2004:0634 - RAHENY: 6 Main Street, Dublin

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Dublin Site name: RAHENY: 6 Main Street

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 04E0967

Author: Goorik Dehaene, for Arch-Tech Ltd.

Site type: Excavation - miscellaneous

Period/Dating: Multi-period

ITM: E 721400m, N 738192m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.379943, -6.175288

Test excavation was undertaken at the site of a proposed single-storey shop/office building at No. 6 Main Street, Raheny, Dublin 5. The site is west of the ruined parish church (SMR 15:82) and c. 20m south of the junction between Main Street and the Howth Road. The site is c. 60m east of the Santry River. The site slopes downward from the rear (west) to the front. It lies within the zone of archaeological potential for Raheny, which comprises a church and graveyard and enclosure. A late 20th-century single-storey building lies to the south of the site and a cut-stone wall bounds it to the north. The site comprises 63m2, measuring c. 5.25m (north-south) by 14m.

Two trenches and a third test-pit were investigated in early July 2004. All trenches were excavated by hand.

Trench 1 was positioned to investigate the southern portion of the proposed southern wall of the development. It measured 5m by 1m and was excavated to a maximum depth of 1.25m. The trench was abandoned at this depth for safety reasons. The western 1.5m of the trench was also abandoned so as not to disturb a foul-water pipe. Several fills were identified within this trench. These comprised sands, gravels, silts and clays containing a mixture of medieval, post-medieval and modern artefacts.

Trench 2 was positioned west of Trench 1. It measured 4m by 1m by c. 0.3m in depth. The fills in this trench contained a mixture of post-medieval and modern artefacts. No medieval material was recovered.

Following the excavation of Trench 2 it became apparent that there was a significant ground-level change, indicating perhaps a large ditch or modern ground disturbance. A third test-pit was opened by hand to investigate the area to the north of Trench 1 between the east and west of the site. The area was found to be consistent with the findings of Trench 1. This may potentially indicate the presence of a ditch along the east of the site.

Material recovered from the excavation of the trenches and the test-pit includes glass, ceramic building materials, heavily corroded iron objects, animal bone (pig, horse, cow and deer; P. Lynch, pers. comm.), shell, clay pipe and medieval, post-medieval and modern pottery.

Only five sherds of medieval pottery were noted from the excavation, out of a total of 389 pottery sherds recovered. These include a portion of a thick green-glazed strap-handle with simple incised decoration on its upper surface, three body sherds with a variety of glazes and fabrics, and a single unglazed rim sherd.

Analysis of available sources and a previous assessment undertaken by D.L. Swan (1993) all suggest that the site of the proposed development may be in the general vicinity of a hypothetical multi-period earthwork enclosing the core of Raheny village.

The present programme of test excavation has determined the presence of medieval, post-medieval and modern artefacts within the site of the proposed development. No archaeological features or secure archaeological contexts were identified.

Swan, D.L. 1993 Archaeological assessment and impact statement, 10 Main Street, Raheny, Dublin 5. Unpublished report.

Glascarn, Ratoath, Co. Meath