Eachtra Journal

Issue 4                                           [ISSN 2009-2237]



           Archaeological Excavatio...
Archaeological Excavation Report
Carrowreagh
N25 Harristown to Rathsillagh
Co. Wexford

Medieval moated site and pottery k...
00E0471                  Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford                                                                     ISSU...
00E0471              Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford                                                         ISSUE 4: Eachtra Jou...
00E0471                Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford                                                                           ...
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00E0471              Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford                                        ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-...
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00E0471              Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford                                        ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-...
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00E0471              Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford                                      ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-22...
00E0471              Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford                                        ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-...
00E0471              Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford                                  ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237

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Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
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Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal

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The moated site comprised a rectangular moated area with an inside bank, a sub-rectangular building, and extensive evidence for activity outside the moat including numerous field boundaries, drains, furrows, working areas, a pottery kiln and a possible bisque firing kiln.

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Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal

  1. 1. Eachtra Journal Issue 4 [ISSN 2009-2237] Archaeological Excavation Report E0471 - Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford Medieval moated site and pottery kiln
  2. 2. Archaeological Excavation Report Carrowreagh N25 Harristown to Rathsillagh Co. Wexford Medieval moated site and pottery kiln December 2009 Client: Wexford County Council c/o Tramore House Road Design Office Tramore Co. Wexford Licence No.: 00E0471 Licensee: Michael Tierney Contact details: The Forge, Innishannon, Co. Cork. Written by: Michael Tierney Tel.: 021 470 16 16 Fax: 021 470 16 28 Penny Johnston E-mail: info@eachtra.ie Web Site: www.eachtra.ie
  3. 3. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Table of Contents i. Acknowledgements ...........................................................................................................v 1. Summary ..........................................................................................................................1 2. Introduction .....................................................................................................................1 3. Description of Development .............................................................................................1 4. Background to the Survey Area ........................................................................................1 5. Archaeological & Historical Background..........................................................................2 5.1 Mesolithic 7000-4000 BC..........................................................................................2 5.2 Neolithic 4000-2500 BC ............................................................................................2 5.3 Bronze Age 2500-500 BC...........................................................................................3 5.4 Iron Age 500 BC-500 AD ..........................................................................................4 5.5 Early Medieval 500 AD-1169 AD ..............................................................................4 5.6 Later Medieval 1169 AD-1600 AD.............................................................................4 5.7 Post-Medieval (after 1600 AD) ...................................................................................5 6. Site Location and Topography ..........................................................................................5 7. Description of the excavated remains ...............................................................................6 7.1 The Moat ...................................................................................................................6 7.2 Inside the Moat .........................................................................................................10 7.3 Outside the Moat ......................................................................................................12 8. Artefacts ..........................................................................................................................16 9. Environmental Remains ..................................................................................................17 10. Discussion .......................................................................................................................17 11. Summary .........................................................................................................................20 12. Bibliography ....................................................................................................................21 13. Figures .............................................................................................................................24 14. Plates ...............................................................................................................................38 15. Appendices ......................................................................................................................47 15.1 Appendix 1: Context Register ....................................................................................47 15.2 Appendix 2: Finds Register .......................................................................................47 15.3 Appendix 3: Medieval and Post-medieval pottery from Carrowreagh ........................48 15.4 Appendix 4: Radiocarbon Dates ...............................................................................72 15.5 Appendix 5: Catalogue of bone from Carrowreagh ....................................................78 15.6 Appendix 6: Charred plant remains from Carrowreagh .............................................79 Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ iii
  4. 4. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Table of contents cont. 15.7 Appendix 7: Timbers from Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford (00E0471) ...........................91 15.8 Appendix 8: Charcoal assessment Carrowreagh .........................................................93 15.9 Appendix 9: Specialist pottery catalogue ...................................................................96 15.10 Appendix 10: Flint and stone report ..........................................................................97 15.11 Appendix 11: Metal Artefacts Catalogue ..................................................................100 Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ iv
  5. 5. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 List of Figures Figure 1: Discovery map showing the route of the N25 Rathsillagh-Harristown road .......................... 24 Figure 2: Ordnance Survey 1st edition showing the route of the N25 Rathsillagh-Harristown Road ....25 Figure 3: RMP Sheet 36 showing the route of the N25 Rathsillagh-Harristown Road .........................26 Figure 4: Route of the new road with the excavated site displayed .........................................................27 Figure 5: Post excavation plan of the site at Carrowreagh (00E0471) ....................................................28 Figure 6: Section through the western portion of the moat (Drawing 159) ...........................................29 Figure 7: Section through the western portion of the moat (Drawing 125) ...........................................30 Figure 8: Section through the northern portion of the moat (Drawing 211) ..........................................31 Figure 9: Section through the eastern portion of the moat (Drawing 137) ............................................32 Figure 10: Detail of the house within the moat .....................................................................................33 Figure 11: Post-excavation plan of the pottery kiln and possible bisque-firing pit ..................................34 Figure 12: Illustration of one of the gaming pieces found at the site (00E0471:284:1) ...........................35 Figure 13: Illustration of a spindle whorl retrieved from the moated site (00E0471:241:260) ................36 Figure 14: Working area to the northeast of the moated site .................................................................37 List of Plates Plate 1: Pre-excavation shot of the moated site at Carrowreagh, facing southeast ..................................38 Plate 2: The moat after excavation .........................................................................................................38 Plate 3: Section through the ditch C.120 ..............................................................................................39 Plate 4: Possible leat as a water source for the moat ...............................................................................39 Plate 5: View of the medieval house and destruction layers within the moat during excavation, facing west ............................................................................................................................................. 40 Plate 6: House destruction layers showing the charred remains of structural elements from the house . 