Eachtra JournalIssue 10                                         [ISSN 2009-2237]           Archaeological Excavation Repor...
Final Excavation Report of a fulacht fiadh andcorn drying kiln atStagpark,N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road,Co. CorkJuly 2006Cli...
04E1121           Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road                                                ISSUE ...
04E1121         Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road                                                        ...
04E1121        Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road           ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237    ...
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04E1121        Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road                                                         ...
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04E1121        Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road   ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237        Figu...
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04E1121           Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road                                                      ...
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9          Appendices                                                                    9.1        Appendix 1: Matrices  ...
C.1                                                                                                                       ...
Area B Matrix                                                                                                             ...
04E1121        Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road                               ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal ...
04E1121                                                                                                                   ...
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
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Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)

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The site occurs within an area where a cluster of Bronze Age fulachta fiadh sites have been identified.
Three burnt mounds were recorded (CO019-019, -020 and -021) within 500m of the site, while two other burnt mounds were excavated as part of this road project; Stagpark 2 (04E1121) was 800m away to the north and Mitchelstown 2 (04E1071) was 2km to the north. The intense use of this small area for the purposes of heating stones and water has produced a date range that suggests occupation on a long-term, if perhaps intermittent basis from at least the Early Bronze Age. The lower heavier wetter ground in the area was used for sites such as these. With the exception of the burnt mound at Mitchelstown 2, which was located on the northern bank of the Gradoge River, the remaining burnt mounds are not located adjacent to any known or contemporary water sources. The underlying subsoil is however a heavy clay which holds water very effectively being almost impermeable. The archaeological evidence indicates that contemporary Early Bronze Age occupation occurred on the higher drier ground, at Stagpark 1 (04E1120) 600m to the north. An extensive occupation site, dating to the Middle Bronze Age, was located on a limestone ridge on the northern bank of the Gradoge River at Mitchelstown 1 (04E1072) 2.8km to the north.

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Archaeological Report - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)

  1. 1. Eachtra JournalIssue 10 [ISSN 2009-2237] Archaeological Excavation Report 04E1121 - Stagpark 2, Co. Cork Fulacht fiadh and corn drying kiln
  2. 2. Final Excavation Report of a fulacht fiadh andcorn drying kiln atStagpark,N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road,Co. CorkJuly 2006Client: Cork County Council, National Roads Office, Richmond, Glanmire, Co. Cork.Licence No.: 04E1121Licensee: Bruce Sutton Contact details: The Forge, Innishannon, Co. Cork. Tel.: 021 470 16 16 Fax: 021 470 16 28 E-mail: info@eachtra.ie Web Site: www.eachtra.ie
  3. 3. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Table of Contents i Acknowledgements ............................................................................................ iv ii Project details .....................................................................................................v iii Non-Technical Summary ................................................................................... vi 1 Introduction .......................................................................................................1 1.1 Site location ..................................................................................................1 1.2 Scope of the Project ......................................................................................1 1.3 Circumstances of discovery ..........................................................................1 1.4 Date and duration of excavation works .........................................................2 1.5 Size and composition of the excavation team ................................................2 2 Receiving Environment ......................................................................................2 2.1 The Natural Landscape ................................................................................2 2.2 The Human Landscape ................................................................................3 3 Research Framework ...........................................................................................7 4 Excavation Results ..............................................................................................7 4.1 Excavation Methodology ..............................................................................7 4.2 Full Stratigraphic Report ..............................................................................8 4.3 Discussion & Interpretation ........................................................................13 5 Conclusion .........................................................................................................14 6 Bibliography ...................................................................................................... 15 7 Figures ............................................................................................................... 17 8 Plates .................................................................................................................29 9 Appendices ........................................................................................................ 32 9.1 Appendix 1: Matrices .................................................................................32 9.2 Context Register ..........................................................................................39 9.3 Appendix 3: Plant Remains Report for Stagpark 2, Co. Cork (04E1121) ....62 9.4 Appendix 4: Summary account of site archive .............................................74 9.5 Appendix 5: Dissemination Strategy............................................................74 9.6 Appendix 6: Programme Schedule Dates & Deliveries ................................74Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ iii
