2003:1785 - MONADREELA (Site 11), Tipperary

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Tipperary Site name: MONADREELA (Site 11)

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0346

Author: Neil O'Flanagan

Site type: Kiln - corn-drying and Enclosure

Period/Dating: Multi-period

ITM: E 609612m, N 641816m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.527626, -7.858341

Site 11 on the N8 Cashel Bypass and N74 Link Road scheme had been tested by Anne Marie Lennon in 2002 (Excavations 2002, No. 1704, 02E0286) and full resolution was recommended. An area of 2717m2 was stripped as part of Phase 2 investigations between Chainages 6620 and 6660, Areas 1 and 2. The site was bisected by a post-medieval bank and ditches that ran from Site 5 to Site 14 in Monadreela. The site resembled Site 9 (No. 1783, Excavations 2003) in having medieval features at its eastern side and possible prehistoric features up-slope at the western side of the Monadreela ridge (500 feet contour).

Area 1
A corn-drying kiln (3.1m long by 1.6m wide and a maximum of 0.85m deep) was identified. It was roughly figure-of-eight-shaped, containing seven fills, the uppermost of which was interpreted as backfill. The narrow eastern end of the kiln had been intensively burned and the basal fills comprised oxidised clay covered by a thin ashy deposit and a subsequent layer of burnt soil. The lower western portion of the kiln was filled with charred cereal seeds/grains and charcoal. The kiln was located c. 10m north-west of the D-shaped enclosure. A small post-hole less than 1m south of the kiln may have been associated with it.

Another isolated stake-hole and a group of five morphologically similar subcircular pits were found at the western side of the site. These features did not form any recognisable pattern or structure and contained no diagnostic artefacts. A number of apparently randomly scattered pits were also identified within 15m of these features, and, other than a single piece of flint debitage and the articulated remains of a possible donkey/small horse, no diagnostic finds were recovered from their fills. A 32m-long south-west/north-east-oriented boundary ditch formed the northern limit of the site; full excavation provided no dating evidence or finds. A post-medieval field drain and numerous cultivation furrows were also identified.

Area 2
The eastern half of Site 11 consisted of two post-medieval boundary ditches and a D-shaped enclosure. The enclosure (measuring 12.5m north-south by 15.9m) was located at the southern corner of a level platform (measuring roughly 20m by 20m) at the base of the Monadreela ridge. The enclosing ditch varied in diameter from 2.45m to 1.5m and was a maximum of 0.42m deep. The basal deposit contained a sherd of green-glazed medieval pottery and a high concentration of charcoal and burnt seeds/grains in the soil matrix. The grain types appear to correspond to those identified from the corn-drying kiln in Area 1.

Four internal post-holes were located at the southern side of the enclosure. A second group of five internal post-holes was identified at its northern side. These formed a rectangular structure, which may have been contemporary with the enclosure. A small hearth was identified within this structure. Two subcircular post-holes were also excavated within the enclosure. These were 2.5m apart but with no association between them or the other internal features ascertained. The D-shaped enclosure and corn-dryer may provide evidence of external associated activity with the nearby medieval enclosure on Sites 8 and 9 (Nos 1781–2, Excavations 2003) to the north.

Closely associated with the enclosure ditch, another shallow-cut linear feature was excavated; its northern side was truncated by a post-medieval ditch and its southern side appeared to extend into adjacent Site 12.

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