40 Plate 7: Pottery fragments from the destruction layers in the house .......................................................41 Plate 8: Metalled area and drain at the west of the house before excavation ..........................................41 Plate 9: Pottery kiln during excavation showing location of possible saggars ........................................ 42 Plate 10: The pottery kiln after excavation ........................................................................................... 42 Plate 11: Possible bisque-firing pit .........................................................................................................43 Plate 12: Drains as evidence for agricultural features in the area outside the moat (C.167)....................43 Plate 13: Leinster Cooking Ware Jug from C.241 with applied frills below rim (Photograph by John Sun- derland) ............................................................................................................................................. 44 Plate 14: Interior of thumb pot fragment from C.240 that may have been used as an aquamanile (Photo- graph by John Sunderland) .................................................................................................................. 44 Plate 15: Possible roof tile fragment from C.336 (Photograph by John Sunderland) ..............................45 Plate 16: Fragment from jug made in the Redcliffe style from C.206 (Photograph by John Sunderland)45 Plate 17: Fragments of locally made wares that copy the Ham Green style from C.241 (Photograph by John Sunderland) ................................................................................................................................. 46 Plate 18: Fragment from a waster found in C.141 (Photograph by John Sunderland) ........................... 46 Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ v
  6. 6. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 i. Acknowledgements Project Manager Michael Tierney Licensee Michael Tierney Fieldwork Brian McDomhnaill, William Frazer, Ben Middleton, Tim Allen, Stuart Noon, Antonia Scanlon, Aaron Johnston, John O’ Callaghan, Joanne O’ Meadhra, Ben Middleton, Tom Janes, Brian Halpin, Vera Power, Cathy Fisher, Tony Bartlett, Frieda Kearns, Marie Dowling, Conor Dineen, Gerry Breen, Karen Buckley, Aoife Kavanagh, Rebecca Lesaux, Kieran Power, Laurence Fenton, Helen Finnegan, Ronan O’ Donoghue. Also, JR, BA,DA, PB, OB, BR, SM, KM, RCS, UP, AP, JJ, BAD, Lisa J and Alex O’ K. Research Stuart Elder, Simon Ó Faoláin, Penny Johnston Text Penny Johnston Illustrations Enda O’ Mahony, John Sunderland, Fiachra Dunne Specialists Niamh Doyle, Beta Analytic Inc., Margaret McCarthy, Penny Johnston, Martha Tierney, Mary Dillon, Sara Camplese, Susannah Kelly, Farina Sternke This project was funded solely by Wexford County Council under the National Development Plan. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ vi
  7. 7. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 1. Summary County Wexford Town land Carrowreagh Parish Kilgarvan Civil Parish Kilgarvan Barony Shelmaliere West National Grid Co-ordinates 28835 12375 Chainage 4340 Site Type Moated site Excavation Licence Number 00E0471 2. Introduction The Rathsillagh to Harristown Little N25 realignment scheme in Co. Wexford has resulted in the discovery of several archaeological sites. The moated site was found in Carrowreagh town land (at Chainage 4340) and excavated under licence number 00E0471. It comprised a rectangular moated area with an inside bank, a sub-rectangular building, and extensive evidence for activity outside the moat including numerous field boundaries, drains, furrows, working areas, a pottery kiln and a pos- sible bisque firing kiln. Only a handful of genuine moated sites have thus far been excavated in Ireland; Ballinvinny South (Cotter 2005), Kilmagoura and Rigsdale in Co. Cork, Kilferagh, Co. Kilkenny, Ballyveelish, Co. Tipperary (O’Conor 1998, 70-71) and Coolamurray, Co. Wexford (Fegan 2005). 3. Description of Development A section of the N25 route between the town lands of Rathsillagh and Harristown Little was selected for upgrading, as the old road comprised a single carriageway in either direction, with several ‘blind’ junctions, and in many cases only a hedge separating farmland from the road. The new route would not only seek to straighten and level out the N25, but to provide a wider single carriageway with hard shoulder in either direction, in keeping with the Barntown scheme completed in 1998. 4. Background to the Survey Area The N25 road is the main east/west route in the south, traversing the counties of Cork, Waterford, Kilkenny and Wexford. It links the port of Rosslare Harbour with Cork City via New Ross, Waterford City, Dungarvan and Youghal. The 8.5 km route of the new road crosses a series of low, undulating hills, to the south of the old N25 route, at a height of between 45 m and 80 m above sea level. The landscape here is characterised by small hills interspersed with many small streams that eventually flow into the River Corock to the southwest and the Slaney to the northwest, in addition to feeding into Ballyteige Bay to the south. Beginning in Rathsillagh town land at the western end of the new route of the road, it climbs gently, running parallel and to the south of the old N25, before continuing through Assagart, Ballyvergin, Shanowle, Camaross, Carrowreagh, Dungeer, Bricketstown and through into Harristown Little, even- tually exiting in Harristown Big town land and tying into the Barntown improvement which opened Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 1
  8. 8. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 in 1998. The higher ground was lush pasture, well drained, and gave spectacular views all around. Conversely, the lower ground in Camaross, Carrowreagh and Dungeer town lands was quite marshy and prone to growth of gorse. One burnt mound was excavated in Dungeer town land, this was located on the eastern side of a small stream, at the base of a steep rise. The moated site was also situated on the lower ground. Sites on the higher ground included prehistoric settlement activity and a series of limekilns. In general Co. Wexford is characterised by Ordovician rocks which underlie a fertile, well-drained, lowland. The land is covered by surface drift from early periods of glaciation and is renowned for its long tradition of arable farming (Aalen et al. 1997). The soils are predominantly acid brown earths with wide land-use capabilities. 5. Archaeological & Historical Background There are thirteen recorded archaeological monument sites within 1 km either side of the development; one is a church and graveyard site, nine are listed as enclosure sites of between 30 m and 60 m in di- ameter and three are moated sites (two of which are destroyed). The ecclesiastical site apparently dates to the medieval period as there is a fragment of a medieval grave cover in the graveyard and the site was originally surrounded by a circular bank (Moore 1996, 129). The enclosures most likely represent the raths and ringforts of the early medieval period (Moore 1996, 28). Prior to these excavations, the known archaeological remains in the locality were all medieval and post-medieval but several prehis- toric sites were identified during the course of this programme of excavation along the N25 route-way, including Neolithic material at Harristown Big, Bronze Age sites at Dungeer, Ballyvergin and Har- ristown Big and Iron Age activity at two sites in Bricketstown. 5.1 Mesolithic 7000-4000 BC The earliest known human occupation of Ireland dates to the Mesolithic period (c. 7000-4000 BC). Lithic scatters from the period have been found along the banks of the Barrow river in counties Wex- ford and Waterford (Green and Zvelebil 1990). Some diagnostic Mesolithic stone artefacts were also found in Camolin, in north Wexford, and along the eastern coastline between Carnsore and Kilm- ichael point (Stout 1987, 3). However, most activity is identified in resource-rich locations by riversides and coastlines and there is no known evidence for Mesolithic archaeological within the area affected by the road take but a re-deposited Mesolithic blade point was recovered from the medieval moated site at Carrowreagh (00E0471). 5.2 Neolithic 4000-2500 BC There is piecemeal evidence for Neolithic occupation in County Wexford. Stout’s (1987) distribution map of Neolithic remains includes evidence for one single burial site, fifteen find spots for flint and stone artefacts, two portal tombs and seven other possible megalithic tombs. Work on the Archaeologi- cal Survey of Ireland reduced the number of other possible megaliths from seven to five (Moore 1996). Subsequent excavation work has increased the extent of knowledge concerning Neolithic settlement in the county. Early Neolithic pottery was found by McLoughlin (2004) at Kerlogue (02E0606) and at a Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 2
  9. 9. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 pit and a hearth excavated under licence 00E0630 at Courtlands East (Purcell 2001). Later Neolithic activity in the county is indicated by Sandhills ware, discovered during an excavation (02E0434) in a pit at St. Vogues (Purcell 2004). An undated excavation at MacMurroughs (1985:59) also uncovered a number of flints and a ground stone axe, associated with a hearth and pit may also be Neolithic in date (Cotter 1985). Some evidence for Neolithic activity was found as part of this project at Harristown Big (00E0424) where Neolithic pottery was discovered at a site where various pits and stake -holes were excavated. Early Neolithic and possible Middle Neolithic wares were found. 5.3 Bronze Age 2500-500 BC Some of the earliest Bronze Age finds from Co. Wexford are three chance finds of Beaker gold discs (only one with a provenance). Other Bronze Age metal finds from the county includes hoards of both Early and Late Bronze Age artefacts, e.g. at Cahore Point, a cave at Nash, Ballyvadden, Enniscorthy, Forth Commons and New Ross (Stout 1987, 9-10, 22). At Ballyvadden the Late Bronze Age metal ob- jects were found within a ceramic container, a unique feature in Irish hoards, but apparently common on the continent during the period (Stout 1987, 22). Burnt mounds are the most common Bronze Age site-types found in Ireland and sixty-three such sites were identified in the Archaeological Inventory for the county (Moore 1996) and since the survey work several have been excavated in the county; examples were found at Strandfield (McCarthy 2004) and along the routes of the N30 (Enniscorthy to Clonroche) and the N11 (Arklow to Gorey) roads (www. nra.ie/Archaeology/LeafletandPosterSeries). Only one burnt mound was excavated during works on the Rathsillagh-Harristown realignment of the N25; this was found at Dungeer 00E0474. Much of our evidence for Bronze Age activity in Wexford to date has come from burials. There is a recognised concentration of cist-type burials in Co. Wexford; these are commonly thought to date to the Early Bronze Age. Stout (1987) identified more than thirty-seven identified but many were not well documented and Moore (1996) could only pinpoint the locations of only twenty-five cist and pit burials in total. Several other burials with diagnostic Bronze Age pottery have since been found during excavation: there was a cordoned urn burial at Ballintubbrid, vase urn burials at Coolnaboy, Gorey Corporation Lands and Kilmurry, a cist with a tripartite bowl at Knockbrack and a ring ditch with cremation burials at Ferns Lower (Bennett 2004-5). Another ring-ditch was found at Kerlogue Sites 4 and 5 and a large round house excavated at Kerlogue Site 2 was probably also of Bronze Age date (McLoughlin 2004). The excavations from the Rathsillagh-Harristown road scheme included one Early-Middle Bronze Age site at Ballyvergin where hot-stone technology was used in association with metalworking. Another metalworking site was found at Harristown Big (00E0425) where a series of Late Bronze Age metalworking pits and crucibles were found and the Late Bronze Age burnt mound site at Dungeer (00E0474). Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 3
