2012:378 - Blackabbey, Adare, Limerick

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Limerick Site name: Blackabbey, Adare

Sites and Monuments Record No.: LI021-032006 Licence number: 12E030

Author: Frank Coyne

Site type: Urban medieval

ITM: E 546774m, N 646578m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.567903, -8.785129

The excavation of test trenches at the site at St Nicholas’ church, Adare, was carried out on 25 July 2012. The ecclesiastical complex contains the remains of the Augustinian Friary, which was restored in the 19th century for Church of Ireland worship, and a number of outbuildings, converted for use as a school (St Nicholas’ National School) also in the 19th century. A new school building, which houses the classrooms, was constructed in 2007 (opened 2008) immediately north of the friary. The gravel car park and access road were specifically targeted in this phase of testing. The test trenching was carried out in order to ascertain the depth of modern fill in the car park and access areas of the Augustinian Friary, in order to inform the design in relation to future drainage works in these areas.
The car park and access road/drive appear to have a consistent covering of an average of 0.4m of gravel and hard core. A total of seven trenches were opened. All were 1m wide. In Trenches 1-6, removal of the hard core and gravel revealed a brown topsoil layer, which appears to be consistent across the southern and eastern sides of the church. This may be the level that the landscaping of the church grounds went down to in the substantial works carried out in the early 19th century. Two of the trenches (Trenches 3 and 4) had indications of human bone protruding from this layer. It may well be the case that the landscaping works carried out in the early 19th century encountered bones, and thus this level was left undisturbed. The earthen and stone bank which surrounds the grounds may be the result of the soil removed from around the church at this time. Therefore, it is suggested that this brown earthen layer may contain substantial amounts of burials.

Aegis Archaeology Ltd, 32 Nicholas Street, King’s Island, Limerick.