Archaeological monitoring of blanket bog removal as part of the western extension at Brackagh Quarry, Draperstown, Co. Derry revealed a number of features spread across a 20m2 area. The features were subject to full excavation and were resolved as pits of various sizes, a hearth, a low, flat cairn and a possible prehistoric ground surface which contained over 100 sherds of pottery.

A total of 232 artefacts were recovered during the excavation comprising 124 lithics, 107 pot sherds and one stone object. A single piece of burnt bone was hand-retrieved during the excavation.

In addition to the main excavation, a series of hand-dug test trenches were excavated across an area of  stones and boulders to the northwest, identified during a previous walkover survey for an EIA chapter; this area of stones was of particular interest due to its close proximity to a known wedge tomb, (LDY040:009). The results of the test trenches indicated that this cluster likely represents a former cairn.

Post-excavation works are on-going but the site likely represents a continuity of the late Neolithic/ Brown Age activity which has been so heavily attested within this landscape.



An archaeological watching brief undertaken in the townland of Newbuildings/ Maddydoo Lower, during improvement works to an existing laneway at Carnroe Weir, Ballymoney, Co. Antrim. Archaeological mitigation was recommended due to the close proximity of an enclosure to the laneway (ANT021:005).

Approximately 70m of excavation works were subject to archaeological monitoring.The excavations along the lane had a maximum depth of 0.7m. The material removed was sandy with numerous small and medium sized stones throughout. It was noted that the southern side of the laneway had been disturbed by the previous insertion of a water pipe therefore any potential archaeological material associated with enclosure ANT021:005 would likely have been destroyed by this work.


Archaeological monitoring was carried out over the course of 16 months from March 2020 to July 2021 as part of a windfarm development. A total of 53no small test pits were excavated to inform the final design. The stratigraphy encountered in each of the test pits was generally the same. The overlying vegetation was removed to reveal a dark brown to black peat. The peat was generally compact and not very fibrous though fragments of possible silver birch were encountered in a few of the pits. The peat gave way to a plastic grey clay with very few inclusions.

An area of potential archaeological features was investigated at the footprint of Turbine 11 (WTG 11). They consisted of four linear features cut into the natural and filled with small stones; a setting, possibly two, of reasonably similar, regular shaped stones; a bank which was clearly seen in the southeastern baulk. Flint fragments were scattered across the ground surface.

The stone features were resolved as glacial formations, striations in the clay. Such features had been noted previously across the development but the frequency of them within this WTG warranted further investigation. The bank was composed of grey clay, interpreted as re-deposited subsoil, and was therefore extremely difficult to identify during the removal of blanket bog. It was noted in one section face only and recorded. The flint was cleaned and discounted as flakes which had broken through natural forces and un-worked nodules.

No other features or deposits of archaeological interest were encountered during the course of works.