2004:0121 - LISANISKY, Cavan

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Cavan Site name: LISANISKY

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 04E1198

Author: Finola O'Carroll, Cultural Resource Development Services Ltd, Unit 4, Dundrum Business Park, Dublin 14.

Site type: No archaeological significance

ITM: E 678034m, N 795013m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.898637, -6.812654

Pre-development testing was carried out in advance of the construction of a water treatment plant (part of the Kingscourt Water & Sewerage Scheme). The development is located in the townland of Lisanisky to the south-west of Kingscourt, Co. Cavan. The site lies partially within the zone of archaeological potential around a ringfort and is the location of a pre-existing water treatment plant and reservoir servicing the town of Kingscourt and surrounding region. The proposed development does not impact directly on the monument located outside the southeast boundary of the site. The existing water treatment plant is situated at the top of a small hill (154.98m OD), with a reservoir located to its north. Beyond these buildings the terrain gradually slopes down from south to north to an area of very boggy, marshy ground. This field is bordered by ditches to the north and west and by streams (which appear tohave been canalised) to the south and east. The stream to the east had dried up at some point.

The area tested within the development measured 3072m2. Ten trenches were excavated within this area, although some sections could not be tested due to pre-existing features, including the water treatment plant, reservoir, a sheep dip and a manhole cover. However, a number of additional trenches were excavated within the areas of archaeological potential in order to ensure that 20% of the site was archaeologically investigated.

Testing uncovered deep layers of iron-panned clay, which indicated that this field was either completely submerged in water or at the least a very marshy, waterlogged area. This appeared unusual at first, as the proposed development site is located on high, gradually sloping ground. On further inspection of the surrounding fields, however, it appeared that the fields left fallow were wet and marshy in nature while those intensively farmed (encompassing field drains and possibly some land reclamation) were dry and well drained.

No archaeological features were encountered during testing. The indications were that the area had been waterlogged, and possibly had been an upland pool or lake characteristic of Co. Cavan, whose lakes feed into the existing reservoir on the site. At some time drainage, in the form of the diversion of water into ditches and streams, had occurred. This area may have acted as a water source, with settlement occurring in the surrounding fields.