2004:0388 - CLOGHAN, Donegal

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Donegal Site name: CLOGHAN

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 68:28 Licence number: 04E0763

Author: Christopher Read, North West Archaeological Services, Cloonfad Cottage, Cloonfad, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim.

Site type: Cashel

ITM: E 604033m, N 899190m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.840556, -7.937222

The site of the proposed development at Kiltyfergal, Cloghan, of three detached houses, access roads and septic tanks/percolation areas is in a small field atop a low hill in a very hilly area close to Ballybofey. The site was overgrown and instruction had been given to remove the growth from the site prior to testing. Unfortunately the sod and a few centimetres of topsoil were also removed during the process. The proposed development site contains the site of a cashel. The Donegal Archaeological Survey (ed.

Brian Lacy, 1983, p. 147) describes the site as a collection of boulders, with the majority of the cashel having been removed 60 years ago.

Testing was carried out in June 2004. Six trenches were excavated by machine across the site, specifically sited to investigate the possible location of the cashel and the portions of the site to be directly affected by the proposed development. The site has been massively disturbed in the past and, to a lesser extent, more recently. A large spread of loose stone was immediately obvious on the site, exposed through the removal of the growth and sod. It measures roughly 15m east-west by 10m and extends north beyond the site obviously under the sod. This spread was intersected by Trench 5. No archaeological features or finds were identified in any of the six trenches. However, a visual examination of the stone spread revealed a portion of a jet/lignite bracelet, located between Trenches 5 and 6. The finding of this artefact confirms the presence of a cashel in the immediate area and also that the spread of stones is likely to be the remains of the cashel walls, clearly dumped in a secondary location some time in the recent past. As none of the trenches identified any cut features or wall foundations that could be associated with the cashel, it is quite possible that the cashel's original location was to the north of the proposed development site.

The results from the testing revealed no evidence of archaeological activity. However, the spread of stones and the fragment of the jet/lignite bracelet may indicate the presence of subsurface archaeological features or finds not revealed by the testing.