2004:0390 - CONWAL, Donegal

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Donegal Site name: CONWAL

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 04E1473

Author: Melanie McQuade, Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd.

Site type: Burnt mound

Period/Dating: Undetermined

ITM: E 617130m, N 912027m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.955620, -7.732563

A burnt mound and linear drain were identified during monitoring of works associated with the Letterkenny sewerage improvement scheme. The site was located on an east-facing slope of a field to the north of a tributary of the River Swilly. The stratigraphy over most of the field comprised 0.3–0.4m of dark-brown topsoil overlying boulder clay.

The site presented as a deposit of charcoal-stained clay with much burnt stone. The main concentration of burnt material was a maximum of 5m long and 3m wide. The original mound had been disturbed as a result of agricultural activity and only the lower part survived, to a depth of 0.05–0.18m. This overlay fine grey sand with some charcoal. Agricultural activity had resulted in the deposition of burnt material to the east of the main mound. There was no evidence for a hearth associated with the burnt mound and no finds were recovered.

A north-west/south-east drain was uncovered 8m to the east of the burnt mound. It was a maximum of 6.8m long, 1.4m wide and 0.8m deep and was filled with loosely compacted mid-greyish-brown clayey silt, with moderate amounts of charcoal and occasional burnt stone. Sherds of post-medieval pottery (black glazed earthenware and transfer printed ware) and a fragment of clay pipe were recovered from the upper fill. It is likely that the drain was filled during the post-medieval period with material which had been disturbed from the burnt mound. Two other post-medieval drains ran north-east/south-west across the field.

Post-excavation analysis is ongoing and a radiocarbon date has not yet been obtained for this site. Further monitoring is due to be carried out on this project in the near future.

27 Merrion Square, Dublin 2