  10. 10. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 5.4 Iron Age 500 BC-500 AD In common with much of Ireland there is very little evidence for Iron Age activity in Co. Wexford. Hillforts and promontory forts have possible construction dates in the Late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age and there are two hillforts and five promontory forts in the county (Moore 1996). The artefactual evidence for this period in Wexford includes two pins that are of probable Iron Age date and two pos- sible Iron Age stone heads recovered from Duncormick (Stout 1987, 29-30). Two of the sites excavated along the route of the Rathsillagh-Harristown road produced Iron Age radiocarbon dates, both were from Bricketstown and one was a small cremation cemetery (00E0623), the second was a small hearth (00E0624). 5.5 Early Medieval 500 AD-1169 AD The beginnings of Christianity are evident in the remains of seventeen early ecclesiastical sites in Co. Wexford (Moore 1996). One of the earliest excavated examples from Co. Wexford was at St. Vogues, at Carnsore, where a wooden church preceded a stone building (O’Kelly 1975). One of the closest known early church sites to the road take is located approximately 3 km to the south at the church of Poulmarl/Taghmon, the monastery founded by St. Munna in the seventh century. The list of abbots from this site continues to the end of the tenth century and there is a record of a Viking raid in 917 AD (Moore 1996, 160). By this time the Norse town of Weisford, later to become Wexford, was already established, having been established by the end of the ninth century (Colfer 1990-1991). Evidence for settlement in the county during the early medieval period comes from ringforts, typical monuments of the period. These were circular or sub-circular enclosures made from earthen banks that surrounded areas roughly between 25 and 40 metres in diameter. Excavated examples have dem- onstrated that they generally surrounded single farmstead-type settlement sites. One hundred and fifty-three examples are known from the county (Moore 1996). Of these only two were located within close proximity to the area of the new Rathsillagh-Harristown road (at Haystown, c. 3 km to the north of the new road and at Cullenstown c. 2 km to the south). There are also numerous circular enclosure sites that probably represent ringforts; thirteen of them appear on the RMP Sheet 36 (covering the area of the new road-take) for Co. Wexford. 5.6 Later Medieval 1169 AD-1600 AD The Anglo-Normans first landed in Ireland in Co. Wexford in 1169. The county was within their initial land-grab zone between AD 1169 and AD 1190 (Mitchell & Ryan 1997, 305) and was sub-infeudated in the early stages of Anglo-Norman activity in Ireland (Colfer 1987). Wexford county was one of the first twelve counties created by the English Kings in the 12th to 13th centuries, from the original Prov- inces and lesser Territories of the Irish Tuatha (Howarth 1911, 161). By the thirteenth century much of the area covered by the Rathsillagh-Harristown road-take was a frontier zone and the archaeological landscape of these areas is characterised by moated sites: there are ten known sites on RMP Sheet 36 for Co. Wexford, the area covered by the new road, and one moated site at Carrowreagh was found along the line of the new road. Moated sites were distributed at the peripheries of the colonial organi- Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 4
  11. 11. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 sation centres and probably represent an attempt at secondary colonisation (O’Keefe 2000, 73-75). There are almost 130 moated sites known in County Wexford (Moore 1996, 95). However, by the end of the fourteenth century, much of the Anglo-Norman settlement in Co. Wexford had retreated to a south-eastern stronghold in the baronies of Forth and Bargy, a pattern that Colfer (1987) suggests was reminiscent of the “Pale of county Wexford”. Excavations of medieval sites in the county include the remains of a medieval house were excavated at Ballyanne (Moran 2000), with pottery indicative of oc- cupation in the 12th to 14th centuries, and excavations at Ferns, Hook Head, Newtown, Tintern, Tagh- mon, New Ross and Wexford town all produced medieval archaeological remains (Bennett 2004-5). Along the route of the Rathsillagh-Harristown road the moated site at Carrowreagh (excavated under licence no. 00E0476) was the largest medieval site excavated. A spread of medieval occupation material was also excavated at Bricketstown (00E0476) and this was rich in the remains of medieval pottery. It is also possible that the limekilns at Bricketstown (00E0476) and Harristown Little (00E0417) were in use at the very end of the medieval period. 5.7 Post-Medieval (after 1600 AD) A few excavations of post-medieval archaeological sites have been carried out in Wexford County, in- cluding Brideswell Big, Duncannon Fort, and excavations in Wexford and Ennisorthy town (Bennett 2004-5). Some of the excavations from the Rathsillagh to Harristown road scheme were probably used during this time, in particular the limekilns at Bricketstown (00E0476, 00E0626) and Harristown Little (00E0417) were probably in use at this period. There is Jacobean house site in Dungeer, one of the town lands affected by the road take. References to the house/castle date to the early seventeenth century (Moore 1996). 6. Site Location and Topography The site was situated on the eastern edge of Carrowreagh town land, on low-lying ground surrounded by gentle hills and overlooking an area of marshy ground. The longest axis of the moat was north- east/south-west. The northern part of the settlement was within the road-take, with the rest of the moat visible as slight depressions running under a modern road. The line of the southern end of the moat could be made out from a kink in the existing field boundary that preserves the outline of the settlement. Although the site was not known prior to monitoring carried out in 2000 under licence no. 00E0379, it was locally called the ‘ra’ or rath field, and the most recent landowner remembered a series of bumps across the field following the line of what was uncovered in the test-trench. These had been levelled in the past 40 years. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 5
  12. 12. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 7. Description of the excavated remains Archaeological excavation of the site at Carrowreagh revealed the partial remains of a medieval moated site and associated external activity (Figure 5). Within the area of the road corridor three sides of the moat were partially exposed and excavated (Plate 1). The uncovered remains suggested that the entire site formed a rough trapezoid in plan, with much of its southern part remaining un-excavated beyond the limit of the road take. The moat enclosed a medieval longhouse and a series of metalled surfaces and drains. Of particular interest was the opportunity to excavate a large area of land outside the moat. A pottery kiln and many contexts associated with pottery manufacture were identified in the area around the moat. The extensive network of drains in the area suggested that there was some difficulty with drainage at the site and the evidence from field boundaries and furrows was also examined. In total 439 contexts were excavated and full contextual information is given in the context register (Ap- pendix 1) with listings of stratigraphic relationships. 7.1 The Moat Only the northern part of the moat was exposed for its full length, running for a distance of 32 m. It had an average width of c. 5 m and it was aligned northwest–southeast. The corners at both ends (where it joined with the western and eastern sides of the moat) formed an angle on the interior that was slightly more obtuse than 90˚. Some 30 m of the length of the western side were exposed, with its long axis running southwest–northeast and with an average width of c. 4.6 m. Only a relatively short length of the eastern side of the moat was exposed. With an average width of c. 4.5 m, this ran north- northeast–south-southwest for a distance of c. 13 m before disappearing beneath the southern baulk. Three large sections were excavated across the moat (C. 120), one on each of the exposed sides (Plate 2). It was substantial in both breadth and depth and safety concerns necessitated the cutting of gradual steps down through the moat. As a result some contexts cannot be accurately matched up between the sections above and below the steps (Plate 3). This creates a difficult stratigraphic sequence and complex matrices, complexity that is perhaps manufactured by the difficult excavation conditions rather than by the reality of the sequence of the ditch fills. The sections on the west and east sides contained similar numbers of deposits/fills (15 and 14 respectively), while the evidence from the north side contained nearly twice as many deposits/fills (27 in all). The moat cut (C.120) varied in width from 3.9 m to 4.8 m and in depth from 1.28 m to 1.77 m. In general it demonstrated a sharp break of slope at the top and relatively straight sides near the top, more gradual, sometimes stepped, towards the base. The base ranged from being flat to slightly concave. Some organic material was preserved in the waterlogged deposits at the very base of the ditch, some perhaps representing structural remains (a wooden stake in C.553 and wooden planks and pegs in C.210). There was evidence of a re-cut in all the sections through the moat, although the re-cut dem- onstrated a lot of variety in form and in the number of fills that it contained at different points across the moat. For example, re-cut (C.554) with a single fill (C.539) was far narrower and steeper than the original moat; it left the original stratigraphic sequence in the moat relatively intact. By contrast, the re-cut (C.556) contained 7 fills, appeared to have a similar profile and width to the original moat cut, and it had removed much of the preceding silted-up stratigraphy of the moat, including the external Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 6
