2003:1838 - Site 38, Windmill/Deerpark, Tipperary

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Tipperary Site name: Site 38, Windmill/Deerpark

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0760

Author: Neil O'Flanagan, 3 Manor Street, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7.

Site type: Multi-period

ITM: E 606714m, N 639292m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.504979, -7.901106

Site 38 was excavated in June/July 2003 in advance of construction of the N8 Cashel Bypass and N74 Link Road. It was divided into two separate portions on either side of the summit of the hill. Site 38 (2) faced northwards and was situated in Deerpark townland, whereas Site 38 (1) faced southwards and lay within Windmill townland.

SITE 38 (1), Windmill
The excavation of Site 38 (2) yielded three linear ditches, two modern field boundaries, an 18th-century limekiln, a rectangular structure and a number of isolated pits, one of which contained c. twenty fragments of Bronze Age pottery.

The ditches shared similar alignments, although one appeared to be a medieval ditch, similar to others recovered in other sites along the route. The limekiln was substantial and well made and appears to date to the 18th century. The cut for the kiln measured 7.5m long, 3.2m wide and 1.2-1.7m deep. Structurally, the cut had been excavated through the natural bedrock, appearing c. 0.5m below the subsoil, which had then been dressed to form the sides of the kiln. The bowl of the kiln was conical in shape and made up of dressed limestone blocks, measuring c. 0.3m by 0.3m by 0.5m, with the opening at the base made of three reused limestone masonry blocks, possibly from Hore Abbey. The kiln may be associated with the construction of nearby Deerpark House in the 18th century.

The nearby rectangular structure measured c. 10m by 8m and was made up of a series of post-holes, stake-holes and shallow gullies, most of which contained charcoal-rich fills. Only two walls, one to the south and another to the west, were remaining. Evidence for the north wall is in the form of staining of the natural ground, possibly due to decomposed wattle-and-daub seen along the line of the gullies. To the east, several shallow features may have formed the remains of the eastern wall. No finds were recovered from any of the features associated with the structure and no date can be given for it at present.

Positive evidence for prehistoric activity came from an isolated pit truncated by one of the north-south-orientated ditches. Within the fills, c. twenty sherds of Bronze Age pottery were recovered.

SITE 38 (1), Windmill
The area comprised a rectangular site on the brow of a hill facing south. The natural surface was made up of stony limestone boulders with irregular surfaces and little soil. Despite the paucity of soil, the excavation of the site exposed several post-holes, pits and the phenomenon of a subsided fill of a tree bole being later used as a hearth, and then further disturbed by animal burrowing. Several iron fragments were recovered from one of the pits.