2004:0496 - DARCYTOWN, Dublin

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Dublin Site name: DARCYTOWN

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 04E0680

Author: Frank Ryan, 28 Cabinteely Way, Cabinteely, Dublin 18, for Judith Carroll and Co. Ltd.

Site type: Multi-period

ITM: E 715826m, N 734698m

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

Planning permission was granted for a housing development subject to testing. The site spanned two fields in adjoining townlands. Testing revealed a small number of features in both fields. Monitoring was undertaken by Judith Carroll in April 2004 (No. 495 above, 02E0043) revealing a high density of archaeological activity. A number of features were excavated under the monitoring licence. These were located in the east field of the development site, in Knightswood Park townland. The remaining features within this field were excavated by Judith Carroll (No. 498 below, 04E0741).

Further features were recorded in the west field in the townland of Darcytown. A total of five sites (labelled A-E) were excavated within the north half of the field.

Site A comprised a series of nine post-holes that enclosed an oval area measuring 6m by 4.5m and surrounded a small pit. This site contained evidence of grain processing during the medieval period.

Site B comprised a linear ditch, c. 60m in length by 1m in width and 0.5m in depth, bisecting the field along a north-east/south-west line. A kiln was cut into the north side of the upper ditch fill and was associated with a shallow trench on the south side of the trench, which contained evidence of burning. However, the primary ditch fill contained no datable material and could be considerably earlier than the kiln.

Site C, in the north-east end of the field, consisted of a ring-ditch measuring 10m in diameter and containing evidence of two cremation deposits within the ditch fill.

Site D, a single inhumation provisionally dated to the 4th century AD, was located within the Site C ring-ditch. Immediately south of and overlapping Site C was an Early Christian graveyard containing a further seventeen inhumations.

Site E was a second ring-ditch, measuring 6m in diameter. It was located at a distance of c. 10m south of Site D. Four cremation deposits were found within the ditch fill. To its west was a kiln, while to its north and west were a series of 29 post- and stake-holes and three pits.

The field therefore contained a number of sites belonging to different periods, ranging from the Iron Age, or possibly earlier, to the medieval period. They are directly related to the significant discoveries at the adjacent sites of Knightswood (No. 498 below, 04E0741) and Rosepark excavated by Judith Carroll (Excavations 2001, No. 334, 99E0155 ext.). These strong links with the Rosepark complex add further to the suggestion made in the Rosepark report that this may have been the headquarters of the U’ NŽill kings of north Brega during the first millennium.