  13. 13. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 side of the original moat cut. These evident differences suggest that the re-cut was carried out piece- meal, and was not a single preconceived programme of work that cleared out the moat in its entirety. 7.1.1 Western portion of the Moat (Figure 6) At this point the ditch cut (C.120) had a width of 3.9 m and a depth of 1.28 m, while the re-cut (C.556) had a width of 3.3 m and a depth of 1.08 m. Four fills from the original cut survived and there were 11 fills in the re-cut. The fills of the re-cut were C.320, C.321, C.322, C.323, C.332 & C.329. The re-cut (C.556) was characterised by irregular, stepped sides and a concave base, and it truncated sev- eral original ditch fills. On the eastern side of the section, C.556 cut through several deposits (C.324, C.325, C.326, C.327 and C.328) which appear to have slumped into the moat from the interior of the site. This evidence for slumping may suggest the existence of a bank on the moat interior. Below the slumped deposits there were two fills (C.331 and C.341) that apparently accumulated gradually within the moat and these were the basal deposits within the moat at this point. At this point C.120, the original cut of the moat, had a sharp break of slope at the top on the eastern side, with the eastern side being straight at the top. The upper part of the western side of the moat was absent due to trunca- tion by the field boundary ditch C.135 (filled by C.319). The lower part of the cut was stepped at the bottom on both sides and the base was flat. 7.1.2 Western portion of the Moat (Figure7) At this point the ditch (C.120) had a width of 4.20 m and a depth of 1.57 m, while the re-cut (C.554) had a width of 2.20 m and a depth of 1.23 m. The re-cut was cut through the central part of the moat, and truncated all the original ditch fills at this point of the moat. There was one fill in the re-cut (C.539) and 14 remaining below it in the original cut. The sides were gently sloped at the top, becom- ing almost vertical lower down, and giving way to a gradual break of slope at bottom with a concave base. Several deposits clearly matched up on either side of the re-cut (C.540, C.541 C.542 and C.543). Other deposits that were disturbed by the re-cut were C.544, C.545, C.546, C.551, C.552, C.553, C.543, C.547, C.548, C.549 and C.550. The original cut (C.120) at this section had a sharp break of slope at the top and straight, almost vertical upper side at the west, with a steeply sloping slightly concave upper side at the east. The lower sides were more gently curving and there was a gradual break of slope at bottom. The base was irregular and slightly concave. Only the lowest fill (C.553) contained any finds; 2 sherds of medieval pottery and several pieces of wood, including a sharpened stake. 7.1.3 Northern portion of the Moat (Figure 8) At this point ditch cut (C.120) had a width of 4.5 m and a depth of 1.77 m, while the re-cut (C.561) had a width of 3.88 m and a depth of 1.25 m. There were 13 fills in the re-cut (C.343, C.347, C.348, C.354, C.560, C.350, C.351, C.352, C.353, C.355, C.357, C.360 and C.362) and 14 remaining be- low it in the original cut. At this point the re-cut (C.561) had gently sloping sides [c. 30˚], although at one point on its northern side it was severe [nearly 90˚]. Its base appeared rounded with no notable break of slope. The original ditch fills were C.356, C.358, C.359, C.361, C.344, C.363, C.345, C.364, C.346, C.366, C.367, C.365, C.389 and C.390. At this point the moat cut (C.120) displayed a mod- Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 7
  14. 14. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 erate break of slope at top, with sides that were somewhat stepped and irregular towards the top, but more rounded and smooth towards the base on the southern side. There was no discernible break of slope at the bottom and the base was very slightly concave. Of the contexts recorded in this section, only the lowest two fills, C.389 and C.390, contained any finds. Some wood and possible fragments of slag were recovered from C.389, while C.390 yielded possible seeds, organic matter [possibly dung], charred wood, bone fragments and a single pottery sherd. 7.1.4 Eastern portion of the Moat (Figure 9) At this point C.120 (the ditch cut) had a width of 4.8 m and a depth of 1.6 m, while the re-cut (C.555) had a width of 3.2 m and a depth of 1.18 m. There were 2 fills in the re-cut (C.142 and C.193) and the re-cut had quite a sharp break of slope at the top, gradually sloping sides, with steps at the west while being quite smooth and slightly concave at the east. There was no discernible break of slope at the bottom and the base was rounded and concave. This was the only point at the site where finds were recovered from the re-cut. The two re-cut fills both contained artefactual material; C.142 yielded 22 medieval pottery sherds and 19 were found in C.193. Most of the remaining twelve deposits from the original ditch were truncated by the re-cut. These lie on either side of the re-cut and do not cor- respond to each other, uniting only when they both eventually come down onto the bottom fill of the moat (C.210). On the eastern side of the moat there were three deposits (C.251, C.401 and C.315). On the west side of the moat eight deposits were excavated (C.223, C.242, C.275, C.383, C.280, C.337, C.300 and C.454). The bottom fill of the moat was C.210. The moat cut at this point had a sharp break of slope at the top, with fairly straight and smooth sides inclined c. 45˚. The break of slope at the base was gradual and the base was fairly flat. Three of the original ditch fills contained finds. C.223 contained 15 medieval pottery sherds, wooden plank and pegs were recovered from C.210, and 33 sherds of pottery were found in C.454. Charcoal from C.454 returned a radiocarbon date of cal AD 1290-1410 (Beta 219126, Appendix 4). 7.1.5 Finds from the Moat There is considerable variation amongst the four sections of the ditch in terms of the quantity and the range of finds recovered in their contexts. In all, some eight contexts (C.142, C.193, C.210, C.223, C.389, C.390, C.454 & C.553) yielded finds of one type or other, with medieval pottery being the most widespread find type. The next most widespread was wood, which occurred in four contexts (C.210, C.389, C.390 & C.553). Apart from these, the remaining finds were possible slag (in C.389), seeds (in C.390), bone (in C.390) and an organic material which may be dung (in C.390). The largest range of find types were found in C.390, where pottery, wood, seeds, bone and organic material were all recovered. There was a clear disparity in the retrieval of ceramic sherds from the different sections of the ditch. Only two sherds were found in the west ditch and a single sherd was found in the north portion of the ditch, the area closest to the pottery kiln. One hundred and seventy-five sherds were recovered from the eastern section of the moat. Ditches running alongside the moat, to the east, also contained pot- tery sherds and this pattern of retrieval is clearly of significance, possibly it is related to waste disposal Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 8
  15. 15. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 practises on the site. 7.1.6 The Water Source Barry (1978, 58) noted that several examples of moated sites within a survey area in southeast Ireland had moats that were linked to a water source by leats. This site at Carrowreagh was located near a stream to the west and portions of its course were drystone-lined, suggesting that it was a leat built or diverted deliberately, probably providing the water supply for the moat and feeding in at the western side (Plate 4). The point where it joined the moat was not identified during excavation and may lie beyond the limit of the excavation to the south, further downhill. This ties in with the evidence from the excavation as the ditch of the moat was shallower to the west and deeper on the east, suggesting that it was fed from the west and not dependent on ground water. 7.1.7 Other Defences Many moated sites have not been detected to this day as, due to their shape in plan and the fact that they had a pre-existing system of banks, ditches and leats, the sites were easily incorporated into post- medieval field systems (O’Keefe 2000, 75). For example, part of the eastern and southern lengths of the ditch at the moated site in Coolamurray, Co. Wexford comprised an existing field boundary ditch and bank (Fegan 2005). This partial incorporation of the archaeological site into later field systems is relatively common and as a result a fragment of a moat or ditch may survive with an above-ground register while the rest of the monument has been levelled due to agricultural activity. Such was the case at Carrowreagh; part of the western section of the moat was incorporated into the existing field bound- ary system and the field boundary ditch (C.135) cut the moat at the west. The field boundary system included a bank to the west of the ditch: if this was also a continuation of the medieval moated site enclosure it suggests that there may originally have been an external bank around the site, or around parts of it. Exterior banks are generally less common in moated sites than interior ones, but they are not necessarily uncommon in this area of Wexford and sites at Ballintartan, Ballyclemock, Growtown Upper, Newcastle, Old Boley and Scullabage (from the area around Carrowreagh) all retained some traces of external banks until the recent past (Moore 1996). As most of the Carrowreagh site had been levelled there were few extant remains of an interior bank, although the northern and eastern areas within the moat at Carrowreagh are void of occupation de- posits and cut features, perhaps because a bank originally filled these spaces. However, occupation deposits extend almost to the edge of the moat at the west, perhaps suggesting that there was never an interior bank at this part of the enclosure. The moated site excavated at Ballyveelish, Co. Tipper- ary did not have any evidence for a bank and occupation deposits reached almost to the edges of the moat (Doody 1987), but remnants of interior banks are visible at several moated sites in the immediate vicinity of Carrowreagh (Moore 1996). The recovery of wooden structural remains, including planking, pegs and a stake from the lower fill of the moat might be taken as evidence of the likely existence of an internal palisade running along the inner edge of the moat. Wood remains were found in the lower fills of all of the excavated portions of the moat; of particular note was a sharpened stake from the south-western section and wooden planks Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 9
