ME00986 - NEWGRANGE - Embanked enclosure

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This monument is described by Stout (1991, 268) as: This monument (Newgrange Site A) was first recorded on the OS first edition (1837). A mound, within the ‘ring’ north-west of centre, was termed ‘moat’. Coffey (1912, 42) referred to the mound as Tumulus A and wrote that it ‘appeared to have been encircled, at a distance of two hundred feet from the mound, by a vallum, a portion of which is still traceable at the east side.’ This eastern segment was levelled in 1965. The embanked enclosure is situated on a terrace beside the River Boyne. The underlying brown earth soil has a shallow depth and is derived from outwashed sands and gravels. Newgrange passage tomb is in a prominent position on the terrace above and north of the enclosure. Knowth and Dowth are prominent features to the north-west and north-east respectively. Most closely associated with Site A is the embanked enclosure, Newgrage Site O (ME026-006----), which lies at the edge of the Boyne only 370m to the south-west. The denuded earthwork is roughly circular in plan with a maximum external diameter of 175m. Prior to the destruction of the better-preserved bank segment, Crawford (1927, 97) calculated a diameter of 140m from aerial photography. The interior deepens towards the centre, giving the monument a saucer shape. There is no evidence for a ditch and it is probable that the interior was scarped to obtain the bank material. The bank was constructed from locally available materials including gravel and boulder clay (O’Kelly 1968, 114-15). It reaches 0.7m in maximum height in the north-west, where it has a width of 24m. In the south, where the bank is most poorly preserved, it has a maximum width of 42m. There is a 13m wide opening in the east (80 degrees T). Inside this probable entrance is a marked depression, which is probably the result of recent quarrying. This is also the area of the enclosure which was levelled in 1965. A resistivity survey detected a 5m-wide linear feature inside the line of the bank at the west side of the enclosure. More work is necessary to determine the nature of this feature. A flat-topped mound, formed of gravel and water-rolled boulders, lies north-west of centre in the interior of Site A. It has a maximum diameter of 27m and a maximum height of 3.2m. There is no sign of a kerb despite the extensive damage caused to this site bay cattle, but it is most likely to be a passage tomb. M. J. O’Kelly (1968, 114-17) collected 165 pieces of flint from Site A, most of which were covered by the spread soil from the bank levelled in 1965. Twenty four of these flints were artifacts, mostly scarpers. Exceptions to this were a plano-convex knife and a possible discoidal knife. (Coffey 1912, 42; Crawford 1927, 97; Ó Ríordáin and Daniel 1964, 87, pl. 51; O’Kelly 1968, 114-17; O’Kelly 1978, 49-50; Thornton 1980, 105-08; Moore 1987, 41, No. 314) See attached Google Earth aerial photograph taken 12 November 2005 (ME019-049002-_01.jpg) and second Google Earth photo taken 12 July 2013 (ME019-049002-_02.jpg). Date of revision: 10 January 2017 This monument is subject to a preservation order made under the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2014 (PO no. 2/1964).

Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

Monument Details

53.691, -6.46959

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