2004:0102 - THE RECTORY, BELTURBET, Cavan

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Cavan Site name: THE RECTORY, BELTURBET

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 11:13 Licence number: 04E1339

Author: Brian Halpin, National Archaeological Services, Ard Solas, Lacken, Co. Wicklow.

Site type: Post-medieval

ITM: E 636064m, N 816959m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.100445, -7.448617

Testing was carried out over the course of two days on the site of an 18th-century Church of Ireland rectory and its adjoining property at The Rectory, Belturbet. The development is located within the zone of archaeological potential of Belturbet and is also 125m east of a motte and bailey situated on a natural island, known as Turbet Island, within the River Erne.

Nine trenches were inserted by means of a tracked machine with a 1.8m-wide toothless bucket. Several features of a post-medieval and early modern date were exposed. All of these, on the basis of the pottery, ceramic and glass material they contained, have a contemporary or later date to the construction of the rectory (AD 1754). The majority of the features exposed were stone-filled linear field drains, all of which produced red-brick fragments and most of which also contained 18th-century coarse earthenware fragments and 18th- and 19th-century glazed pottery fragments. A stone-built culvert was exposed; this ran in an east-west direction from the rectory downslope towards the river. The culvert contained fragments of red brick and 18th-19th-century glazed pottery. In several areas construction rubble was found adjacent to upstanding remains. This rubble also contained 18th- and 19th-century potsherds and red-brick fragments. One trench contained two pits cut into the glacial clay subsoil, which upon examination were found to contain early modern glass sherds, a portion of a clay pipe and red-brick-fragments.

Despite the location of the site, which overlooks a natural fording point of the river Erne, it would appear that no archaeological monuments are present within the greater part of the proposed development site. It appears that there was significant disturbance along the riverfront area of the site in recent times. This is believed to have been the result of dredging of the River Erne and the deposition of waste on the northern bank of the river adjacent to the proposed development site.