  16. 16. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 and pegs from the south-eastern section. These may represent collapsed remains of fences or palisades that surrounded the interior of the enclosure. Excavations of moated sites at Kilmagoura and Rigsdale in Co. Cork (see O’Conor 1998) and Coolamurray, Co. Wexford (Fegan 2005) produced no evidence for palisades, however at Ballyveelish, Co. Tipperary there was evidence for a palisade along the inter- nal side of the eastern moat (Doody 1987). 7.2 Inside the Moat The interior of the moated site was dominated by a centrally located building, aligned on the same northeast–southwest axis as the moat (Plate 5). The road take did not cover its full extent and therefore only a portion of the building was excavated, measuring 6 m northeast-southwest by 6.3 m northwest- southeast. It was sub-rectangular in plan with rounded corners at the northwest and northeast. 7.2.1 The House The structure was defined by a shallow foundation trench (C.524) which was 0.48 m deep (Figure 10). The foundations of the building were not properly cut into the subsoil, indicating that the building was not earth-fast and it was probably constructed using sill-beam foundations. Central support posts may have rested on pad-stones (not found during the excavation) or wooden foundations. Other building materials for the walls probably included turfs and mud/earth. Only two earth-cut postholes were excavated within the building: one was found near the northern limit of the building interior (C.445). It measured 0.23 m in length, 0.21 m in width, was 0.17 m deep and contained three fills (C.444, C.439 and C.414) which included possible packing stones. The fills were charcoal rich and it is likely that the post burnt down and was removed. A second posthole (C.232) was excavated within the foundation trench. It cut the subsoil and there was one medium size stone embedded in the base for packing/support. It contained three fills (C.236, C.229 and C.225) and was approximately 0.3 m in diameter and 0.46 m deep. The absence of other postholes suggests that they were unlikely to have been part of the original structure of the building; they may indicate repair or ancillary structural works. Within the building the basal layers were cut by seven stake-holes (C.376, C.374, C.377, C.394, C.395, C.461 and C.462). One (C.461) represented an outlying stake, but the remaining five formed a continuous line running roughly north to south. As the stakes were driven into basal deposits it is probable that this division was part of the original construction of the building, or an early amend- ment. The stake-holes all resembled each other and were set at an average distance of 0.19 m apart. These stake-holes had an average diameter of 0.07 m and an average depth of 0.13 m, and their fills were alike (mid green clays with occasional pebbles).They appear to run alongside the wall of the build- ing and are c. 1 m from a hearth. There is no indication of their function. The earliest layers within the house (C.391, C.411, C.460, C.474, C.487 and C.495) were formed from re-deposited natural that was deliberately laid to form an occupation surface within the building. Their combined areas covered approximately 10 m2, but their full extent is unknown as many remained unexcavated beneath the baulk. A hearth (made up of three layers; C.368, C.335 and C.312) was laid directly onto one of the basal Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 10
  17. 17. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 layers (C.487) and is therefore associated with the original phase of use of the structure. The hearth measured approximately 0.6 m in diameter and it was located in the northwest corner of the building. Diffuse porous charcoal from one of the contexts (C.368) in this hearth was sent for radiocarbon dat- ing and a date range of cal AD 1400-1450 was obtained (Beta 219124, Appendix 4). A second hearth (C.381) was more centrally located, it was 1 m from the edge of the foundation trench at the west and c. 2.5 m from the eastern edge of the foundation trench. It was c. 2 m south of the northern limit of the occupation surface, and it continued beyond the southern limit of excavation. The first surface layers were overlain by a thin (0.02 m) deposit associated with occupation of the build- ing (C.441). It measured 1.7 m in length and 0.9 m in width and it did not cover the entire interior of the building. It is likely that it was contemporary with the use of the hearth, and it was associated with a ridge of occupation material (C.465) that accumulated along the edge of the occupation surface. The initial occupation layers were overlain by evidence of either partial or total destruction of the house (C.241, C.276, C.278, C.286, C.294, C.297, C.301, C.311 and C.333). These deposits covered the internal area of the building and consisted of the burnt remains of possible structural timbers such as roof and wall beams and planks (Plate 6), burnt clay (possibly also a burnt building material), pottery fragments (Find numbers 00E0471:241:1-56, 00E0471:276:1-3, 00E0471:297:1-4, 00E0471:333:1-24: see Plate 7) and a metal object, possibly a nail (Find no. 00E0471:333:25). The majority of the pottery remains were Leinster Cooking Wares and local copies of Ham Green Ware. Base body and rim sherds were present and these artefacts were presumably the vessels that were in use in the building prior to its destruction. A radiocarbon date of cal AD 1300-1420 (Beta 219123, Appendix 4) was obtained from charcoal in C.241. The destruction layers were overlain by deposits of silting (C.149 and C.215). C.215 respected the plan of the interior of the house and therefore it is possible that some structural timbers remained upright after the fire. Another episode of silting (C.216) occurred just on the exterior of the building; the in- clusion of pottery in this deposit indicates some re-deposition of material from the destruction layers, but in general the evidence suggests that the site was not cleared and reused in the aftermath of the house fire. A large rectangular pit (C.287) was excavated within the house, it was aligned east-west and measured 1 m in length, 0.52 m in width and was 0.4 m deep. It contained six fills (C.243, C.249, C.253, C.266, C.273 and C.282). These resembled the nearby deposits on the house floor. One ceramic fragment was also found (Find no. 00E0471:266:1). This suggests that, whatever the original intention in cutting the pit, it was filled with the same or similar occupation and destruction debris as the house surface. The pit lies close (0.53 m west) of a hearth (C.335/368) and may have originally functioned as an ash-pit, similar to the pit beside the stone-lined chimney excavated in the medieval house at Bourchier’s Castle, Lough Gur, Co. Limerick (Cleary 1982/O’Conor 1998). 7.2.2 Outside the House Six drains were excavated inside the moat in the area around the building: C.123, C.119, C.188, C.136, C.189 and C.161. All were shallow cut features that presumably served to keep the occupation surfaces dry both inside the building and around its perimeter. C.119 lined the eastern flank of the Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 11
  18. 18. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 building and C.136 lined the western edge, this was joined at right angles by another drain (C.189). All of these were rectangular cut features and they were filled with stones (Plate 8). C.119 and C.136 were placed c. 1 m from the known extent of the building (C.524) and they do not exist at the gable end. They were possibly for rain run-off from the roof, and therefore may indicate the extent of the eaves of the building. Cobbled/metalled surfaces flanked western edges of the building (Figure 11) including deposits which covered an area of roughly 35 m2 and filled several natural hollows (C.144, C.176, C.178 and C.180). Metalled surfaces outside the medieval buildings at Piperstown, Co. Louth were interpreted as rough cobbling to keep the ground firm in wet weather (Barry 2000) and the metalled surfaces here probably served the same function. To the east and south of the metalled area there were several stake-holes (C.111, C.303, C.447 and C.458) and pits (C.109 and C.494) that perhaps indicate temporary fences or small structures, but do not form any coherent pattern. 7.2.3 Artefacts from the Area Inside the Moat The finds recovered from the house and from the area inside the moat included gaming pieces (215:6, 284:1 & 385:2: see Figure 12), a spindle whorl (241:260, see Figure 13) and large quantities of pottery, identified as Leinster Cooking Ware, Fine Wexford Type, a local copy of Ham Green Cooking Ware and some unidentified orange ceramics (Doyle 2006 Appendix 3). Ham Green Cooking Ware was ‘exotic’, in the sense that it was an imported ceramic type, and locally made copies were recovered from this site. It occurred in only one context from the site, in one of the destruction layers from the house (C.241). The majority of the wares from the site were local and their primary uses were probably for cooking although as such they were a second best and metal cooking pots were apparently preferable (McCutcheon 2003, 2006). Other domestic chores and craft are reflected in the recovery of a spindle whorl suggesting production of home spun textiles. Also found at the site within the area of the house were three gaming pieces, all made from stone and similar in appearance, each with one red face and one black face. The black was probably burnt onto the surface of each piece. The fact that opposing sides of the gaming pieces are a different colour must reflect the game that they were used in. Flat disc gaming pieces have also been recovered from Waterford medieval excavations but these were mostly made from bone (Hurley et al. 1997). The assortment of finds from the building and the area within the moat reflects a wide range of activities that form part of daily life; cooking/eating, craft and leisure (games). 7.3 Outside the Moat An open-area excavation was conducted outside the confines of the moat, producing a vast amount of information that complemented the results from the excavation within the moat. Of particular interest was the excavation of a pottery production area (including a kiln and a pit, possibly used for bisque- firing ceramics). 7.3.1 The Kiln The kiln was found roughly 2 m to the north of the moat (Plates 9 and 10). It was cut into subsoil and Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 12
