2022:062 - St. Nessan's Church, Mungret, Limerick

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Limerick Site name: St. Nessan's Church, Mungret

Sites and Monuments Record No.: LI013-009---- historic town, LI013-009001- church, Licence number: C001067

Author: Elaine Lynch

Site type: Medieval church

ITM: E 534324m, N 653974m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.633009, -8.970217

Archaeological monitoring under Ministerial Consent C001067, incorporating a metal detection survey under R000569, was carried out at Saint Nessan’s Church (RMP LI013-009001; National Monument No. 85), Mungret, Co. Limerick from 28th March to 1st April 2022.
The monitored works formed part of the upgrade of the junction of local road L-51001, leading to Mungret Abbey, and regional road R859. The works entailed widening of the road junction, and the length of local road L-51001 on the boundary of the Saint Nessan’s Church grounds, by setting back the current road boundary wall into the church grounds. A replacement wall was constructed within the church grounds on the boundary with both local road L-51001, and on the alignment of the original wall on the boundary with regional road R859.
The original wall was taken down and all the stones were checked for architectural fragments and artefacts, of which none were found. All stone was retained and used in the construction of the new wall.
A right-angled trench (orientated partly north-east/south-west and partly east-west) was excavated for the foundation of the replacement wall. It measured 25m long by 0.8m wide with a maximum depth of 0.7m. Two archaeological features were uncovered at the base of the foundation trench, consisting of a pit and a possible post-hole. The pit (ITM 554321, 653970) was located in the north-east/south-west part of the foundation trench. The pit was only partially exposed within the trench and extended beyond the trench on the east side. The oval-shaped pit was filled with dark brown clayey silt with frequent inclusions of stones. It measured 1.4m long by 0.4m wide within the trench. The possible post-hole (ITM 554329, 653978) was located in the east-west part of the foundation trench. The post-hole was filled with dark greyish-brown clayey silt with occasional inclusions of charcoal. It measured 0.4m in diameter. Upon their discovery, the National Monuments Services and Sarah McCutcheon, archaeologist for Limerick City and County Council, were informed. Following consultation with both parties, it was agreed to record the features in plan and preserve them in situ.
Additional excavation work, consisting of a drainage gully, was also carried out. The drainage trench was located to the west of the new wall, on the line of the original boundary wall. The trench measured 11m long by 0.6m wide with a depth of 0.3m. The fill of the trench consisted of dark brown sod and stones. The trench did not impact on the archaeological features found within the foundation trench for the new boundary wall, and no additional archaeological features were uncovered within the drainage trench.
A metal detection device was used on site under licence R000569. No archaeological artefacts were recovered during the metal detection survey, or during archaeological monitoring as a whole.

Shanarc Archaeology, Unit 39a, Hebron Business Park, Kilkenny, Ireland.