2019:041 - Athlone town Irish Rail site, Westmeath

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Westmeath Site name: Athlone town Irish Rail site

Sites and Monuments Record No.: WH29-042 Licence number: 19E0032

Author: Jerry O'Sullivan, TII Archaeologist

Site type: Urban brownfield site, construction monitoring

ITM: E 603840m, N 741942m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.427571, -7.942221

The National Galway to Dublin Cycleway will cross a live railway line in the northern outskirts of Athlone town. A railway underpass is being built by Irish Rail at the crossing point. A brownfield site adjacent to the railway line is being used as a construction compound by Irish Rail. This was most recently used for informal dumping; it was previously the site of an abbatoir (mid 20th century); before that it was farmland.

The writer monitored topsoil stripping on the site by Irish Rail in January 2019. A disturbed (A horizon) topsoil with numerous modern inclusions overlay a disturbed clay-silt (B horizon) subsoil. Stiff grey alluvial clay (C horizon) subsoil was exposed in a few services trenches and test-pits. The water table was at c. 1.3-1.5m below present ground level. A few remnant agricultural furrows were recorded at the base of the topsoil in the east end of the site. Otherwise there were no archaeological features or deposits, and no archaeological objects.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland, Parkgate Street, Dublin 8