2010:467 - Lisnaran Fort, Linns, Louth

County: Louth Site name: Lisnaran Fort, Linns

Sites and Monuments Record No.: LH015–015 Licence number: E4114; C296; R220

Author: Paul Stevens, Valerie J. Keeley Ltd, Brehon House, Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny.

Site type: Environs of ecclesiastical enclosure and hut sites

ITM: E 708724m, N 793726m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.881544, -6.346335

Monitoring, together with a metal-detection survey, of topsoil reinstatement was carried out by archaeologist D. Shine in June 2010 in a field (known locally as Casey’s Field) directly south-east of Lisnaran Fort. Work was undertaken on behalf of Louth County Council, and formed part of dredging and associated works of Annagassan Harbour, carried out in 2007/2008. This final phase of works consisted of reinstatement of topsoil on stockpiles of dredge-material spoil. Previous archaeological work included monitoring of dredging (by David A. McCullough, Excavations 2007, Nos 1200/1201, 07D54/07R218/

07E1025), testing and geophysical assessment of the disposal site at Lisnaran Fort (Conboy 2009, E3949; Nicholls 2009, licence 07R225), and monitoring of spoil disposal in late 2009 (Balfe 2009, E3949).

A bulldozer and 5-tonne mini digger were employed to level and spread out the original dredged material across the site before reinstating the stockpiled topsoil. This was spread to a depth of 0.15m (average), and was assessed through visual examination and a metal-detection survey. A total of 223 unstratified artifacts/objects were recovered from this phase of monitoring, including a leather fragment, three glass sherds, eighteen lithics, 55 (post-medieval) pottery sherds and 146 metal objects of unknown antiquity that included scrap metal, horseshoes, staples and nails.

These findings are preliminary and work is ongoing. Pending conservation, the significance of the artifact assemblage has yet to be fully assessed. Groundwork is now complete at the disposal site and no further mitigation is recommended.

Some damage to the south-western extent of Lisnaran Fort was noted during site works, which included slight scarping of the outer bank of the monument. However, this was not as a result of works directly associated with the development.