  4. 4. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 List of Figures Figure 1: Portion of discovery map showing route of N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road. ...........................17 Figure 2: Portion of RMP sheets CO019 & CO010 showing route of the N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road. .. ..............................................................................................................................................18 Figure 3: Portion of 1st edition maps sheets 10 & 19 showing Mitchelstown Demesne and the route of the N8 Mitchelstown Road. ..................................................................................................................19 Figure 4: Route of the N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road showing location of all archaeological sites. ...... 20 Figure 5: Portion of route of N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road showing spatial relationship between Areas A, B & C ..............................................................................................................................................21 Figure 6: Post-excavation plan Area A. .................................................................................................22 Figure 7: Post-excavation plan and section of trough C.41 and associated stakeholes Area A. ..............23 Figure 8: Post-excavation plan Area B. ................................................................................................ 24 Figure 9: Post-excavation plan Area C..................................................................................................25 Figure 10: Sections of the ditches Area C. .............................................................................................26 Figure 11: Mid-excavation plan and section of corn-drying kiln Area C. ..............................................27 Figure 12: Post-excavation plan corn-drying kiln Area C. .....................................................................28 List of Plates Plate 1: Pre-excavation of mound of fulacht fiadh Area A. ....................................................................29 Plate 2: Post-excavation of trough C.41 Area A .....................................................................................29 Plate 3: Pre-excavation of corn-drying kiln Area C. ..............................................................................30 Plate 4: Stone lining of bowl and flue of corn drying kiln Area C .........................................................30 Plate 5: Post-ex of corn drying kiln Area C ...........................................................................................31Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ iv
  5. 5. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 i Acknowledgements Eachtra Archaeological Projects would like to acknowledge the following organisations and people for their contributions to this project. Cork County Council Ken Hanley Project Archaeologist for Cork County Council David Herbert Plant Hire Ltd The Site Excavation team Karen Buckley, Helen Doyle, Ian Magee, Vera Manning, Matt Meade, Ciaran O’Seaghdha and Bruce Sutton. The Post-Excavation team Karen Buckley, Sara Camplese, Anluan Dunne, Enda O’Mahoney, Bruce Sutton and Robin Turk. Archaeological Specialists Plant remains report by Abigail Brewer and Penny Johnston and Pottery Report by Helen Roche and Eoin Grogan.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ v
  6. 6. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Project details Project N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road Site Name Stagpark 2 Site Type Fulacht Fiadh and Medieval Corn Drying Kiln Licence No. 04E1121 Ministerial Order No. A012/003 Licensee Bruce Sutton Townland Stagpark Nat. Grid Ref. 180061 112107 – 180120 112381 Report Type Excavation Report Report Status Final Report Date of Submission July 2006 Distribution Ken Hanley, Project Archaeologist Cork County Council, Dept. of the En- vironment, Heritage and Local Government, National Museum of Ireland and Cork Archaeological Survey Office.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ vi
  7. 7. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Non-Technical Summary This report details the results of an archaeological excavation undertaken by Eachtra Archaeological Projects of a site on the route of the proposed N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road, on behalf of Cork County Council. The proposed bypass involves the construction of 4.5km of the N8 from Cloonlough, south of Mitchelstown, to the junction of the R513 and the N8, north of Mitchelstown. Phase 1 of the project (archaeological testing of the route) was carried out in June, July and Septem- ber 2004 under licences 04E0889-04E0892 issued by Department of the Environment Heritage and Local Government (DoEHLG). The principal aim of this phase of the project was to test sites of ar- chaeological potential identified in the EIS and geophysical surveying and to test for any previously unknown sites by a programme of centreline and offset testing. Phase 2 of the project (resolution) involved the resolution of all archaeological sites identified within the proposed road corridor prior to commencement of the construction of the bypass in order to avoid delays and costs during construction works. This phase of the project was carried out from September- December 2004 and excavations were conducted by two licensed directors under the management of a Senior Archaeologist. In total five sites were excavated during this phase of works and all excavations were carried out initially under separate licences issued by DoEHLG and subsequently under Ministe- rial Order. One of these sites, Stagpark 2 is the subject of this report. It was identified in the testing in the town- land of Stagpark, between chainages 1600-1900 of the proposed road scheme and excavated under Licence Number 04E1121 and Ministerial Order Number A012/002. The site comprised a fulacht fiadh with associated features and a corn drying kiln and associated ditches.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ vii
  8. 8. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 1 Introduction 1.1 Site location This report details the results of the archaeological excavation of a site on N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road (MRR), County Cork (National Grid Co-ordinates 180061 112107 – 180120 112381). The site is located c.1.5 km to the west of Mitchelstown, 700m south of the N73 Mitchelstown to Mallow road (Figure 1). It is located in the townland of Stagpark, the Parish of Brigown and barony of Condons and Clangibbon. 1.2 Scope of the Project This Archaeological Services Project was carried out on behalf of Cork County Council, National Roads Design Office, Richmond, Glanmire, Co. Cork. This project was funded by the Irish Govern- ment under the National Development Plan, 2000-2006. The purpose of the Project was to conduct Archaeological Site Investigations within the lands made available for the scheme and to assess the nature and extent of any new or potential archaeological sites uncovered. Phase 1 of the project (archaeological testing of the route) was carried out in June, July and Septem- ber 2004 under licences 04E0889-04E0892 issued by Department of the Environment Heritage and Local Government (DoEHLG). The principal aim of this phase of the project was to test sites of ar- chaeological potential identified in the EIS and geophysical surveying and to test for any previously unknown sites by a programme of centreline and offset testing. Phase 2 of the project (resolution) involved the resolution of all archaeological sites identified within the proposed road corridor prior to commencement of the construction of the bypass in order to avoid delays and costs during construction works. This phase of the project was carried out from September- December 2004 and excavations were conducted by two licensed directors under the management of a Senior Archaeologist. In total five sites were excavated during this phase of works and all excavations were carried out initially under separate licences issued by DoEHLG and subsequently under Ministe- rial Order. Following completion of fieldwork a dissemination strategy was undertaken and submitted to the project archaeologist. A programme of post-excavation analysis was agreed and commenced. A lecture on the preliminary findings was given to Mitchelstown Historical Society in May 2005 by the project and senior archaeologists. It is envisaged that a second lecture will be given to Mitchelstown Historical Society during their autumn/winter programme 2006-07. 1.3 Circumstances of discovery Prehistoric archaeological material was discovered at Stagpark 2 during archaeological test trenching undertaken in June 2004 under licence 04E0890. Topsoil in the vicinity of the sites was subsequently stripped by tracked machine using a flat bucket under the direction of the licensed director. When the limits of the site had been determined, full excavation of the site commenced under license 04E1121.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 1
