Situated on a fairly level landscape. A large D-shaped enclosure (dims c. 120m NNE-SSW; c. 100m WNW-ESE) with the straight side at S where it is aligned with a mapped field bank to its E was recorded by L. Swan in oblique aerial photographs c. 1970 (http://lswanaerial.locloudhosting.net/items/show/40165.). It appears to be defined by the remains of a wide earthen bank and an external fosse. A partial magnetic gradiometer and earth resistance survey (00R0014) by I. Elliott (2000) confirmed the presence of the ditch and Elliott’s research highlighted the fact that it is represented as a boundary on the Down Survey (1656-8) parish map of Dunboyne.
Archaeological monitoring (03E1112) by D. J. O’Connor identified the V-shaped fosse (Wth 2.75m; D 1.3m) in two sample trenches (excavations.ie 2003:1389), but the monument had no visible profile. Further excavation was continued by F. O’Carroll (excavations.ie 2003:1390) under the same licence. This uncovered evidence of at least one re-cut of the fosse in the post-medieval period, along with modern field boundaries and drains, some of the latter within the original fill of the ditch. The ceramic finds where usually in mixed contexts and dated from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries, but the excavator concluded that the enclosure was established in the thirteenth to fourteenth century. The original V-shaped ditch had an inner bank, although the bank does not survive, and the ditch held standing water. After silting over centuries, it was re-cut as slightly larger in the post-medieval period when smaller drains from the external area fed into the fosse. Although the fosse and its bank were substantial, no evidence of any settlement or habitation was uncovered, and its purpose is likely to have been agricultural.
Compiled by: Michael Moore
Date of upload: 29 October 2021
Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage