ME01712 - IRISHTOWN - Embanked enclosure

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This monument was discovered through aerial survey undertaken by L. Swan. It encloses the top of ‘Windmill Hill’, which rises slightly (H c. 3m) over the perimeter. The enclosure lies on limestone and shale drift, upon which a grey-brown podzolic soil has formed 1 km N of the River Hurley, a tributary of the River Nanny. A ceremonial enclosure (Kilbrew ME033-010----) is situated on the crest of a low ridge on the SW-facing slope of Windmill Hill, 110m to the south-west. The Irishtown enclosure is in an extremely denuded condition. The bank has suffered from spade cultivation, which took place on the flanks of the hill in the preceding centuries. It is nonetheless possible to trace a continuous circuit of bank with a maximum overall diameter of 245m. The bank is best preserved to the N and W, where it varies in width from 10m to 22m, with a maximum height of 0.5m. There is no ditch, but there is a broad, shallow, scarped area inside the bank, 20-28m wide. In the E is a 22m wide break in the bank. Another possible entrance feature in the SW has been partly obliterated by the site of a lime-kiln and quarry. The south-west arc of the bank runs up to the area of disturbance, but there is 27m gap south of the quarry. The ditch (Wth c. 20m) can be seen on OSI images (2005-12) SW-N-NE as a darker colour. A gradiometer survey (17R0020) by J. M. Leigh identified the ditch very clearly with traces of an external bank (Wth c. 12m) and possibly an internal one. Furthermore, ditches, perhaps from three enclosures or ring-ditches (diam. c. 30m) could be entwined with the perimeter W-N. An exclusion zone was established outside these features and archaeological testing (17E0116) by M. Hurley (2017) of development land outside the exclusion zone produced no related material. More testing (20E0694) by J. Whitaker just outside the monument at NE had a similar result (excavations.ie 20220:485). Compiled by: Michael Moore Date of revision: 10 January 2017 Amended: 13 April 2022, 13 July 2022

Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage

Monument Details

Address:
IRISHTOWN, Meath
GPS:
53.5604, -6.45903
SMRS:
ME038-011----
what3words:
done.obey.mirage

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