2004:0626 - THE OLD MILL, WESTOWN, NAUL, Dublin

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Dublin Site name: THE OLD MILL, WESTOWN, NAUL

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 04E1261

Author: Robert O'Hara

Site type: Post-medieval

ITM: E 713057m, N 761115m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.587700, -6.292370

Development requiring the extension, renovation and conversion of an 18th-century flour mill (protected structure), with associated stables and stores, is to be carried out at the Old Mill, Naul. The site lies partially within the zone of archaeological potential around Naul and may have been the location of an earlier bridge and mill, such as those depicted on the Down Survey map of 1656. The current mill was constructed between 1718 and 1722, ceasing operations some time between 1869 and 1906, and was roofless by 1934 when Oliver St John Gogarty described the building in a poem entitled 'The Mill at Naul'.

Much of the site has been disturbed by previous construction, landscaping or dumping, particularly the western portion, where only a small area was available for testing due to significant areas of dumped material or made-up ground. This portion of the site will become the car parking area, which will necessitate further build-up of the existing ground level. The only feature of note in this area, according to OS maps, was the mill-race, which was at an elevated position to the rear of the main mill building and will not be impacted upon by development.

Eight test-trenches were mechanically excavated within the site. Stratigraphy in all cases was topsoil/overburden over natural subsoil. No archaeological features were present in any of the trenches and no finds were noted in excavated topsoil deposits. A neatly constructed stone drain was noted in one trench, extending from the main mill building towards the stores/tailrace. This drain was uncovered for a distance of 5m. It was 0.8m wide, with a 0.4m-wide trough. It was constructed of limestone blocks (two to four courses high), with limestone cobbles forming the base. The drain was uncapped and contained no datable material. It had filled with topsoil and building debris and contained a thin deposit of grit at its base.

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