2004:0342 - STAGPARK, Cork

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Cork Site name: STAGPARK

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 04E1121 A012/002

Author: Bruce Sutton, Eachtra Archaeological Projects, Ballycurreen Industrial Estate, Kinsale Road, Cork.

Site type: Fulacht fiadh and corn-drying kiln

ITM: E 580018m, N 612167m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.260847, -8.292715

Archaeological works were undertaken on behalf of Cork County Council along the route of the N8 Mitchelstown relief road, which involves the construction of 4.5km of the N8 from Cloonlough, south of Mitchelstown, to the junction of the R513 and the N8, north of Mitchelstown. In the course of testing, a fulacht fiadh and a corn-drying kiln were recorded in Stagpark. Licence 04E1121 was initially granted to excavate the site in Stagpark. However, with the introduction of the National Monuments (Amendment) Act in the summer of 2004, the remaining investigations took place under ministerial direction. The excavation of the fulacht fiadh was designated the works number A012/002. The excavation was undertaken in three separate areas.

Area A was located on the northern slope of a shallow hill and measured 25m by 24m, with a number of modern furrows truncating it. A small burnt spread measuring 5.5m by 3m by 0.1m deep was located in the eastern half of the site, with a small number of shallow irregular features located in the west. Upon excavation of the burnt spread a rectangular trough was uncovered, measuring 2m by 1.3m by 0.55m deep. Post- and stake-holes were in the four corners of the trough and two pits of similar size and shape were located to either side. The size of the trough would indicate that the burnt spread was, at some time, much more substantial than at present and has since been disturbed, presumably by agricultural activity.

Area B was in a low-lying area at the base of a shallow hill to the north of the fulacht fiadh. The area measured 11m by 8m. A field boundary ditch was recorded on the western edge of the area. A number of shallow features were excavated across the area, although none appeared to be of archaeological significance.

Area C measured 40m by 35m and was situated in a low-lying undulating field with good drainage. A stone-lined corn-drying kiln measuring 3m by 1.6m was excavated. The main body of the kiln measured 1.6m by 1.8m; it was stone lined around the sides and cut in to the natural to a depth of 0.5m. A stone-lined flue extended 1.2m to the north-east, with a depth of 0.38m. Although many of the fourteen fills contained large amounts of charcoal, only the flue exhibited any substantial signs of in situ burning, with a 1m-wide area of heat-affected natural being located at the entrance. A wide shallow area, 2.5m by 1.3m, had been cut into the natural around the entrance to allow access to the kiln. The roof of the kiln had at some stage collapsed in upon itself, with the stones from this collapse lying within the infilled material. This suggests that the black, charcoal-rich materials, which comprised the initially discovered burnt spread, were originally overlying the kiln and had infilled with the collapse of the structure. The kiln itself was centred within a paddock, subrectangular in plan. The entrance was located in the south side and was 2.5m wide. These ditches were agricultural in nature and were part of a larger field system. No artefacts were recovered from the area.