2004:0667 - BALLYBAUN, Galway

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Galway Site name: BALLYBAUN

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 97:1 Licence number: 04E0860

Author: Martin Jones, National Roads Design Office, Galway County Council.

Site type: No archaeological significance

ITM: E 560379m, N 721150m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.239250, -8.593539

Test-trenches were opened by hand adjacent to the site of a ringfort, bullaun and possible nearby trackway in Ballybaun townland on the Loughrea link of the proposed N6 Galway-Ballinasloe road scheme. Nothing of archaeological significance was found. The proposed roadway will not impact directly on the site, though the corridor does pass through the constraint area.

Seven (7) trenches were opened in a line along the eastern limit of the road corridor. Test-trenches measured between 2m and 25m in length and 1m in width.

The same basic stratigraphy obtained in every trench, becoming slightly more complex in some cases. In all but one trench this took the form of sod over mid-brown silty clay, containing occasional gravel and small sub-rounded stones, over a creamy-grey glacial till. In the case of Trench 7, the mid-brown silty clay overlay bedrock.

In the case of Trench 4, isolated deposits of mid-brown silty clay containing small angular stones and gravel and redeposited creamy-grey glacial till containing large and small stones and gravel were noted over the mid-brown silty clay. These deposits were interpreted as being associated with the construction of the adjacent Loughrea to Attymon rail trackway.

Two small (and probably modern) cut features were noted in Trench 2. These were cut into the glacial till below the mid-brown silty clay. The larger was linear or sub-linear and ran in an east-west direction. This was filled by mid- to dark-brown friable clay silt containing occasional pebbles and larger stones. This deposit also contained an assemblage of animal bone and was interpreted as a relatively modern burial. The smaller was subcircular and filled by a shallow deposit of mid- to dark-brown friable clay silt containing occasional pebbles and larger stones (c. 9). The fill contained no diagnostic material. The feature appeared to be the result of disturbance related to the erection of an adjacent boundary wall.

The proposed road corridor in the vicinity of the monument runs along the line of the disused Loughrea to Attymon rail trackway (built in 1890 and out of service by 1975). Further impact by the scheme on the monument will be negligible; the enclosure lies to the east outside the road corridor and will be unaffected. The rail line will be affected by construction, which will effectively be replaced along the same line by the proposed road. A very simple stratigraphy was noted during excavation and no archaeological material was found.