2004:0245 - CORK: Springfort, Montenotte, Cork

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Cork Site name: CORK: Springfort, Montenotte

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 04E0169

Author: Margaret McCarthy, Archaeological Services Unit, Department of Archaeology, University College Cork

Site type: Graveyard

Period/Dating: Modern (AD 1750-AD 2000)

ITM: E 569581m, N 572894m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 51.907364, -8.442081

Pre-development testing was carried out within a deconsecrated graveyard at Springfort, Montenotte, as part of a planning application for the proposed extension to the Cope Foundation. The property was originally owned by the Little Sisters of the Poor and a small section of the development extended into the former nuns' graveyard. This was located to the north-east of the convent and it is depicted as a rectangular enclosure and marked 'burial ground' in the third edition of the OS map. The order left Cork in 1986 and those members of the community that were buried in the graveyard in Montenotte were exhumed and reinterred in a sister convent in Manor Hill, Waterford city. A total of 52 burials were exhumed by O'Connor's Funeral Directors in Cork and reinternment in Waterford was carried out under the direction of Thompson's Funeral Homes. The headstones were also removed and re-erected over the new graves in Manor Hill convent. In order to ensure that no skeletal remains had been overlooked during the exhumation of the burials in 1986, Cork City Council Planning Department requested that a test excavation be undertaken in the area of the graveyard prior to development.

The former burial ground covered an area 25m by 8m and at the time of the test excavation was enclosed by three stone walls on the south, east and west sides. The south-east corner of the walled garden formed the northern boundary to the graveyard. Access was through a collapsed gateway at the western side of the graveyard. The walls and railings were in a very poor state of repair at the time of the excavation and they were scheduled for demolition as part of the development. In all, three test-trenches were opened, two on a north-south alignment at the east and west ends of the graveyard and a third on an east-west alignment along the southern area of the graveyard to incorporate the foundation lines of the new buildings. The trenches were excavated to a level below the natural boulder clay and, with the exception of uncovering recently backfilled grave-cuts, no skeletal remains or other features of archaeological significance were noted.