2016:012 - Beaufort, Kerry

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Kerry Site name: Beaufort

Sites and Monuments Record No.: KE065-136---- Licence number: 16E0136

Author: Aidan Harte

Site type: Corn-drying kiln

ITM: E 487239m, N 592203m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.070280, -9.644807

Test trenching was undertaken at the proposed site of a single dwelling house, immediately west of Beaufort village, on 29-30 March 2016. This was within the townland of Beaufort adjacent to a previously recorded souterrain (KE065-022001-) and in the vicinity of a ringfort (KE065-022—) known as Lios an Phúca.

A total of eleven trenches were excavated across the footprint of the proposed development – a total of 245m linear metres. The topsoil was an average of 0.3m in thickness and several drains and furrows were noted. An in-situ burnt deposit was found at the end of one of these trenches at the north end of the site. The trench was expanded to expose an area 5.2m x 4.9m. The burnt deposit extended south and presented as a kiln, 4.9m in overall length. The probable chamber was at the northern end, 2.2m east-west x 2m. A linear deposit, representing the flue, extended from the south-western part of the chamber where a large stone (0.55m x 0.37m) appeared to define the ‘neck’. This flue was 2.9m in length north-south. It was 0.96m wide at the north end but narrowed to 0.6m before splaying out to 1.35m in width. At the southern end, the mouth of the kiln was filled with mid brown stony silt with charcoal flecks (1.9m x 1.35m). Where the flue narrowed, a concentration of charcoal and silt was evident (0.6m x 0.5m). Brown stony silt with charcoal flecks formed the upper fill of the remainder. The chamber area had been slightly truncated at the northern end and suggested a stone lining of rounded cobbles over which a layer of charcoal was deposited, 0.1m in thickness. The natural subsoil beneath these layers had been reddened by heat. The same charcoal and heat-effected natural subsoil was evident along the eastern edge of the chamber. The evidence of intense burning, stone lining and overall shape suggests that this is a key-hole shaped corn-drying kiln. Two possible stake-holes found 1.65m to the east of the kiln, 1.4m apart, contained dark charcoal-stained soil. On the western side of the kiln, a sub-rectangular deposit of greyish brown silt and stone measured 1m north-south x 0.66m. This was just 0.3m from the kiln edge. None of these features were excavated and no finds were recovered.

Munster Archaeology, Butlerstown, Bandon, Co. Cork