to and parallel with the modern railway line, revealed a sizeable dump of 20th-century ceramic plates and vessels, probably associated with the activities of the workers involved in the construction of the railway line.

No features of archaeological significance were encountered during the testing of the site.