2004:0075 - RECTORY CLOSE, LOUGHGALL, Armagh

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Armagh Site name: RECTORY CLOSE, LOUGHGALL

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: AE/04/029

Author: Colin Dunlop, Northern Archaeological Consultancy Ltd, Farset Enterprise Park, 638 Springfield Road, Belfast BT12 7DY.

Site type: 17th/18th-century building?

ITM: E 660628m, N 852191m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.414679, -7.065957

The Banbridge and District Metal Detecting Club were engaged to undertake a survey of the site under the supervision of an archaeologist. This revealed no material of archaeological importance. This was followed by monitored topsoil-stripping, which uncovered a large rectangular feature some 4m wide and 6m long which was north-south-oriented and disappeared under the unexcavated bank at the south-east edge of the site. This feature had octagonal extensions c. 1m long to its eastern and western sides.

The material within this rectangular feature was comprised of dark-brown peaty clay and had two surface finds of late 17th-19th-century pottery (Audrey Gahan, pers. comm.). Although there was no evidence for stone walls or internal features, its form was suggestive of a building. The only map that suggested that a building might have existed within this general area is Rocque’s map of Co. Armagh of 1760. It is a reasonably crude map, which does not allow for exact placement of any structure, but it is possible that this feature may be the footprint of that building. The building does not, however, appear on any earlier maps or on the later first-edition OS map. Further examination of the feature was not possible, as the EHS-appointed case officer had not sanctioned excavation of the feature.

Development was moved a few metres to the west to avoid this feature. This option entailed the cleaning up and defining of the extent of the feature, its dimensions and its exact position within the site. There was no invasive excavation of the archaeological material.