2004:0043 - DRUMFIN, Antrim

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Antrim Site name: DRUMFIN

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: AE/04/23

Author: Norman Crothers, Archaeological Development Services Ltd.

Site type: Ringfort - rath and Souterrain

Period/Dating: Early Medieval (AD 400-AD 1099)

ITM: E 708618m, N 909768m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.923807, -6.305501

This field was advance stripped ahead of the North-West Gas Pipeline to investigate features uncovered during trial-trenching and to determine the limits of archaeology. A curvilinear feature exposed in the trial-trench proved to be part of the ditch of a ploughed-out rath. Approximately half of the circuit of the ditch was exposed within the working width. The U-shaped ditch, measuring 3.8m wide by 1m deep on the upslope (east) side and 3.5m wide by 0.94m deep on the downslope (west) side, enclosed a fairly level interior some 30m in diameter. There was no evidence for an entrance causeway within the excavated area. Approximately half of a circular wall slot and several other truncated features, all cut into subsoil, were revealed in the level interior.

A souterrain had been constructed on the western edge of the rath and was probably covered by the rath bank. The U-shaped exposed portion consisted of a stone-lined passage and end chamber with a combined length of 4m. The exposed portion of the passage measured 2m long by 1.8m wide and survived to a maximum height of 0.62m on its west side and 0.9m on its east side. The end chamber was separated from the rest of the souterrain by a short transverse wall, 1.35m long and 0.86m in maximum height, butted on to the east wall. Access to the end chamber was through a 0.4m-wide gap between the west end of the transverse wall and the west side wall of the chamber. A short wall, 0.95m high, had been constructed in front of, and directly in contact with, the east wall of the souterrain, running from the transverse wall to the south-east corner. This end chamber measured 1.5m long by 1.2m wide and survived to a maximum height of 0.9m on its west side and 1.1m on its east side. Four large posts had been incorporated into the souterrain walls, one in the south-east corner, one in the south-west corner and one in either side wall. Three of the posts had been placed in post-holes cut into the subsoil and a fourth post had been built into the wall.

Unit 48, Westlink Enterprise Centre, Distillery Street, Belfast BT12 5BJ