2004:0262 - BALLYORAN BOG, FERMOY, Cork

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Cork Site name: BALLYORAN BOG, FERMOY

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 04E1014 ext.

Author: John Tierney, Eachtra Archaeological Projects, Ballycurreen Industrial Estate, Kinsale Road, Cork.

Site type: Potential brushwood trackway or platform

ITM: E 581359m, N 595909m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.114753, -8.272169

Monitoring of works took place within previously untested or unresolved locations along the route of the new N8 Rathcormac/Fermoy bypass, between June 2004 and January 2005. These works occurred both within and outside of the extents of the CPO and were initially monitored by Laurence Dunne under licence 04E0948 (see No. 256 above). However, with the introduction of the National Monuments (Amendment) Act in the summer of 2004, the remaining archaeological investigations within the road-take took place under ministerial direction. In the course of monitoring within the CPO, the remains of a truncated brushwood trackway, or possible platform, were discovered in an exposed section-face within Ballyoran Bog. The feature occurred c. 1.5m below the bog surface and directly above the grey clay underlying the peat. The exposure consisted of the ends of brushwood rods and roundwoods that had been cut through by machine.

On removal of the overlying peat, fragmentary brushwoods spanning an area c. 7m north-northeast/south-south-west by 2.2m were revealed. The feature comprised three predominant layers. Layer 1, the uppermost, consisted of a deposit of disintegrated brushwoods with occasional, loosely organised hazel rods occurring along its southern extents. This layer measured 0.05m in average depth. It was defined to the south by a curvilinear alignment of brushwoods. One damaged plank, measuring 1.3m in length and 0.36m in diameter, occurred on this upper surface, to the south-east, where it assumed an east-northeast/west-south-west orientation. A disorganised concentration of short split timbers also occurred midway along the length of this layer. Layer 2, underlying the brushwood deposit, contained more discernible timbers. The southern half of this layer comprised irregular brushwood, branches and thicker roundwood stems placed in a loosely organised manner, spanning a subrectangular area measuring 3m north-south by 2m. The southern and south-eastern extents of this layer, as with Layer 1, were defined by a single alignment of roundwoods and some brushwoods, averaging 0.05m in diameter. The western extents of Layer 2, as with Layer 1, were truncated by machine. Rods and brushwoods were encountered along the western extents of this layer. These were more definitely aligned in an east-northeast/west-south-west orientation, with their southwestern ends truncated by the machine. It can be postulated that these timbers were part of a structure which occurred to the west of the baulk and was destroyed by machine. On removal of Layer 2, a third layer of timbers was exposed immediately below. Layer 3 comprised a loosely organised, northwest/south-east-orientated concentration of decayed branches, averaging 0.6m in diameter, and a fragmented plank, which would originally have measured over 1.2m in length and over 0.2m in width. This layer directly overlay greenish-yellow clay and measured 2.6m north-west/south-east by 1.2m.

The closest archaeological site to this location, uncovered during testing, is a fulacht fiadh, excavated by Bruce Sutton (No. 264 below, 04E1014). The excavated portion of the brushwood site occurs approximately 390m south of the fulacht fiadh and 25m to the north-east of the former course of the Shanowennadrimina Stream.