  9. 9. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 1.4 Date and duration of excavation works The excavation commenced on 13th September 2004 under licence 04E1121. The work was suspended on October 14th 2004 as it was necessary to apply for a Ministerial Order under the National Monu- ments Amendment Act 2004. The Ministerial Order, A012/000, was granted in November 2004 and excavation recommenced on 13th December 2004 and finished on 22nd December 2004. 1.5 Size and composition of the excavation team The archaeological excavation team consisted of the license holder, one supervisor, three site assistants and one general operative. 2 Receiving Environment 2.1 The Natural Landscape 2.1.1 Geology The topography of East Cork and Waterford consists of east-west orientated valleys separated by in- tervening ridges. The ridges consist of sandstones and mudstones of the Devonian Period (Old Red Sandstone) laid down 355-410 million years ago and the valleys of Carboniferous limestones laid down 290-355 million years ago. The sediments covering many of the rocks are mainly of glacial origin deposited by glacial ice or meltwater (Sleeman et al. 1995, 1). Major earth movements have resulted in the uplifting and folding of the rock units. Anticlines occur when local uplift results in a convex upward fold. Synclines occur when local uplift results in a concave upward fold (ibid. 3). The Mitchelstown Syncline is composed of a variety of Carboniferous Formations. Three of these for- mations are located in the area of the route of the N8 MRR. The Croane Formation is composed of a mixture of mudstones and cherts and is estimated to be about 300m thick (ibid. 31). The Rathronan Formation is composed of micrites, wackestones and cherts (ibid. 32). The O’Mahony’s Rock Forma- tion consists of micrites, packstones, wackestones and grainstones and is estimated to be about 100m thick. The type area is between Mitchelstown Castle and Killee House to the west (ibid.). 2.1.2 Soils and their uses The soils to the north of the Gradoge River to the west of Mitchelstown are characterised by a mix of acid brown earths, gleys and grey brown podzolics, which are derived from mixed sandstone and limestone glacial till while the underlying rock is Carboniferous limestone. The acid brown earths and gleys occur in the gently rolling valleys of Cork and Waterford mainly at altitudes of 0-75m (Gardiner 1980, 61). The soils have a wide use range and are suitable for tillage and grass production. The soils to the south of the Gradoge River are characterized by a mix of gleys and peaty gleys which are derived from glacial till of mixed sandstone-shale composition with a small admixture of limestone in places. They occur mostly at altitudes of 76m to 152m. The soils have a limited use range as they are poorly drained even on good slopes. They are best suited to grassland (ibid. 77-79)Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 2
  10. 10. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 2.1.3 Topography The route of the N8 Mitchelstown relief road (MRR) traverses the townlands of Cloonlough, Stag Park and Mitchelstown on the western side of the town of Mitchelstown. The route extends from the N8 c. 1km south of Mitchelstown, crosses the N73 Mitchelstown/Mallow road, the Gradoge River Valley and traverses the ridge on the northern side of the river valley to the junction of the R513 Mitch- elstown/Ballylanders road and rejoins the N8. The northern half of the route traverses Mitchelstown Demesne, breaching the estate wall at the junction with the N73 and the R513. The southern half of the route climbs from c. 120m OD to 130m OD before descending to the banks of the Gradoge River, 80m OD and climbing northwards to the apex of the limestone ridge 110m OD. The land is for the most part under pasture and is located at an altitude of between 80-130m OD. The landscape of the Mitchelstown area is dominated by the Galtee Mountains to the north, the Bal- lyhoura Mountains to the west and the Kilworth Mountains (the foothills of the Knockmealdown Mountains) to the south. The Gradoge River is a tributary of the Funshion River. It rises south of Mitchelstown on the southern slopes of the Kilworth Mountains and drains into the Funshion to the immediate west of the route of the N8 MRR. The River Funshion drains into the River Blackwater south of Kilworth. The site of Stagpark 2 was located to the north and downslope of Stagpark 1 (04E1120) in an area of pastoral grassland. Area A was located on the northern slope of a hill, Area B was located at the base of the hill in a low lying area to the north and Area C was located east of Area B in an undulating field. 2.2 The Human Landscape 2.2.1 Archaeological Background There is a paucity of known archaeological sites within a 2 km radius of the route of the N8 MRR. Three prehistoric sites, fulachta fiadh (CO019-019, -020, -021) are recorded in Stagpark and Bal- lykearney between 100-500m of the route corridor. The site of Mitchelstown Castle (CO019-026), the associated demesne and the historic town of Mitchelstown (CO019-149) are the principle medieval and post-medieval sites in the vicinity of the route corridor (Figures 2 and 3). 2.2.2 Mesolithic 7000 BC - 4000 BC The earliest known human settlement in Ireland dates from the Mesolithic period (c. 7000 BC - 4000 BC). In Munster, the majority of the evidence (flint scatters) for Mesolithic occupation has ‘come from the Blackwater valley in Co. Cork’ (Woodman 1989, 116). Flint scatters were recorded in the townlands of Ballynamona (CO018-099) and Wallstown (CO018-100) on the northern and southern sides of the Awbeg river respectively c. 15km to the west of the route of the N8 MRR (Power et. al. 2000, 2). 2.2.3 Neolithic 4000 BC -2500 BC The Neolithic Period is characterised by the introduction of agriculture and the beginnings of thePermalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 3
  11. 11. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 clearance of the woodlands. The population increased and became more sedentary in nature. Sub- stantial Neolithic settlement sites have been recorded at Lough Gur, Co. Limerick and Cloghers, Co. Kerry. The material culture includes the manufacture of pottery, flint and stone arrowheads, scrapers, axes etc. The range of monuments types includes Megalithic tombs (court tombs, portal tombs, pas- sage tombs and wedge tombs), single burial graves and stone circles. There is a paucity of evidence for Neolithic settlement sites in the south-west of Ireland. Recent infrastructural development has increased the amount of Neolithic sites in County Cork. The nearest known Neolithic house was excavated on the N8 Rathcormac-Fermoy in the townland of Gor- tore. The structure was dated to the Early Neolithic cal BC 3928-3655 (UB 6769). Further evidence of the Neolithic was recorded at Fermoy and Curraghprevin. 2.2.4 Bronze Age 2000 BC -500 BC The Bronze Age is characterised by the introduction of metallurgy, the mining of copper ores and manufacture of copper, bronze and gold items. The range of burial site types includes, cist graves, pit and urn burials, cremation cemeteries, barrows, ring-ditches and wedge tombs. Stone circles and standing stones also date to the Bronze Age. Both enclosed and unenclosed settlement sites are known. The most prolific Bronze Age site type is the fulacht fiadh; over 2,000 examples have been recorded in County Cork alone. These monuments survive as low mounds of charcoal rich black silt packed with heat-shattered stones and are generally situated close to a water source. In many cases, however, all that survives to the present day are black spreads with fragments of shattered stones visible in ploughed fields. Fulachta fiadh are generally classified as ‘cooking places’, whereby stones were heated in a hearth and subsequently placed in a trough of water, the water continued to boil with the addition of hot stones and wrapped food was cooked within the hot water. The trough eventually filled with small stones, ash and charcoal that were removed and formed the basis of the familiar mound. The absence of animal remains and the scarcity of associated hearths have fuelled the debate in relation to the func- tion of the sites. Other theories on their interpretation include bathing and dyeing textiles together with the production of hot water and steam for curative purposes and sweat houses (Kelly 1989, 225). Waddell (1998, 177) suggests the semi-industrial purpose of using the boiling water for dipping hides as part of the preparation of the leather, while Dunne (pers. comm.) suggests a relationship between burnt mounds and Bronze Age funerary rites and burial practices. There are few wedge tombs or stone circles known from north or east Cork. Two of the exceptions are wedge tombs located at Labbacallee (CO027-086) and at Manning (CO027-091) both located c. 8 km south of the N8 MRR. Labbacallee is one of the largest wedge tombs in the country. The cemetery of Mitchelstowndown West contains 53 small barrows. The Discovery Programme (Daly et. al. 1992, 44) selected four of this group for excavation. The site of the cemetery is located 16 km to the north of the N8 MRR. Until recently Bronze Age settlement sites were a rarity in North Cork. A Bronze Age occupation sitePermalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 4
