2004:0513 - BALGRIFFIN PARK, DUBLIN, Dublin

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Dublin Site name: BALGRIFFIN PARK, DUBLIN

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 15:12 Licence number: 04E1371

Author: Gill Mc Loughlin, Irish Archaeological Consultancy Ltd, 8 Dungar Terrace, Dœn Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.

Site type: Ditch, possibly enclosing church site

ITM: E 721725m, N 741525m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.409799, -6.169129

Testing was carried out at Balgriffin, between 27 September and 6 October 2004, in advance of a housing development. Trenches were arranged to investigate anomalies detected during a geophysical survey carried out in May 2003 (licence 03R053). Testing was also carried out in a field that was too overgrown for geophysical survey, most of which lay inside the constraint circle for the site of a church.

No features of archaeological significance were uncovered in the field to the west of the church site. Two areas of archaeological potential were uncovered in the field that mostly occupied the RMP constraint circle. A spread of burnt stone and dark-grey silty clay was uncovered in the south of the field, close to the river. This deposit may be the remains of a burnt mound. Further north in this field, two shallow deposits of grey silty soil containing occasional animal bone and charcoal were noted. Several sherds of medieval pottery were found in this area and an early medieval glass bead was found on the surface of one of the deposits. These deposits were located in areas that were to be left as open spaces, so they were fenced off to be preserved in situ.

In the field to the east of the church site a substantial curving ditch was uncovered. This ditch measured 4.75m wide and more than 1.3m deep and appeared to be enclosing the area to the west (i.e. the site of the church).

Additional testing was requested to establish if there was anything of archaeological significance within the area to the west of the ditch. This was carried out on 1 and 2 December 2004. Two smaller linear ditches uncovered in the additional trenches contained similar fills to the large curving ditch and may have been associated with it. No burials or other features that would confirm the ditch as an enclosing ditch related to the site of the church were uncovered in the area tested. However, it remains likely that this ditch is an enclosing feature related to the church.

The agreed form of mitigation was that the portions of the ditch that would be directly impacted upon were to be excavated. The remainder of the ditch was to be preserved in situ.