2019:085 - Carrowcardin, Sligo

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Sligo Site name: Carrowcardin

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SL016-071 Licence number: 19E0051

Author: Eoin Halpin

Site type:

ITM: E 528565m, N 827146m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.188275, -9.094512

Planning permission is being considered for the development of a site at Carrowcardin, Inishcrone, Co Sligo to construct an extension to the rear, north, of the disused listed school house (NIAH ref no: 32401603), refurbish the adjacent cottage, construct an area of hard standing between the schoolhouse and the cottage and finally develop an associated sewage and percolation area in the field to the east. The closest site of archaeological interest is SL016-071, the site of a cross. However the cross itself has been moved to Castleconnor RC church. It is 18th century in date, to be included with Crucifixion Plaques in that it has Christ and some Emblems of the Passion (Mary B Timoney, pers. comm.) There is a local tradition of the old schoolmaster ‘digging up bones’ when planting potatoes in the early 20th century, and it is also thought that the site may be that of a cillín. Indeed on the 1st ed OS map the site is marked as R.C Chapel with the symbol of a cross marked.
Due to the proximity of these sites of cultural heritage interest, the developer has decided to undertake a phase of pre-planning testing in order to assist with the planning application process. Testing took place in March 2019 and consisted of four trenches, spread across the footprint of the proposed development.
Testing showed that the area to the north and east of the schoolhouse contained an average 1m deep deposit of, what appears to be, a mixture of soil and builders' rubble, with red brick and mortar mixed with a clay loam. This would suggest that the construction of the schoolhouse in the early years of the 20th century significantly disturbed much of the area of the site and thereby removing any evidence of earlier structures or deposits. In addition the uncovering of a number of modern sewage pipes running both north-south and west-east, further added to this disturbance, which extended to the area to the rear of the cottage. The wall foundation found to the rear of the schoolhouse probably marks the division of this area into two parts, dividing the ‘boys’ playground from the ‘girls’.
The area to the south, front, of the school is less disturbed, with the exception of a number of plastic water lines running across the area. Nothing of significance was found in this area, with the exception of evidence for the continuation of the front boundary wall to the east, at least up to the area of the cottage.
The results of the testing would suggest that the construction of the schoolhouse in the 1920s effectively removed all traces of the earlier church as recorded on the OS 1st edition map. The disturbance associated with the construction of the school as well as the associated disturbance of the various services, would appear to have removed all traces of the earlier structure and associated deposits. The only bone recovered from the testing was animal, sheep/goat and bird.

AHC Ltd, 36 Ballywillwill Road, Castlewellan. Co Down BT31 9LF