  12. 12. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 was recorded underlying the medieval ringfort Lisleagh I (CO027-158) c.3.5km to the south of the N8 MRR (Power et. al. 2000, 210). Recent infrastructural development in County Cork has increased the number of Bronze Age set- tlement sites. A house site was excavated at Killydonoghoe on the route of the N8 Glanmire-Wa- tergrasshill Bypass (NRA N8 Watergrasshill). A large Bronze Age settlement site consisting of four enclosures and three circular houses was excavated in 2003 at Ballybrowney on the route of the N8 Rathcormac-Fermoy (Cotter 2004, 38). A Middle Bronze Age settlement site was excavated in Mitch- elstown (04E1072), a complex of Early and Late Bronze Age pits were excavated in Stagpark (04E1120) and three fulachta fiadh were excavated in Stagpark (04E1121 & 04E1119) on the route of the N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road. In addition a rare and important hoard of Early Bronze Age pottery was excavated on the banks of the Gradoge River (04E1071). 2.2.5 Iron Age 500 BC – 400 AD At present, there is little evidence of a significant Iron Age presence in the Cork region. Settlement sites are few and far between as well as being difficult to identify (Woodman, 2000) while the material culture of this period is limited. Linear earthworks, which are believed to have marked tribal boundar- ies, are one of the most visible monuments of the period. Three separate stretches of one such boundary, the Claidh Dubh, have been recorded in County Cork. The longest stretch, c. 24 km extends from the Nagle Mountains, across the Blackwater valley and into the Ballyhoura Hills. The Claidh Dubh crosses the N73 c. 12km west of the N8 MRR. Radiocarbon dating following excavation of a section of it revealed it dated to some time before 100AD (Doody 1995, 23). Three of the five hillfort sites in Cork are located in North Cork (Power et al, 2000, 205). Caherdrinny is located at the western end of the Kilworth Mountains, c. 3 km to the south of the N8 MRR and Corrin is located at the eastern end of the Nagle Mountains c. 15 km to the south of the N8 MRR. A complex of monuments in Conva townland (c. 15 km to the southwest of the N8 MRR) was identi- fied by aerial photography in the Blackwater Valley. Crop marks indicated three enclosures (CO034- 7201, -7202, -7203) and a number of large pits (CO034-7204) possibly comprising a rectangular enclosure. The site was investigated in 1992 by Martin Doody of the Discovery Programme which involved geophysical prospection, topographic survey and trial excavation. Sections were dug through the three enclosures and through four of the large pits. Metal debris was discovered and radiocarbon dates indicated that the complex dated to the Iron Age/Early Medieval period. A complex of pits, dating to the Iron Age, cal BC 346-45 (UB6719) was excavated in Stagpark (04E1120) on the route of the N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road. 2.2.6 Early Medieval 400 AD – 1000 AD The Early Medieval Period/Early Christian Period is characterised by the arrival of Christianity toPermalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 5
  13. 13. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Ireland. Early ecclesiastical sites are located at Brigown (CO019-030) on the southeastern side of Mitchelstown and to the west of the N8 MRR at Aghacross (CO019-002), Leabba Molagga and Mar- shalstown. The monastery of Brigown founded in the 7th century gives its name to the modern parish (Power 1996, 3). The characteristic monument type of the period was the ringfort. Ringforts are the most numerous archaeological monument, in the Early Christian Period, found in Ireland, with estimates of between 30 and 50,000 illustrated on the first edition of the Ordnance Survey 6” maps of the 1840’s (Barry, 1987). As a result of continued research these monuments have a narrow date range during the Early Christian period between the 7th and 9th centuries AD. Although there are some very elaborate ex- amples of ringforts they often take the form of a simple earth or stone enclosure and functioned as settlements for all classes of secular society (Stout, 2000). A major research excavation of two ringfort was undertaken at Lisleagh c. 3.5km to the south of the route of the N8 MRR. Structural, domestic and industrial evidence was recorded at both sites. A number of stake and wattle round houses, and iron working were recorded in Lisleagh I. Two phases of occupation were recorded at Lisleagh I. The Lisleagh I was constructed in the early seventh century and was occupied into the ninth century AD (Monk 1995, 105-116). 2.2.7 Medieval 1000 AD – 1300 AD & Late Medieval 1300 AD -1500 AD The period is characterized by the arrival of the Anglo-Normans. Mitchelstown was formerly known as Brigown / Mitchelstown (CO019-149). It was listed as a market town in 1299 and was located on the southern bank of the Gradoge River, to the east of Mitchelstown Castle (Power, D. et al. 2000, 595). The town developed under the patronage of the House of Desmond. It passed into the hands of the Earls of Kingston in the 17th century (Power 1996, 23). Mitchelstown Castle was located on a limestone ridge on the southern bank of the Gradoge River. The first settlers, the Anglo-Norman FitzGibbons, held the title of White Knights. Their territory extended from Mitchelstown to Kilmallock (Power 2000, 1) and they built a tower house on the ridge. The White Knight lineage ended in the 17th century and the estate passed through marriage into the hands of the Fenton family (ibid. 3) and ultimately to the Kingstons. The earlier castle was destroyed in the wars of 1641. A corn-drying kiln dating to the Later Medieval Period cal AD 1310-1434 (UB 6833) was excavated in Stagpark 2 (04E1121). 2.2.8 Post-Medieval 1500 AD – 1800 AD In 1776 Lord Kingsborough, the 2nd earl of Kingston, created the new town of Mitchelstown. He demolished the old town between Kingston College and the Castle. Kingston College developed into a Georgian square. The new town was centred between the two parallel main streets of George Street and Cork Street. King Square and New Market Square became the focal points of the town (ibid.). St George’s Church, built in 1801, was located at the southern end of George Street and King Square atPermalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 6
