2004:0608 - BLOCK 7, BELARMINE, KILGOBBIN, Dublin

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Dublin Site name: BLOCK 7, BELARMINE, KILGOBBIN

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 22:69 Licence number: 04E0566

Author: Emer Dennehy, Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd, 27 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

Site type: Early Neolithic and medieval

ITM: E 718859m, N 724461m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.257176, -6.218606

Excavations at 'Block 7' in the Belarmine development in Kilgobbin townland took place over a three-week period in April/May 2004. Previous excavations in Belarmine by Ines Hagen and Abi Cryerhall had identified intense occupation of this immediate area from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. Cartographic and literary sources illustrate the importance of Kilgobbin village in the medieval period, it being a frontier village of the Pale. Kilgobbin was also a well-occupied area in the early medieval period. However, the enclosure (SMR 22:69) listed on the RMP to the north of Block 7 is believed to be a tree ring rather than a habitation site (Reid, 97E0467).

Block 7 is a large L-shaped site measuring 105m east-west by 45m and is scheduled for development as an apartment block. A total of 25 features were identified within this area, concentrating towards the western end of the site. Only one definitively prehistoric feature has been identified, a small subcircular pit containing three sherds of late Bronze Age, coarse, flat-bottomed domestic pottery (Eoin Grogan, forthcoming). Similar pottery to this has been identified by Hagen in her excavations at Belarmine. The remaining features on site were predominantly early and mid-medieval in date, consisting of a keyhole-shaped kiln (1.98m east-west by 1.14m by 0.22m) and a variety of pits used for smelting, cooking and the deposition of rubbish. The latter pit contained quantities of Leinster cooking ware and Dublin-type ware. The northern limits of the site were defined by two parallel shallow ditches, C.61 and C.69, with maximum dimensions of 38.3m east-west by 0.9m and an average depth of 0.4m. These ditches contained two fills, analysis of which indicated they were accompanied by a parallel bank that was used to deliberately backfill the features on cessation of use. As with the pits, the fills of the ditch predominantly contained Leinster cooking ware and Dublin-type coarseware, indicating a time frame of use from the late 12th to mid-14th century. Both ditches also contained sherds of Early Neolithic carinated bowls, representing the remains of at least three vessels from 4000-3600 BC. The sherds were fragmentary and abraded and although in a 'secondary position it probably represents outlying activity within the wider domestic landscape of Kilgobbin' (Grogan, op. cit.).

Reference
Grogan, E. 2004 The prehistoric pottery assemblage from 'Belarmine', Kilgobbin, Co. Dublin. Unpublished report for Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd.