2004:0446 - GRANGE, BALDOYLE, Dublin

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Dublin Site name: GRANGE, BALDOYLE

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 15:63, 15:64 Licence number: 03E1535

Author: Stuart D. Elder, The Archaeology Company, Birr Technology Centre, Mill Island, Birr, Co. Offaly.

Site type: Testing

ITM: E 722288m, N 740384m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.399420, -6.161099

The development site comprises approximately 133 acres on lands bordered by Grange Road to the south, the Hole-in-the-Wall Road to the west, the Dublin-Belfast railway to the east and the Mayne River to the north. The site contained two monuments, cropmarks and the site of Grange Lodge. On foot of an An Bord Plean‡la appeal, planning permission was granted subject to conditions, including the requirement for a pre-development archaeological appraisal. Testing was carried out by Ellen O'Carroll (Excavations 2003, No. 485, 03E1496) at the site of the monuments prior to commencement of the monitoring phase. Subsequent monitoring undertaken by the licensee and a team of six archaeologists began in early October 2003. Following this, an application was made for the extension and alteration of the monitoring licence, in order to carry out comprehensive testing across the entire site area in conjunction with an extended period of monitoring.

The development site comprised eleven fields, numbered according to the system used in the EIS. A method of numbering the archaeological sites was adopted using a 'field number:site number' designation (e.g. Site 6:1 refers to the first site found in Field 6). The site topography is characterised by a mixture of high and low ground, with at least four glacial prominences evident on the topographical survey. Unsurprisingly, it is on the higher and drier land that the majority of the sites were found.

Topsoil-stripping commenced initially in Field 6; this area was found to be archaeologically sterile.

The main thoroughfare was then fully stripped, comprising a 10-12m-wide arterial route through the northern, eastern and southern parts of the site. A small complex of features was discovered on the southerly section of the road (see Site 2:1 below), but nothing else of significance was noted along the remainder of the route.

Following on from this, topsoil-stripping was undertaken in the bulk of Field 6, all of Field 5 and a portion of the north-western corner of Field 4. Six sites were identified during these works, one of which was a complex of features (6:1), whilst the remainder were single-feature sites (4:2, 5:1, 5:2, 6:2, 6:3). The removal of spoil banks from either side of the North Fringe Sewer line resulted in the discovery of another three sites (5:3, 5:4, 6:4).

A programme of testing was initiated towards the middle of November involving the excavation of a series of linear trenches by mechanical excavator, 3m in width and, on average, 25m apart. These were inserted in the fields and portions of fields not already stripped of topsoil. In all, over 70 trenches were excavated, leading to the discovery of ten new sites (3:2, 4:3, 4:4, 5:5, 10:1, 10:2, 10:3, 11:1, 11:2, 11:3). Six of the sites were complexes of three or more features, whilst the remainder were single- or dual-feature sites. After consultation with the Heritage Services, Sites 5:1 and 5:3 were excavated under the monitoring licence, due to the necessity for immediate excavation.