  19. 19. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 it comprised a central firing chamber flanked by two fire-boxes or stoke-holes, each with a flue that led into the firing chamber (Figure 14). The central firing chamber measured 1.3 m across and it contained sixteen deposits including structur- al material such as clay building materials and packing layers (C.501, C.503 and C.532), deposits that accumulated during kiln use (C.490, C.493, C.505, C.510, C.515, C.525, C.529 and possibly C.516) and collapsed kiln superstructure (C.246, C.268, C.279, C.317 and C.440). The charcoal from one of these deposits (C.440) associated with the end use of the kiln returned a radiocarbon date of cal AD 1300-1430 (Beta 219125, Appendix 4). A large stone (C.349) was probably used as a platform or shelf in the middle of the firing chamber. It was surrounded by smaller stones that may possibly be the collapsed support stones for the larger stone. Clay was also used as a structural material; C.503 was a thin, up-standing layer of burnt clay that was possibly packed around stones to create a type of chimney under a platform (to allow circulation of air) in the central area of the firing chamber. Another deposit (C.440) within the firing-chamber was predominantly made up of burnt clay (Plate 9), probably the remains of clay lining or a saggar (a pro- tective casing of fired clay in which delicate ceramic articles are fired). The south-eastern stoke-hole measured 1.5 m in diameter and it contained thirteen fills (C.141, C.171, C.201, C.214, C.230, C.248, C.374, C.468, C.479, C.502, C.508, C.518 and C.522). It was connected to the central firing chamber by a short flue, 0.8 m in length. The north-western stoke-hole measured roughly 2.5 m in diameter and contained fourteen fills (C. 143, C.165, C.183, C.198, C.209, C.217, C.227, C.233, C.469, C.483, C.497, C.513, C.520, and C.523). This was connected to the central fir- ing chamber by a flue that measured less than 0.5 m. A small pit or post/stake-hole (C.507), measuring just 0.22 m in diameter, was cut into the north-western stoke-hole. It may be indicative of a temporary upstanding structure in this part of the kiln. Fills of the flues leading from the stoke-holes to the firing chamber (C.533 and C.534) were similar in composition to the other deposits within the kiln (reddish brown clays). Only one deposit (C.453) was found in both stoke-holes and within a small part of the firing-chamber; it contained possible evidence for wattling and may have been the charred and collapsed remains of the kiln superstructure. Fragments of burnt clay were found in many of the deposits within the kiln (e.g. C.143, C.165, C.185, C.209, C.217, C.233, C.246, C.268, C.317, C.523,). These were probably broken and fragmented dur- ing repeated firings or during the destruction or collapse of the kiln, some may represent clay shelves or early saggars. Other parts of the kiln superstructure may have been made from wattle and daub and a deposit (C.453) which covered both stoke-holes and part of the firing chamber contained the charred remains of possible wattling that may have been part of the dome of the kiln. It was recovered as kiln superstructure that collapsed during or after the last use of the kiln. 7.3.2 A Possible Bisque-Firing Pit A pit or primitive kiln (C.194) was excavated approximately 3 m to the northwest of the pottery kiln and 1.8 m north of the moat (Plate 11). It was aligned northeast-southwest and consisted of two shal- low pits (c. 0.2 m deep) connected by a short flue (Figure 13). The total length of this feature was 3.8 Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 13
  20. 20. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 m and it contained several fills (C.139, C.146, C.155, C.173, C.181, C.182 and C.186). The south- western bowl measured 1.2-1.4 m in length, it was filled by a deposit (C.155) with moderate amounts of charcoal and had frequent flecks and small pieces of burnt clay; this was probably where the hearth was laid. Heat from the fire was fed into the northern bowl through a narrow flue (1 m long and 0.3 m wide) which had one fill (C.182). A collection of stones found near the mouth of the flue may have acted as a spark guard to help contain fire if it got out of control. The north-eastern bowl of the struc- ture was probably the firing chamber as the remains of collapsed superstructure (C.173), including large stones, suggests that that this part of the pit was enclosed. This chamber measured 1.1-1.5 m and had two other fills (C.181 and C.186). Both deposits contained evidence for burning in the form of charcoal flecks and some oxidisation and represent the actual debris from the activity within the pit. The entire pit was overlaid by two disturbed deposits (C.138 and C.146) that represent both collapse of the structure and possibly some disturbance by modern agriculture or clearance of the field. The kiln was possibly used for bisque-firing pottery, or a similar procedure. Bisque-firing is a preliminary firing of clay, giving the pot more strength than it had when it was simply dried clay. The result is that the potter can handle the pot more readily without fear of breaking it. Because it is a preliminary pro- cedure the pot is still porous enough after bisque-firing to pick up glaze. Only three pieces of pottery were recovered from this feature (00E0471:156:72, 173:1 and 181:1) but these were mostly taken from deposits that appeared to be associated with activity at the kiln or pit. 7.3.3 Area of activity to northeast of kiln Evidence from the kiln and the possible bisque-firing pit indicate use of the site outside the moat for pottery production but the procedures for making pots prior to firing are more difficult to pinpoint in the archaeological record. Located c. 9 to the east of the kiln and c. 9.6 m northeast of the moat was an area of occupation that may possibly have been a pottery workshop. The general area is littered with ceramic waste, possibly the result of unsuccessful kiln firings or vessels that were broken during manufacture. The archaeology consisted of an arc of stake-holes, two possible postholes, spreads of oc- cupation material and ditches (Figure 14). The arc of stake-holes (C.255, C.256, C.257, C.258, C.259, C.261 and C.262) formed a rough semi- circle with a circumference measuring approximately 2.2 m and there was, on average, 0.26 m between each stake-hole in the arc. An outlying stake-hole (C.259) was located approximately 0.6 m west of C.259. If the arc formed a full circle, this isolated stake-hole would have been roughly towards its cen- tre. The formation suggests that the stakes formed a temporary shelter or windbreak for a very small area. Another outlying stake-hole, C.255, was located c. 0.2 m to the south of the arc. The two possible postholes excavated in this area, C.413 and C.296, were both relatively substantial; C.413 measured 0.62 m in length by 0.4 m in width, while the diameter of C.296 was approximately 0.4 m. There are no directly associated contexts to suggest that they were part of a structure. The spreads of occupation material in this area included C.150, C.159, C.163, C.164, C.168, C.169, C.170, C.213, C.283, C.291, C.298, C.318 and C.336. The majority of these were relatively compact clay deposits. Most of the ceramic sherds found in these spreads, were identified as Leinster Cook- ing Ware and Fine Wexford Type. Charcoal from one of the spreads (C.168) returned a radiocarbon Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 14
  21. 21. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 date of cal AD 1300-1430 (Beta 219135, see Appendix 4). These deposits roughly surrounded the area where the arc of stake-holes and one of the postholes (C.296) were found. These deposits were interpreted as spreads of material associated with pottery production or the dumping of unsuccessful firings from the kiln. A ditch (C.509/C.491) was located immediately to the north of these pottery rich spread. The ditch began at the western extent of the occupation deposits and travelled eastwards for c. 15 m before turn- ing at a 90˚ angle and travelling northwards for approximately 6.5 m until it reached the northern limit of the excavation, presumably continuing beyond the area of the road take. It was a large ditch, up to 2.5 m in width and approximately half a metre deep. The numerous primary ditch fills were rich in ceramic waste (over three hundred sherds retrieved) and the ditch was evidently used as a dump. It was re-cut (C.235) suggesting continued maintenance and use. The re-cut was much narrower (c. 1.1 m) but was equally deep and like the original ditch the fills contained many sherds of pottery. The ubiquity of ceramic sherds may indicate that some preparation of ceramics was carried nearby and the ditches may have originally contained standing water that was used in pottery manufacture. Large quantities of ceramic sherds were also recovered from near the southern limit of the excavation, where ditches to the east of the moat (C.271 and C.289) contained large quantities of kiln waste and broken kiln furniture. The eastern section of the moat also contained significantly more pottery frag- ments than the contexts in other section of the moat, suggesting that this general area was selected for deliberate dumping of ceramic waste (see discussion of finds from the moat above). 