2003:2068 - Mill Street, Baltinglass, Wicklow

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Wicklow Site name: Mill Street, Baltinglass

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 27:24 Licence number: 03E1007

Author: Kevin Lohan for Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd, 2 Killiney View, Albert Road, Glenageary, Co. Dublin.

Site type: Post-medieval mill

ITM: E 690031m, N 688936m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.943664, -6.660464

Testing was carried out at a site which has been a mill of various types since as far back as 1760, when it was recorded as a corn mill on Neville’s Actual Survey of Wicklow. The site is currently in use as an animal food mill.

The site measures 149m north-south by 32m. It is bounded to the east by the River Slaney and to the west by Mill Street. Four trenches were excavated, two at the southern end of the site and two in the central portion. These were the only sections of the site available for testing, due to the standing buildings on the site. The trenches in the southern portion uncovered the remains of a 19th-century terrace of cottages shown on the 1908 OS map. These cottages fronted onto Mill Street. The trench also produced a layer of buried topsoil associated with the gardens of these cottages, which sloped down to the Slaney.

The trench in the central portion of the site uncovered the arched culvert of the tailrace. The culvert was constructed of granite side walls and an arch of limestone flagstones laid on edge. The culvert and arch were 5m in width. The ground around the tailrace was heavily disturbed by later activity; however, traces of the original cut for the culvert were present. No pottery was recovered from the fill of the cut, but red-brick fragments present in the fill suggest a post-medieval date.

The final trench, situated in the central portion of the site but to the north-west of the previous trench, uncovered the junction between the millpond, the wheel pit and a portion of the mill house. Also uncovered were the remains of the machinery that controlled the sluice gates between the millpond and the wheel pit. The walls of the millpond and wheel pit were of regularly coursed granite with a concrete and pitch render. The millpond was filled with 20th-century demolition rubble. No dating evidence was recovered from the contexts associated with the construction of these structures.