  14. 14. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 the northern end. New Market Square was located midway and on the western side of Cork Street. The new town was built on 138 acres. Lord Kingsborough, the second earl of Kingston, built a new mansion on the site of the White Knights castle and a demesne around the mansion in the 18th century. A demesne wall was constructed around the parkland of some 1240 acres. The wall was ‘six-and-a-quarter-mile long…between eight and ten feet in height’ (Power 1996, 24). All public roads that were located within the area of the demesne were closed and rerouted on the periphery of the wall. Entry to the demesne was gained through Mallow Gate also known as White Gate, Limerick Gate and the main entrance was at King Square. Extensive works were undertaken within the area of the demesne which resulted in ‘a quadrangle of buildings, a garden of five English acres surrounded by a wall, large conservatories and lavishly arranged gardens became part of the scene. Two artificial lakes were developed beneath the rockface on which the castle stood ’ (ibid., 24). Several hundred acres of woodland comprising of oak, ash, larch, beech and alder were planted within the demesne. In 1823 the third earl of Kingston demolished the Georgian house and built a new castle on the same site. The architects James and George Pain designed and built this neo-Gothic castellated mansion. The limestone buildings formed three sides of a courtyard (Power 1996, 42). Mitchelstown Castle was burnt by Republican forces in 1922. The stone was bought by the Cistercian Monks of Mount Melleray and reused to build a church. Few traces of the castle are visible today. At present, Dairygold occupies the site of the former castle. The 1240 acres of parkland was divided into farms, the town park and a golf course. 3 Research Framework The following issues will be addressed in this report.  The construction date or date of initial site activity and the date of abandonment.  The absolute / relative chronology of site use in terms of phases and events.  The location of known contemporaneous and comparable sites.  The extent of the viable economic catchment area in terms of sources of water, food, raw materials, transportation routes etc 4 Excavation Results 4.1 Excavation Methodology Three areas were excavated under license 04E1121 at Stagpark 2 (figure 5). A total area of 26m N-S by 24m E-W comprised the activity in Area A (Grid co-ordinates 180051 112106 – 180071 112105). Area B (Grid co-ordinates 180053 112311 – 180072 112311 112313) measured 12m N-S by 10m E-W. Area C (Grid co-ordinates 180097 112396 – 180128 112378) measured 35m N-S by 35m E-W. A grid was established in each area of excavation of Stagpark 2 and the ground within the grids was cleaned by hand to locate and identify all archaeological features. Each identified feature was excavated, planned, photographed and recorded, with every fill and cut being assigned a context number. Charcoal and soil samples were taken from appropriate fills where necessary. All artefacts were retrieved, registered,Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 7
  15. 15. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 bagged and labelled. 4.2 Full Stratigraphic Report See Appendix 1 for the full stratigraphic matrix. 4.2.1 Stratigraphic Sequencing 4.2.1.1 Area A The archaeological material in Area A comprised a fulacht fiadh with associated features (Figure 6). In total 37 archaeological features were excavated in Area A. These included a trough, six pits, three post- holes, 15 stakeholes, four modern agricultural features, seven deposits and a possible mettled surface. Modern Agricultural Features Three ditches and a furrow (C.42, C47, C.50, and C.3) were recorded to the west and south of the burnt mound. The furrow (C.3) was orientated north-south. It truncated a pit (C.7). The ditch (C.50) extended north-south across the site for a length of 20m. It measured 1.28m by 0.33m in depth. Mod- ern pottery was recorded in the fill. A second ditch (C.42) extended north-south parallel to the first (C.50). It truncated the western edge of the mound C.31. A third ditch (C.47) orientated east-west was cut by and terminated at ditch C.42. The ditches are likely to be the remains of a leveled field boundary. A bank may have been located in the intervening space between the two parallel ditches (C.42 and C.50). Bronze Age Features Two alluvial deposits (C.38 and C.46) overlay the burnt mound spread. They accumulated after the site had gone out of use. The burnt mound spread C.31 measured 5.5m by 3m by 0.04m deep (Figure 6, plate 1). It was a soft black silt clay with 80% heat-shattered stone inclusions. The mound was very shallow and was probably truncated by agricultural activities in the past. Three additional isolated deposits of burnt mound material (C.6, C.14 and C.21) were recorded across the site. These deposits varied in size from 0.35m by 0.35m by 0.05m in depth to 1.8m by 1.8m by 0.07m in depth. They were a mix of silt and sandy clays with 80% heat-shattered stone inclusions. The mound overlay the trough (C.41), three pits (C.57, C.55 and C.67) and three stakeholes (C.58, C.62 and C.65). The trough C.41 was located on the eastern side of the site, close to the edge of the road corridor (Fig- ure 7, plate 2). It was rectangular in shape measuring 2m by 1.3m by 0.49m in depth and contained two fills (C.40 and C.39). The basal fill C.40 comprised a thin layer of sand 0.02m deep. This underlay C.39, a soft black silt clay with frequent heat-shattered stone. This deposit filled the majority of the trough and had accumulated after the abandonment of the area. Seven stakeholes (C.54, C.69, C.72, C.73, C.74, C.75, and C.76) cut the base of the trough. Two (C.54 and C.73) were located in the northwestern corner, three (C.74, C.75 and C.76) in the south- western corner, one (C.72) in the southeastern corner and one (C.69) in the northeastern portion ofPermalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 8
  16. 16. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 the base. The stakeholes were filled with burnt mound material. The stakes must have been removed when the site was abandoned. A possible mettled surface (C.70) was located to the east of the trough. It measured 2.6m by 1.6m and consisted of firmly set, rounded, small-medium sized stones. Three pits (C.57, C.55 and C.67) were located within 2m northwest and southwest of the trough. All three were sub-circular in plan. Two of the pits (C.55 and C.67) contained a single sandy clay fill that included frequent medium and large stones. The third pit (C.57) contained two black silty clay fills which included occasional heat-shattered stone. Two large stakeholes (C.65 and C.58) were located to the north and south of the trough (C.41). They may have formed a windbreak or part of fire-side furniture in association with the stakeholes (C.54, C.73, C.74, C.75 and C.76) located in the western portion of the trough. A small stakehole C.62 was located to the south of the trough. Three clusters of features were located to the west of the trough and drainage ditches. An alignment of five stakeholes (C.22, C.23, C.26, C.33 and C.35) and a single posthole (C.9) were orientated in a northeast-southwest direction, and measure 3m in length. The burnt mound spread C.14 overlay these features. The stakeholes varied in size from 0.04m by 0.04m by 0.14m in depth to 0.14m by 0.14m by 0.1m in depth. A shallow pit (C.4) and two stakeholes (C.5 and C.32) were located c. 4m to the southeast. The pit measured 0.36m in diameter by 0.16m in depth. The stakeholes measured 0.1m in diameter by 0.18m in depth. Two pits (C.7 and C.45) were located to the immediate west of drainage ditch (C.50). They were truncated by the furrow (C.3). The larger pit C.7 measured 1.9m by 1.1m by 0.3m and contained two silt fills. C.45 was irregular in plan measuring 0.15m by 0.08m by 0.2m deep and containing a single fill. 4.2.1.2 Area B Modern Features Twenty features were excavated in Area B. They were a mixture of natural and agricultural and pos- sible archaeological features (Figure 8). The limestone bedrock in the vicinity is extensive and may ac- count for the formation of some of the natural features. Nine of the 20 features recorded were shallow depressions (C.1006, C.1007, C.1008, C.1009, C.1010, C.1012, C.1014, C.1019, C.1029), containing a single fill. The depressions were irregular in plan and size. Five stakeholes (C.1032, C.1034, C.1036, C.1039, C.1040 and C.1042) were recorded towards the western area of the site. These were found beneath C.1031, a deposit, containing moderate amounts of charcoal, dumped in a natural depression. A single isolated posthole C.1011 was recorded on the eastern side of the site and measured 0.13m by 0.09m by 0.21m deep. The fills of all these features were sterile and no artefacts were recovered.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 9