7.3.4 Evidence for Cultivation and Drainage A narrow, convoluted stone-lined drain (C.167) criss-crossed the north-eastern portion of the site and probably served as a field drain (Plate 12). This has an interesting parallel in the area around the moat- ed site at Coolamurray, Co. Wexford, where land to the east and south of the site was characterised by a network of stone drains (Fegan 2005). Drain C.167 was 0.63 m wide and it emerged from the eastern limit of excavation as a single drain. From there it travelled northwest until it split into two lines to the northeast of the moat and the kiln, forming a rough u-shape and enclosing a small plot. C.167 cut the spreads that were associated with pottery production found to the northeast of the kiln (e.g. C.163, C.169, C.170 and C.213) and it also truncated the fills of the re-cut ditch (C.235). Therefore it probably postdates the use of this area for pottery production. However, the area it enclosed roughly corresponded to the area where spreads of pottery production material and waste were recovered, suggesting a continued awareness of the perimeters of occupation. Unlike the fills of other ditches more closely associated with the occupa- tion spreads, the fills of this drain contain very few pieces of ceramic waste; one sherd of pottery was recovered from one of the drain fills (C.148) and this was probably re-deposited from the spreads that were cut by the drain, as these contained large amounts of ceramic waste. The method of construction of these drains was more elaborate than the stone lined drains found on either side of the house within the moat (C.119, C.136 and C.189). This may indicate that the stone lined drains outside the moat were constructed later than occupation of the medieval house and moated site. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 15
  22. 22. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 The drains evidently served the purpose of redirecting water; either to drain the land or to direct water from the nearby stream (beyond the northern limit of the excavation) elsewhere. As the land to the east of the site is slightly waterlogged it seems that the purpose of the drains was to lead water from the land, so that it could be used for cultivation. Some of the drains linked together and enclosed areas (e.g. C.167) and it is possible that they preformed the dual purposes of drainage and that they marked the actual limits of cultivation plots, perhaps used for vegetable or cereal crops. Observers consistently note that the purpose of settlements at moated site was for the economic exploitation of the surround- ing countryside (O’Keefe 2000, 75) particularly in opening up areas of new land for arable cultivation. The areas outside many English moated often show evidence of medieval ploughing (Taylor 1978, 12) and it is probable that the areas outside Irish moated sites were also used for cultivation. Other evidence for cultivation of the site was noted by the presence of several furrows. Four furrows lo- cated outside the moat were aligned roughly northeast-southwest, while two furrows within the moat, to the west of the house (e.g. C.456) were orientated roughly northwest-southeast. The differences in alignments suggest that the moat was still in use as a boundary at the time that the furrows were made, and that they therefore predate the levelling of the site in the 1950s. A natural alluvial deposit (C.375) ran from northeast-southwest near the eastern limit of the site, in- dicating the presence of an old watercourse c. 30 m to the east of the moat; whether it was still open when the moated site was in use is unknown, but it appears to have been truncated by a stone lined drain (C.167) suggesting that it had already dried up by the medieval period. 8. Artefacts The excavations at Carrowreagh produced as large assemblage of pottery which was analysed by Ni- amh Doyle (Appendix 3). This included 9 fragments of post-medieval pottery of Irish and English types that date from the 18th – 20th century. The majority of the pottery assemblage was medieval in date and was ascribed to the 12th-14th centuries and is comprised of 1892 sherds of locally produced Irish medieval types and 6 sherds of pottery, identified as possibly from the Redcliffe kilns of Bristol, England or perhaps a locally made copy. The majority of the medieval pottery retrieved onsite is Leinster Cooking Ware a type first studied in detail by O’Floinn in 1976 that dates from the 12th-14th centuries. These vessels are associated with food storage and preparation including jars, platters and handled jars and jugs (Plate 13). Wexford Type and Wexford Type Fine Ware vessels were also found; these were for use at the table and the vessel types included pitchers, platters and a possible aquamanile. Other forms in this assemblage included cresset lamps, a small thumb pot (Plate 14) and possible roof tile (Plate 15). The assemblage contained some wares that resembled imported medieval English wares from Bristol including fragments from a Bristol Redcliffe style jug (Plate 16) and Ham Green Wares (Plate 17), but these were actually probably locally made copies of imported wares. Most of the vessels found at the site were probably produced in the pottery kiln and the working areas excavated at the site. There was also evidence of failed kiln firings in the form of wasters (Plate 18). There were eight stone finds from the site, examined by Farina Sternke (Appendix 10) which included a Mesolithic blade point which was broken into two fragments and retrieved from two separate con- Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 16
  23. 23. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 texts (00E0471:241:259 and 00E0471:270:1). As it dates to a much earlier period than the site, the artefact must have been re-deposited. It is a relatively unusual example of a Mesolithic flint from Co. Wexford. The metal finds were catalogued and described by Sara Camplese and X-rayed and conserved by Su- sannah Kelly (Appendix 11). There were four nails, a blade and a lump of corroded iron. Only the blade was considered suitable for conservation (S. Kelly, pers. comm.). 9. Environmental Remains Samples of bulk soil were taken during excavation and these were used for the collection of charcoal, assessed in advance of radiocarbon dating, and charred seeds. Hand-selected charcoal and material from bulk soil samples was examined by Mary Dillon (Appendix 8) to assess its suitability for radiocar- bon dating. One hundred and nine samples were examined and of these, charcoal was recovered from fifty-five samples. The majority of the samples contained diffuse-porous wood charcoal. The charred seeds from these samples were examined by Penny Johnston and Martha Tierney (Appendix 6). One hundred and four samples were examined, of these twenty-eight contained charred seeds, and these were only abundant in samples from the house. These were probably derived from stored cereal caches that became carbonised when the structure burnt down. Although oats were the predominant crop in the samples, there is evidence that wheat, particularly bread wheat, was also an important crop. All of the timber from the site was retrieved from waterlogged areas of the moat fill. It was identified by Mary Dillon (Appendix 7) and was all oak, probably representing a palisade around the settlement or a bridge across the moat. Very small amounts of animal bone were retrieved from the site, these were all identified by Margaret McCarthy as probably being from domesticates (Appendix 5). 10. Discussion The traditional view of settlement at moated sites suggests a defended farmstead, occupied by a small community or extended family, farming the surrounding lands and protecting domestic dwellings and livestock within the enclosure. Most evidence shows that these sites were built during the thir- teenth and fourteenth centuries; at Kilmagoura, Co. Cork a causeway timber produced a date of 1225 +/- 70 AD (although O’Conor (1998, 65) argues that the site could date from any time c. 1200 AD); at Rigsdale a coin from the reign of Edward I (1279-80) was found beneath the bank, and 13th-14th century pottery was discovered from Ballyveelish, from a destroyed moated site at Killeeshal, Co. Carlow (Doody 1987, 83) and from Ballinvinny South, Co. Cork (Cotter 2005). A possible moated site at Rathaspick, Co. Wexford also produced large amounts of medieval pottery within the confines of a very limited excavation (Mullins 2003). Some moated sites may have continued in use until the sixteenth century (Doody 1987, citing Empey 1981) and excavation at Ballinvinny South, Co. Cork, revealed a medieval moated site, truncated by a later post-medieval settlement (Cotter 2005). However, occupation at the moated site at Carrowreagh was relatively short-lived and evidence from the ceramics found at Carrowreagh suggests a twelfth-fourteenth century date, combined with radiocarbon dates which indicate activity from AD 1290-1450. Most Irish moated sites are situated on the periphery of areas of Anglo-Norman influence (O’Conor Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 17
