2003:1958 - Ballynacor 001, Westmeath

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Westmeath Site name: Ballynacor 001

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E1156

Author: Robert O'Hara, Archaeological Consultancy Services Ltd, Unit 21, Boyne Business Park, Greenhills, Drogheda, Co. Louth.

Site type: No archaeological significance

ITM: E 657365m, N 760157m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.588140, -7.133578

An assessment was carried out at the site of a proposed road realignment development between Mullingar and Delvin, Co. Westmeath. The Down Survey makes reference to the rivers of the townland possessing eels and pikes and to a ruinous castle and a bridge at Ballynacor (SMR 13:63). The original bridge over the River Deel was finished in 1585 by Dame Ismay Nugent and her successive husbands, Thomas Casey of Athboy and Sir John Bellew of Duleek. A 16th-century stone plaque known as the Delvin Stone, with a Latin inscription detailing their endeavours, was recovered from the bridge after its destruction in 1922 and was incorporated into the present structure. The bridge was reputedly the site of a battle during the Confederate wars of the 1640s. Several bodies are alleged to have been recorded found in the environs of the bridge, along with uniform buttons. The remains are believed to be of those who perished in the battle.

A single trench measuring 30m by 2.5m and aligned north-east/south-west was excavated parallel to the N52 north-east of Ballynacor Bridge. Blue clay subsoil was encountered at depths of up to 1.5m, above which was a mixed deposit of topsoil and reclaimed land. No archaeological finds or features were encountered in the trench. The area had been an amenity area until recent site deterioration and the remains of concrete picnic areas were located to the east.