  17. 17. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Three linear features, extending beyond the area of excavation were recorded in Area B. Two plough furrows (C.1013 and C.1020) extended northeast-southwest across the site and a boundary ditch (C.1046) was orientated north-south. It extended across the western edge of the site and measured 1.6m wide by 1m deep. 4.2.1.3 Area C Early Christian Period Area C measured 35m north-south by 35m east-west. A corn drying kiln dated to the Late Medieval Period (C.2033) located within a small paddock was excavated (Figure 9). Field System The paddock was roughly rectangular in plan, measuring 25m north-south by 15-30m east-west, and was enclosed by three main ditches. Two of the ditches (C.2006 and C.2014) aligned southwest-north- east and east-west respectively formed part of a wider field system. The other two ditches (C.2003, C.2008 and C.2010) enclosed the paddock within the angle of the field system. The ditch C.2006 enclosed the eastern side of the paddock. It was 1.8m wide by 0.38m deep by a minimum of 50m in length. It extended beyond the area of the excavation to the south and east and formed part of a wider field system. Eight silty clay and sandy clay fills (C.2005, C.2016, C.2017, C.2018, C.2021, C.2022, C.2039 and C.2040) were recorded in the ditch. The ditch C.2014 enclosed the northern side of the paddock. It extended beyond the area of the excavation to the west and was cut by the ditch C.2006 to the east. It formed part of a wider field system. It was 1.6m wide by 0.87m deep and contained three fills (C.2011, C.2012 and C.2013). The ditches C.2003, C.2008 and C.2010 were in reality a single ditch that enclosed the western and southern side of the paddock. The southern portion of the ditch was broken by the entrance, 5m wide, to the paddock. The short length of ditch (C.2010) on the eastern side of the entrance was 0.6m wide by 0.62m deep and contained a single fill. The ditch to the west of the entrance (C.2003) was 1.2m wide by 0.55m deep and contained three fills. The portion of the western ditch (C.2008) to the north of ditch C.2014 was 1.6m wide by 1.1m deep and contained a single fill, and extended beyond the limits of excavation. Wider Field System Five test trenches were opened outside the excavated area: trench 1 to the east, trench 2 to the south- east, trench 3 to the south, and trenches 4 and 5 to the southeast. Evidence of ditches was recorded in the trenches; these ditches are representative of a post-medieval field system of boundaries and drainage ditches. It was possible to relate the two ditches recorded in trench 1 (C.2059 and C.2058) to ditches C.2006 and C.2014, respectively, in Area C. Although there was a difference of 0.50m in width, the fills were similar in nature. C.2056, in trench 2, was aligned east-west and does not cor- respond to any of the ditches recorded in the excavated area or the trenches. C.2061, located in trench 3, is likely to be a continuation of C.2O63 (a recut of C.2054) and C.2054. C.2054 was truncated byPermalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 10
  18. 18. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 a smaller linear feature C.2062, which measured 0.35m in width and 0.45m in depth. The purpose of C.2062 is unclear but it is possibly a drainage feature. C.2055 and C.2060, in trenches 4 and 5 re- spectively, are likely to be the same ditch. Although there was a difference of 0.80m in width, the fills were similar, being grey-greyish brown silty clay. These ditches do not appear to relate to any of those in the main excavation area. Kiln The kiln (C.2033) was keyhole-shaped in plan with a shallow circular pit-cut located at the entrance to the flue (Figure 11 & 12, plates 3 & 4). It was located in the centre of the surrounding enclosure. The kiln (C.2033) was located under a spread of burnt material, most likely raked out during the period of on-site activity. This spread consisted of three layers (C.2000, C.2001 and C.2004). C.2001, the up- permost layer, was a mottled grey- brown layer 12m by 10m by 0.02m deep. This overlay a black burnt layer (C.2000) 11m by 8.2m by 0.14m deep. The lower layer in the spread (C.2004) was mid brown and measured 5m by 6m by 0.15m deep. The kiln and pit measured 4.72m by 1.49m by 0.5m in depth. It contained 18 fills (C.2023, C.2024, C.2025, C.2026, C.2027, C.2028, C.2029, C.2030, C.2031, C.2034, C.2035, C.2036, C.2046, C.2047, C.2048, C.2049, C.2050 and C.2051). The fills were a mixture of grey and brown silty clay with inclusions of charcoal and stone. Some of the charcoal was identified as hazel and/or alder, oak and conifer. A radiocarbon date of cal AD 1310-1434 (UB-6833) was returned from charred seeds from C.2049. Twelve soil samples from the site were scanned for plant remains; they were taken from the fills of the kiln flue, from material that collapsed into the kiln chamber and in situ deposits from the base of the kiln chamber. They were all rich in cereal grain, chaff, arable weeds and cultivated le- gumes. The plants included the most common crops grown in the medieval period; wheat, barley, oats and broad beans. The presence of these species in the corn-drying kiln shows they were being dried prior to storage or perhaps before milling (Appendix 3). Three to four courses of random rubble limestone lined the sides of the bowl and flue of the kiln. The amount of stone included in the fills of the kiln would suggest that the stone lining was two or three courses higher originally. The pit-cut was not stone lined. The base of the flue was heat-scorched, from repeated fires. No evidence was recorded in relation to the roof of the kiln. Located under the rake out from the kiln were two additional linear features (C.2041 and C.2045). C.2045 was orientated east-west and measured 4.8m by 0.77m by 0.25m deep and contained a single fill (C.2044). C.2041 was curvilinear in plan, orientated north-south and measured 13.8m by 1.15m by 0.28m deep and contained two fills (C.2042 and C.2043). Both features were irregular in nature and could have been related to the kiln or subsequent agricultural activity.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 11
  19. 19. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 4.2.2 Stratigraphic Discussion The archaeological activity in Area A can be dated to the Bronze Age as fulachta fiadh generally date to this period. The mound itself (C.31) appears to have been heavily truncated by agricultural activity as it had a maximum depth of 0.04m. It is likely that the excavation of three agricultural ditches and a furrow truncated the mound. The small spreads of burnt mound material (C.6 and C.14) located to the west of the mound are the same as the main burnt mound layer C.31 that survived to the east. It is possible that the original mound measured up to c. 10m by 15m in size. The substantial size of the trough, 2m by 1.3m by 0.49m in depth, would further indicate that the mound was originally much larger. The size of the trough would suggest that a large number of stones would have been required to heat the water, and a mound of debris of much larger size would have accumulated from the repeated heating of such stone. The presence of stakeholes in three of the four corners of the trough could suggest that the trough was timber-lined or that the stakeholes supported some form of windbreak. The timber was removed and had not degraded in situ. The mettled surface (C.70) indicated the need to construct a firm ground surface or working platform beside the trough, probably due to the wet nature of the ground. Some time after the site had gone out of use, two layers of alluvial material (C.38 and C.46) accu- mulated in the depression to the southeast of the trough, overlying the mettled surface and partially overlying the southeastern edge of burnt spread C.31. This would suggest that the area was subject to repeat flooding after the fulacht fiadh had gone out of use. No evidence of a water course or rising spring was recorded in the area of the excavation or in proximity in the modern field. The presence of the alluvium layers would suggest that the water course may have been located to the southeast. The majority of the pits and stakeholes were located on the drier ground to the west. Area C An area of Late Medieval activity was excavated in Area C, in the form of a corn drying kiln located within a small paddock. The enclosing ditches of the paddock, to the north and east, formed part of a wider field system. A radiocarbon date of cal BC 3944-3710 (UB-6721) was returned from charcoal recovered from one of the fills of the kiln. This date does not make sense on the grounds that the plan of the kiln and the range of plant remains recovered would suggest that the kiln in medieval in date. A second radiocarbon date of cal AD 1310-1434 (UB-6833) was returned from charred seeds from one of the fills of the kiln C.2049. The kiln itself was located under a spread of burnt material. It is likely that this was material taken from or raked out from repeated burnings associated with use of the kiln. The only difference between the fills of the kiln and the overlying spreads was the inclusion of large stones within the kiln. This indicates that the stone structure of kiln (C.2033) collapsed at some point, infilling the kiln interior with burnt material and the stone structure. As the stones were located throughout the infilled material it is likely that this occurred over time, with the interior infilling grad- ually and portions of the structure collapsing at different times. No evidence was recorded to indicate how the structure was roofed. It likely that the walls were higher and supported a clay doomed roof.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 12
