2004:0491 - CORKE GREAT, Dublin

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Dublin Site name: CORKE GREAT

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 26:124 Licence number: 04E0354

Author: Martin E. Byrne, Byrne Mullins & Associates, 7 Cnoc na GrŽine Square, Kilcullen, Co. Kildare.

Site type: Possible linear earthwork

ITM: E 715826m, N 734698m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.349805, -6.260310

Testing was undertaken across the line of a possible linear earthwork which runs through the lands of the present Bray Golf Links. The feature consists of a low bank (max. dimensions c. 3.5m wide by c. 0.3m high), which is barely discernible in places and is more readily identified by a line of relatively mature trees which grow along its length. The OS 6-inch map of 1840 indicates that the feature was part of a network of footpaths leading west from the adjacent former Ravenswell House (now the Sisters of Charity Convent) to the sea, and indicated as 'footpath on top of bank'. In addition, part of the feature marks the line of the present county boundary between Dublin and Wicklow, although this is of late 19th-century date, having previously been located along the River Dargle to the south of the site.

Two trenches were excavated across the feature. No evidence for a fosse or construction material, other than topsoil, associated with the bank was revealed. Pottery sherds and a fragment of glass, of late 18th- or 19th-century date, were recovered from the interface between topsoil and subsoil. A section of the bank was previously investigated by Margaret Gowen (Excavations 2002, No. 1960, 02E1717).

Given the cartographic evidence, coupled with the results of the testing, it is suggested that the feature is of late 18th- or early 19th-century date and is a landscape feature associated with the former Ravenswell House. Furthermore, it is also likely that the feature was much higher and narrower and may have originally served as a field boundary, which was subsequently almost fully levelled. This would explain why it is located along the line of a townland boundary, which was subsequently used as a county boundary.