2006:1940 - Kilcronagh Business Park, Ballyreagh, Tyrone

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Tyrone Site name: Kilcronagh Business Park, Ballyreagh

Sites and Monuments Record No.: - Licence number: AE/05/117

Author: Stuart Reilly, Gahan & Long Ltd, 7–9 Castlereagh Street, Belfast, BT5 4NE.

Site type: Prehistoric, early medieval and post-medieval activity

ITM: E 679796m, N 876162m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.627366, -6.764236

During monitoring in advance of groundworks for Kilcronagh Business Park, Ballyreagh, Cookstown, ten areas of archaeological interest were identified. Typically the features within these areas were subsoil-cut and were not stratigraphically linked. However, a number of inferences can be made about the archaeology found within the boundaries of the site.
There were three distinct periods of activity at Ballyreagh, the earliest dating to the prehistoric period. There was good evidence for flint knapping on site, as a roughly circular-shaped pit with a maximum diameter of 1.2m and depth of 0.35m produced a large quantity of flint debitage and at least twenty flint tools, the majority of which were scrapers. These flint artefacts were of a late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age date (3000–1500 bc). In addition, a sherd of pottery with cord decoration was retrieved from one of four pits, which formed an arc that respected one another and were of similar shape and dimensions. The pottery and hence the features were broadly contemporary with the flint working. A single black coarse sherd of pottery, possibly of Bronze Age date (2500–600 bc), was also retrieved from a nearby spread.
There was also early medieval (ad 400–1100) activity on site, the main concentration of which was positioned close to the Kilcronagh road, in an area of post-holes and pits associated with a large elongated pit which produced souterrain ware. The subrectangular in plan pit had a length of 2.2m, width of 0.95m and depth of 0.46m. Concentrated at the south-eastern terminal of the pit were four well-preserved carefully and neatly stacked souterrain ware vessels, which have been provisionally dated to the 10th century ad. In addition, close to the western boundary of the site, two areas of spread, with an average length of 8m, width of 3m and maximum depth of 0.24m, produced dense quantities of slag, which may be of an early medieval date.
The final, datable, period of activity on site was from the modern era (post-ad 1600) and consisted of field boundaries found across the site. Sherds of creamware, tin-glazed ware or glazed black earthenware were recovered from the fills of three of the field boundaries, which would place them in the 18th or 19th century.

Editor’s note: Although this licence was issued during 2005, the report on the work was not received in time for inclusion in the bulletin of that year.