2004:0417 - STRAID, Donegal

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Donegal Site name: STRAID

Sites and Monuments Record No.: DG010-041 Licence number: 04E1447

Author: Dominic Delany, Dominic Delany & Associates

Site type: Souterrain

Period/Dating: Early Medieval (AD 400-AD 1099)

ITM: E 636928m, N 946232m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 55.261835, -7.419050

Test excavation was carried out on a proposed residential development site at Straid, Clonmany, Co. Donegal, on 26 October 2004. Although there are no recorded monuments on the site, a souterrain is known to be present. It was discovered some years ago when an opening in the roof of one of the chambers, possibly the original entrance, was uncovered.

The proposed development plan provides for a 25m buffer zone around the monument. However, as it was considered possible that associated archaeological material might exist in the vicinity of the souterrain, a programme of testing was required. The souterrain, which is built into the upper slope of a hillock, was inspected prior to testing. A metal plate covering the existing point of access was removed to permit a preliminary examination of the monument. This chamber is a substantial beehive-shaped structure built of rounded stones and capped with large lintels. There are three further chambers to the south and south-west, each being accessed through a short creepway. The chambers are similarly constructed but vary somewhat in size and shape. The total extent of the souterrain is estimated at c. 10–12m north-west/south-east.

A tracked excavator fitted with a wide toothless bucket was retained to open four trenches (30–90m long) across those parts of the development site lying nearest to the souterrain. Dark-grey/brown silty sand topsoil, averaging 0.3m in thickness, overlay coarse sand and gravel deposits on the high ground and silty sands on the low ground. No archaeological material was discovered during testing, but a series of mitigation measures were recommended.

Unit 3, Howley Court, Oranmore, Co. Galway