  20. 20. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 The paddock enclosing the kiln is likely to be contemporaneous with the kiln. The enclosure may have been part of a much larger field system, as the northern and eastern ditches extend beyond the area of excavation. The field system is likely to be post-Medieval in date. 4.2.3 Radiocarbon dates. Radiocarbon dates were returned from the Radiocarbon Laboratory at Queens University Belfast. The two dates returned from Queens were accelerator dates obtained from samples of charcoal and charred plant remains. One of the dates was Neolithic and the second was Late Medieval. Table 1 Lab. Code Sample Material Context No. Yrs BP Calibrated Dates 2 sigma UB-6717 Charcoal 2026 5023+/-41 cal BC 3944-3710 UB-6833 Charred grain 2049 551+/-32 cal AD 1310-1434 4.2.4 Plant Remains The plant remains were examined by A. Brewer and P. Johnston. Twelve soil samples from the corn- drying kiln were scanned for plant remains and all of these were rich in cereal grain, chaff, arable weeds and cultivated legumes. The cereal grains from the site included Bread wheat (Triticum aesti- vum), oats (Avena sp.), barley (Hordeum sp.) and rye (Secale cereale). Oats were the most common type found in all of the samples. Broad beans (Vicia faba) were also recorded from the corn-drying kiln, along with fragments of large legumes; these were probably also broad beans or peas. The plants found in the corn-drying kiln include the most common crops grown in the medieval period; wheat, barley, oats and broad beans. The presence of these species in the corn-drying kiln shows they were being dried prior to storage or perhaps before milling. 4.3 Discussion & Interpretation 4.3.1 Bronze Age The site occurs within an area where a cluster of Bronze Age fulachta fiadh sites have been identified. Three burnt mounds were recorded (CO019-019, -020 and -021) within 800m of Stagpark 2, while two other burnt mounds were excavated as part of this road project within Stagpark townland; Stag- park 3 (04E1119) was 800m away to the south. The intense use of this small area for the purposes of heating stones and water has produced a date range that suggests occupation on a long-term, if perhaps intermittent basis from at least the Early Bronze Age. Additional evidence from another fulacht fiadh (Mitchelstown 2, 1200m to the north) augments the general suggestion that many of the fulachta fiadh sites in this area were primarily in use during this period, as it was found in association with pits that produced an Early Bronze Age date. With the exception of the burnt mound at Mitchelstown 2, which was located on the northern bank of the Gradoge River, the remaining burnt mounds are not located adjacent to any known or contemporary water sources. The underlying subsoil is however a heavy clay which holds water very effectively being almost impermeable. The heavier wetter ground in the areaPermalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 13
  21. 21. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 was used for sites such as these, but archaeological evidence indicates that contemporary occupation occurred on the higher drier ground, for example the extensive occupation site found at Mitchelstown 1 (04E1072), found just 2km to the north and the occupation site at Stagpark 1 (04E1120) 200m to the south. 4.3.2 Medieval Period Corn-drying kilns were used to dry cereal grains and other crops in order to facilitate crop processing, to harden grains prior to grinding and to convert the grain into malt; the process of making malt is described in some early texts, and differs only minimally from the manner of malt preparation today (Binchy 1980). Lowering the moisture content of the grains also made them less susceptible to mould, fungal and insect attack and therefore increased the likelihood that they would come through storage intact. Drying kilns first appear in Britain during the Roman period, and it is possible that their use may have been due to necessity; to fumigate the grain crops in order to stop the spread of the stored product pest, the grain weevil (Sitophilus granarius): the earliest findings of these beetles from archaeo- logical contexts in Northwestern Europe are all from within the Roman Empire (Reilly 2003). It is not known when the grain weevil was introduced into Ireland, the earliest example found to date is from late Viking/early Anglo-Norman levels at Waterford (Reilly 2003) and the use of kilns in this country predates this (e.g. a radiocarbon date of Cal AD 410-485 was obtained from Kiltenan North, Co. Limerick: 02E0666). Their use continued in some parts of Ireland into the relatively recent past, Scott (1951) described several kilns that were still in use up to the beginning of the twentieth century. These examples demonstrate that the timeframe during which these monuments were in use was vast, spanning revolutionary changes in the approach to and organisation of agriculture in Ireland. O’Sullivan and Downey (2005) suggest that the geographical distribution of kilns is predominantly northern and western based on patterns in early nineteenth century Ordnance Survey maps. However, this pattern is because they were used in these areas in the more recent past; many archaeological ex- amples of corn drying kilns have been found in Leinster and Munster during the course of recent in- frastructural development. This suggests that they are a common archaeological site type and medieval texts suggest that there may even have been one kiln for communal use in every rural neighbourhood (Kelly, 1998). 5 Conclusion Evidence of Bronze Age and Late Medieval activity was recorded at Stagpark 2. The fulacht fiadh is comparable to the other Bronze Age sites excavated at Mitchelsotwn 2 and Stagpark 1 and 3 on the route of the road. The corn drying kiln was the only Medieval feature recorded on the route of the N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 14
  22. 22. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 6 Bibliography Barry, T.B. 1987 The Archaeology of Medieval Ireland, Routledge, London and New York. Binchy, D.A. 1980 ‘Brewing in eighth-century Ireland’ in B.G. Scott (ed.) Studies in Early Ireland: Essays in honour of M.V. Duignan Cotter, E. (2005) Bronze Age Ballybrowney County Cork in Recent Archaeological Discoveries on National Road Schemes 2004 NRA. Doody, M. (1995) The Clight Dubh in Discovery Programme Reports 2 Project Results 1993. Royal Irish Academy / Discovery Programme Dublin 1995. Doody, M. (1999), ‘Ballyhoura Hills project’, Discovery Programme Reports 5, 97-110. Royal Irish Academy. Dublin. Daly, A., Grogan, E. (1992) Excavation of Four Barrows in Mitchelstowndown West, Knocklong, County Limerick. Discovery Programme Reports 1 pp44-60. Royal Irish Academy. Gardiner, M.J., Radford, T. 1980 Soil Associations of Ireland and Their Land Use Potential. An Foras Talúntais. Kelly, F. 1998 Early Irish Farming Dublin: Institute for Advanced Studies. Kelly, M. (1989) Early Ireland, An Introduction to Irish Prehistory. Cambridge University Press. Monk, M. (1995) A Tale of Two Ringforts: Lisleagh I and II in Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society Vol. 100 O’Sullivan, M. and Downey, L. 2005 ‘Corn-Drying Kilns’ Archaeology Ireland, Vol. 19, No.3, 32-35. Power, B (1996) From the Danes to Dairygold A History of Mitchelstown. Mount Cashell Books. Power , B. 2000 White Knights, Dark Earls The Rise and Fall of an Anglo-Irish Dynasty. The Collins Press. Power, D., Lane, S., Egan, U., Byrne, E., Egan, U., Sleeman, M., with Cotter, E., Monk, J. (2000) Archaeological Inventory of County Cork Volume 4: North Cork Parts 1 and 2. The Stationery Office. Reilly, E. 2003 ‘The contribution of insect remains to an understanding of the environment of Viking- age and medieval Dublin’ in Duffy, S. (ed.) Medieval Dublin IV Dublin: Four Courts Press. Scott, L. 1951 ‘Corn Drying Kilns’ Antiquity 25, 196-208.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 15
