The road from the Navan Gate of Trim to Newtown Trim is probably of medieval origin and is represented on Larkin’s map of 1812 as following its present line from the Navan Gate as far as Lackanash Bridge, which crosses a small N-S stream. From this point Larkin depicts the road looping N and E before turning S to Newtown Bridge. This loop is represented by a field bank extending NE from the bridge on the 1836 edition of the OS 6-inch map. The small stream ran under the present road at an acute and obtuse angle, and on the S side the stream runs ESE as a drain on the S side of the road to Newtown Trim. A partial collapse of the bridge arch in 2003 and a proposed new culvert required an archaeological assessment.
Archaeological testing (03E1704) N of the bridge revealed similar profiles of riverine deposits of marl (D 1.3m plus) but a solid geological subsoil was not reached. Excavation at the bridge revealed the foundations (D 2m) of the expanded structure and an organic layer (T 0.2m) was recorded at 1.5m depth overlain by soft sand introduced to raise ground level. The organic layer is interpreted as the original surface at the time the bridge was widened in the early 1800’s (O’Carroll 2004, 10). A cut across the road, just E of the bridge recorded an earthen bank (Wth 1.5m; H c. 0.5m) on the S side and a line of quarried stones extending E from this is interpreted as kerbing for the original road (ibid. 10-11). An architectural examination of the bridge arch reveals that the bridge had been widened by the addition of new sections at N and S (ibid. 12). A definitive date for the original road and bridge was not established but they were probably medieval.
Compiled by: Michael Moore
Date of upload: 8 July, 2019
O’Carroll, F. 2004 Archaeological Assessment for the proposed development site at Lackanash Bridge. Licence No. 03E1704. Unpublished report, CRDS
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.