2003:1973 - Heathstown, Westmeath

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Westmeath Site name: Heathstown

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E1694

Author: Avril Hayes, Aegis Archaeology Ltd, 16 Avondale Court, Corbally, Limerick.

Site type: Fulachta fiadh

ITM: E 652778m, N 749473m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.492621, -7.204653

This site was identified during centre-line testing by Frank Coyne of the N4 road improvements from McNead’s Bridge to Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath (No. 1984 below, 03E1469). It consisted of two roughly circular deposits of burnt-mound material. Fulacht A was located 10m west of Fulacht B. Both sites had evidence of timber-lined troughs under the burnt-mound material. Fulacht A was c. 10m in diameter. Two distinct irregular cuts were noted upon excavation of the burnt-mound material. One was roughly circular and contained two fills. A number of timbers were recovered from the lower fill. The second cut contained three fills. Two fragments of animal bone and tooth were recovered from this feature. Both these features were interpreted as the disturbed remains of troughs.

Fulacht B was c. 9m in diameter. An oval-shaped burnt stone and timber fill was noted under the central area of the burnt-mound material. A thin, curved fragment of timber lined the east side of the fill. Twelve stake-holes were evident lining the basal edge of the cut. The timber remains of most of the stakes survived in decayed form below ground. It seems that they probably functioned as uprights supporting a timber lining around the edge of the trough. The trough was cut into the surrounding natural clay.