2003:1602 - ROSCOMMON CASTLE, Roscommon, Roscommon

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Roscommon Site name: ROSCOMMON CASTLE, Roscommon

Sites and Monuments Record No.: RO039-043001 Licence number: 02E1472 ext.

Author: Donald Murphy, Archaeological Consultancy Services Ltd.

Site type: Castle - Anglo-Norman masonry castle

Period/Dating: Medieval (AD 400-AD 1600)

ITM: E 587233m, N 765090m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.635452, -8.193043

Monitoring of continuing landscaping at the west side of Roscommon Castle was carried out on 9 and 10 July 2003 on behalf of Roscommon County Council, in response to a request from the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, under an extension to a previous licence issued for an assessment of the site (Excavations 2002, No. 1626).

A small gravelled area abutting the south-west tower was exposed during the landscaping. A mixed deposit of topsoil and rubble was removed to expose an arrangement of kerbstones, regularly coursed angular blocks, which extended from the tower for a distance of c. 1m and was c. 5m in length. It survived to a maximum height of 0.3m (two courses). Immediately west of this kerbing was a layer of cobbles extending over an area of 7m by 2m. The cobbles were typically rounded with average measurements of 75mm by 50mm. They appeared to have been laid on yellow-brown silty sand with occasional pebbles and some possible mortar. Immediately north of these features, a number of pit-like features were excavated through the overburden deposits. They contained grey sandy gravel deposits with small angular stones. They measured up to 1m by 2m and are considered to be modern disturbance.

As part of the same project, the location of the moat as determined by the previous assessment was indicated by mechanically excavating a small portion of the backfilled ditches, grading the trenches to give a more natural appearance. The moat is also to be re-seeded. No archaeological finds were recovered from the excavated deposits, although modern materials were noted, including glass, coins, aluminium packaging, discharged ammunition and some iron nails.

Unit 21, Boyne Business Park, Greenhills, Drogheda, Co. Louth