2003:2076 - Site D, Charlesland, Wicklow

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Wicklow Site name: Site D, Charlesland

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0146

Author: Bernice Molloy, Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd, 2 Killiney View, Albert Road Lower, Glenageary, Co. Dublin.

Site type: Prehistoric settlement

ITM: E 729199m, N 710156m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.126276, -6.069514

This site was found during monitoring of topsoil-stripping in advance of the construction of a dual carriageway from the R671 to Greystones. The road is part of a larger residential and industrial scheme planned for the area. Excavation of the site took place between 3 February and 18 April 2003. The overall area of excavation measured 165m (east-west) by 135m.

Site D was located at the summit of an east-facing slope with extensive views eastwards to the Irish Sea. Two Bronze Age structures with an eastern enclosing ditch were excavated.

Structure I measured c. 10m in diameter. A total of 40 possible post-holes and other structural cuts formed a roughly circular arrangement of features. There is evidence to suggest that this structure comprised a double ring of posts, with earlier, possibly unrelated, features pre-dating this phase. Cremation deposits were located in some of the post-holes, as well as sherds of Bronze Age pottery. These may have been placed as a token deposit during the construction of the roundhouse.

Structure II was located to the south-west of Structure I. A single row of posts enclosed an area measuring 10m in diameter. The north-eastern extent of the structure was truncated by a series of pits and post-holes.

Three linear ditches were located at the eastern extent of the site, forming a probable enclosure of c. 13m with an east-facing entrance. A large number of features were excavated around, including pits, post-holes, hearths and a possible metalled surface. Artefacts retrieved included a fragment of bronze, Early Neolithic pottery, Bronze Age pottery and six saddle querns.

Two kilns were also excavated. A rotary quernstone was found in the larger kiln, indicating a later date for these features.