  23. 23. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Sleeman, D.G., McConnell, B. 1995 Geology of East Cork-Waterford Geological Survey of Ireland. NRA Archaeological Discoveries N8 Watergrasshill Bypass. NRA Archaeological Discoveries N8 Rathcormac Fermoy. Stout, M. (2000) The Irish Ringfort Four Courts Press Dublin. Waddell, J. (1998) The Prehistoric Archaeology of Ireland. Galway University Press. Woodman, P.C. (1989) ‘The mesolithic in Munster: a preliminary assessment’, in Bonsall, C (ed), The Mesolithic in Europe, 116-24. John Donald. Edinburgh. Woodman, P.C. (2000) ‘Hammers and Shoeboxes: New Agendas for Prehistory’ in New Agendas in Irish Prehistory. Papers in commemoration of Liz Anderson. Wordwell, 1-10.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 16
  24. 24. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 7 Figures Figure 1: Portion of discovery map showing route of N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 17
  25. 25. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Legend Bronze Age Medieval Post-medieval 04E1072 Mitchelstown 1 04E1071 Mitchelstown 2 04E1121 Stagpark 2 04E1120 Stagpark 1 04E1119 Spagpark 3 Figure 2: Portion of RMP sheets CO019 & CO010 showing route of the N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 18
  26. 26. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 ell W ay nd Su Well Field Yeomens Field A Ballyarthur Field Parkanimrish Clyroe Field B Glen Field C Limekiln Field Donnellys Field D Laknock Field Sandpit Field Deer Park Garrane Warren Field New Orchard Park G ond Fishp High Field Mitchelstown Castle I Brick Field E H Milk Field Turnpike Field F J Reference Extent of Mitchelstown Demense Line of N8, Mitchelstown Relief Road A Barretts Grove B Old Pheasantry C Farm Yard D Kiltaunave Old Grave Yard E Carriganoura Wood F Whitegate Grove G Orchard Grove H Troopers Lough I Site of Church & Graveyard J Parkaphuca Figure 3: Portion of 1st edition maps sheets 10 & 19 showing Mitchelstown Demesne and the route of the N8 Mitchelstown Road.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 19
  27. 27. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Area A Area B Figure 4: Route of the N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road showing location of all archaeological sites.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 20
  28. 28. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Area C Area B Area C Figure 5: Portion of route of N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road showing spatial relationship between Areas A, B & CPermalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 21
  29. 29. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Sections of Cut 42 A 78 A1 77 79 80 B B1 51 52 Figure 6: Post-excavation plan Area A.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 22
  30. 30. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 N 54 73 69 A 41 72 75 76 74 A1 A A1 38 39 40 41 50 cm 0 50 cm Figure 7: Post-excavation plan and section of trough C.41 and associated stakeholes Area A.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 23
  31. 31. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 1053 A 1055 A1 1057 1056 1054 1046 Figure 8: Post-excavation plan Area B.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 24
  32. 32. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Figure 9: Post-excavation plan Area C.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 25
  33. 33. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 A A1 B B1 2011 2007 2012 2013 2008 2014 C C1 D D1 2039 2015 2016 2017 2018 2040 2021 2022 2006 E E1 F F1 2037 2009 2038 2010 2003 G G1 2002 2003 50 cm 0 1mFigure 10: Sections of the ditches Area C.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 26
  34. 34. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 03,00 08,00 N B1 2033 A 2032 A1 B A A1 2033 B B1 2026 2031 2024 # 2023 # 2028 # # # 2027 # # # # # # # # 2030 # # # # # # # # # 2029 # # 2027 # # # # 50 cm 0 50 cm Figure 11: Mid-excavation plan and section of corn-drying kiln Area C.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 27
  35. 35. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 N 2033 50 cm 0 50 cm Figure 12: Post-excavation plan corn-drying kiln Area C.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 28
  36. 36. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 8 Plates Plate 1: Pre-excavation of mound of fulacht fiadh Area A. Plate 2: Post-excavation of trough C.41 Area APermalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 29
  37. 37. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Plate 3: Pre-excavation of corn-drying kiln Area C. Plate 4: Stone lining of bowl and flue of corn drying kiln Area CPermalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 30
  38. 38. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Plate 5: Post-ex of corn drying kiln Area CPermalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 31
  39. 39. 9 Appendices 9.1 Appendix 1: Matrices 04E1121 Area A Matrix C.1 C.43 C.6 C.14 C.48 C.49 C.34 C.11 C.29 C.30 C.33 C.25 C.21 C.24 C.27 C.47 C.50 C.35 C.3 C.4 C.5 C.32 C.9 C.22 C.23 C.26Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road C.36 C.44 C.37 C.45 C.7 C.2 Key Period 1 Phase 1: Period 2 Phase 2: Formation of natural Infilling of features after subsoil abandonment Period 2 Phase 1: On- Period 4 Phase 1: site activity during the Modern use of land and Bronze Age current topsoil level32 ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237
  40. 40. C.1 04E1121 C.78 C.51 C.46 C.79 C.52 C.38 C.77 C.80 * Period 2 phase 1 context C.31 is located above Period 1 Phase 2 material due to the fact that this represents the remains of the burnt mound C.42 located in this area, portions of which have been displaced by taphonomic factors since its initial deposition.Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ C.31* C.63 C.70 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road C.56 C.66 C.64 C.59 C.53 C.39 C.60 C.62 C.55 C.67 C.65 C.58 C.76 C.75 C.74 C.73 C.54 C.40 C.68 C.71 C.61 C.41 C.69 C.72 C.57 C.233 ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237
  41. 41. Area B Matrix C.1001 04E1121 C.1031 C.1004 C.1049 C.1044 C.1048 C.1026 C.1027 C.1052 C.1016 C.1028 C.1033 C.1035 C.1037 C.1041 C.1006 C.1007 C.1008 C.1009 C.1010 C.1011 C.1012 C.1013 C.1032 C.1034 C.1036 C.1040 C.1018 C.1019Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road C.1002 Key Period 1 Phase 1: Period 3 Phase 1: Medieval Formation of natural occupation including use of subsoil kiln and field system Period 2 Phase 1: On-site Period 3 Phase 2: activity during the Bronze Abandonment and infill, Age collapse of kiln structure Period 2 Phase 2: Infilling Period 4 Phase 1: Modern of features after use of land and current abandonment topsoil level34 ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237
  42. 42. 04E1121 Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 C.1001 C.1047 C.1015 C.1017 C.1051 C.1038 C.1043 C.1053 C.1014 C.1029 C.1020 C.1039 C.1042 C.1054 C.1030 C.1055 C.1056 C.1057 C.1046 C.1002Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ 35
  43. 43. 04E1121 Area C Matrix C.2071 C.2002 C.2037 C.2007 C.2009 C.2011 C.2015 C.2039 C.2005 C.2042 C.2044 C.2055 C.2056 C.2038 C.2008 C.2010 C.2012 C.2016 C.2040 C.2043 C.2045Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/04e1121-stagpark2/ Stagpark 2, Co. Cork - N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road C.2003 C.2013 C.2017 C.2041 C.2014 C.2021 C.2014 C.2022 C.2006 C.207236 ISSUE 10: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237

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