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, 27 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

Site type: Burnt mound


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.