  24. 24. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 1998, 58-59) and they have been interpreted as evidence for a second wave of colonisation after the first settlers became established. The western part of Co. Wexford is known as an area of secondary colonization (late 12th- 13th centuries) and many of the settlers in moated sites like Carrowreagh were probably either English, or of English origin (O’Keefe 2000, 80), colonising from already established areas further east in the county. As the homes of colonisers, the defensive elements of the site have been repeatedly interpreted as a response to the threat, or the perceived threat, of Gaelic Irish incur- sions and raids of the farmsteads (e.g. Doody 1987, 83). However, Barry (1978) noted that the defen- sive capabilities of the moats were fairly limited and that they were only designed to deter raiders from stealing livestock; it was perhaps more important that wild animals could be kept away from sheep and cattle, and that the domestic animals were restricted so that they could not graze or trample land that was in used for arable crops. The location of the kiln and pottery production area outside the moat was a sensible choice, given that temperatures of up to 900ºC may have been required in the kiln, posing obvious threat of fire to houses and stables (see McCutcheon 2006, 21). There is a potential comparison for a pottery produc- tion area near a motte at Knockgraffon, Co. Tipperary, where McCutcheon (2006, 26) suggests that a nearby town land name Crockerath may refer to a community of potters or an area where pottery was made in the vicinity of this Anglo-Norman settlement. The discovery of this kiln associated with the moated site provides both an indication of the occupa- tion of the site’s inhabitants, and a possible view of their social status: McCutcheon (2006, 19) suggests that the social status of the medieval potter was very low. Moated sites in Ireland may have been con- structed by “well-to-do peasants mostly of English origin”, with their social status perhaps explaining why moated sites are hardly ever mentioned in the historical sources (O’Conor 1998, 62). The Carrowreagh pottery kiln was similar to that excavated by Pollock and Waterman (1963) at Downpatrick, Co. Down, and had close parallels to another site excavated by Simpson et al. (1979) at Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim (see also O’Keeffe 2000, 124–6). A heavily truncated example from Bridge St. in Dundalk appears to have been constructed along a similar plan to the Carrowreagh example, i.e. a central firing chamber with two opposing flues (Campbell 1998). These are Type 2 kilns in Musty’s typology (1974) and the Carrowreagh is probably a Type 2c, where the pots could be stacked on a cen- tral platform when firing. This kiln type was suitable for producing a relatively controlled atmosphere for firing pots. The excavated portion of the house within the moat at Carrowreagh measured 6 m northeast-south- west by 6.3 m northwest-southeast, with the latter measurement probably representing the width of the building. Its full length was probably in the region of 3 or 4 times its width (medieval long build- ings often being proportioned on a ratio of 1:3, gable end to long side), suggesting a length of c. 19 m. The absence of earth-cut features indicates that the building was not earth-fast and was probably constructed using sill-beams and posts that rested on pad-stones or wooden supports. Houses built using these methods have been identified in urban excavations in Dublin (Coughlan 2000), Cork (Cleary and Hurley 2003) and Waterford (Hurley et al. 1997) but rural examples of medieval houses are rare and the fact that the structures are often not earth-fast has implications for their archaeologi- cal visibility. The example from Carrowreagh was obvious, firstly because it was within a moat and Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 18
  25. 25. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 secondly because it had burnt down and the charred black deposits created a significant contrast with the subsoil. Other examples of rural medieval houses in Ireland include Portmuck, Islandmagee, Co. Antrim (Rees 2002), a structure at Ahanalogh Area 19 (98E0575), Co. Waterford (Tierney 2005), Pip- erstown, Co. Louth (Barry 2000), Bouchier’s Castle, Lough Gur, Co. Limerick (Cleary 1982) and two examples of stone built houses at Caherguillamore, Co. Limerick (Ó Ríordáin and Hunt 1942). Some rural medieval houses excavated in Co. Wexford include a site at Moneycross Upper, Co. Wexford (H. Schweitzer, pers. comm.) and a probable medieval house excavated at Ballyanne (98E0137), where a 3m-wide band of archaeological material, running east-west, included a possible drip-gully, post-holes, flooring, in situ burning and associated 12th-14th pottery (Moran 2000). Urban excavations with organic, in situ preservation of the building materials provide detailed informa- tion of potential construction techniques used for medieval houses. In Dublin, examples of thirteenth century houses have been excavated at Ship Street Lower, High Street, Back Lane and Lamb Alley in Dublin city (Simpson 2000; Coughlan 2000). Most were timber framed, with principal load-bearing posts integrated with a sill-beam by mortice and tenon joints to form a rigid frame and support the entire weight of the building (Simpson 2000). Medieval longhouses were thought to shelter both hu- mans and animals, with one section as a byre (e.g. see interpretation of Piperstown, Co. Louth in Barry 2000) and the other section for human habitation. The location of the hearth in the excavated (north- ern) part of the structure at Carrowreagh suggests that this was the living/occupation area. There was no evidence for an entrance way into the building but as the building was not fully excavated it is likely that the doorway was located outside the road-take. In common with other medieval houses of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries it probably ran along the long axis of the building, although in some urban houses entrances are found on corners (e.g. at Back Lane, Coughlan 2000). There are numerous moated sites in the vicinity of the Carrowreagh site and within a two mile radius there are eight positively identified examples, and two rectangular enclosures that are probably moated sites (Moore 1996). Six of the eight moated sites occur in pairs and the two rectangular enclosures are also close together, with less than half a mile between them. There is no evidence for a companion for the Carrowreagh moated site, but this is not to say that it does not exist; prior to topsoil stripping there was no record that this site itself existed. Given the relatively close dating of these sites it seems reason- able to assume that occupation of the moated sites in this area was more-or-less contemporary, con- tradicting the traditional assumption that these were ‘isolated, semi-defended homesteads’ (O’Conor 1998, 58). Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 19
  26. 26. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 11. Summary The moated site was found in Carrowreagh town land was partially excavated during work on the rea- lignment of the N25 Rathsillagh-Harristown road. Excavation demonstrated that the site comprised a rectangular moated area with an inside bank, a sub-rectangular building. Only a handful of genuine moated sites have thus far been excavated in Ireland; Ballinvinny South (Cotter 2005), Kilmagoura and Rigsdale in Co. Cork, Kilferagh, Co. Kilkenny, Ballyveelish, Co. Tipperary (O’Conor 1998, 70- 71) and Coolamurray, Co. Wexford (Fegan 2005). The house found within the moat was probably of sill-beam construction that was typical during the later part of the medieval period. Hearths were excavated in the portion of the house present within the road-take, indicating that this house was the domestic area of occupation. The area was littered with debris from human occupation such as ceramic fragments, gaming pieces and a spindle whorl. The deposits from the house were also high in cereal grains, indicating that they roof of the house may have been used as a food storage area. Of particular importance at this site was the opportunity to excavate a large area outside the moat at this site. Evidence for activity outside the moat including numerous field boundaries, drains, furrows, working areas, a pottery kiln and a possible bisque firing kiln. The pottery kiln is one of the few identi- fied and excavated examples known from Ireland. An interesting aspect of the ceramic assemblage was the presence of locally made copies of English wares from around Bristol. The evidence from both ceramic wares and radiocarbon dates suggests that the period of occupation was limited from the late thirteenth to the early fifteenth century. During this period (in particular the late twelfth to thirteenth centuries) the western part of Co. Wexford is known as an area of secondary colonization and the people living at the site were probably either recruited from England, or came from already established area of the Anglo-Norman colony in Wexford. The sites are very numerous in this part of Wexford, and although documentary evidence indicates that the area was a frontier zone, the frequency of these settlement sites represent a concerted effort to bring this part of the county within the control of the colony. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 20
  27. 27. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 12. Bibliography Aalen, F.H.A., Whelan, K. and Stout, M. (eds.) 1997. Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape.Cork, Cork University Press. Barry, T.E. 1978. ‘Moated sites in Ireland’ pp. 57-59 in Aberg, F. A. (ed.) 1978. Medieval Moated Sites. The Council for British Archaeology, Research Report No. 17. Barry, T. 2000. Excavations at Piperstown Deserted Medieval Village, Co. Louth 1987, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 100C, 113-135. Bennett, I. 2004-5 “Archaeological Excavations in Co. Wexford”, Journal of the Wexford Historical Society 20, 184-196. Campbell, K. 1998 “Bridge St., Dundalk 1997:388 (97E0362)” in I. Bennett (ed.) Excavations 1997. Wordwell, Bray. Colfer, B. 1987. Anglo-Norman Settlement in County Wexford, pp. 65-101 in Whelan, K. (ed.) Wexford History and Society. Interdisciplinary essays on the history of an Irish county. Dublin, Geography Publications. Colfer, B. 1990-1991 Medieval Wexford, Journal of the Wexford Historical Society 13, 4-29. Cotter, E. 2005 ‘Archaeological Excavation of a medieval moated site and post-medieval settlement at Ballinvinny South, Co. Cork N8 Glanmire-Watergrasshill Road Scheme Site Number AR16’ Unpublished excavation report for Sheila Lane and Associates. Cotter, C. 1986. “MacMurroughs, Co. Wexford”, in Cotter, C. (ed.) Excavations 1985. Dublin, Irish Academic Publication for Organisation of Irish Archaeologists. Coughlan, T. 2000 “The Anglo-Norman houses of Dublin: evidence from Back Lane” in S.Duffy (ed.) Medieval Dublin I. Four Courts Press, Dublin. Cleary, R. 1982. “Excavations at Lough Gur, Co. Limerick 1977-78”, Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society 87, 3-20, 77-106. Cleary, R. and Hurley, M. (eds.) 2003. Excavations in Cork City 1984-2000. Cork, Cork City Council. Doody, M. 1987. Ballyveelish I, Co. Tipperary. Moated Site, pp. 74-87 in Cleary, R., Hurley, M. and Twohig, E. (eds.) Archaeological Excavations on the Cork-Dublin Gas Pipeline (1981-82). Cork Archaeological Studies No.1. Cork, Department of Archaeology. Empey, C.A. 1981. “The settlement of the Kingdomw of Limerick”, in Lydon J. (ed.) England and Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 21
  28. 28. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Ireland in the Later Middle Ages. Dublin. Fegan, G. 2005. Discovery and excavation of a medieval moated site at Coolamurray, County Wexford, pp. 131-139 in O’Sullivan, J. and Stanley, M. (eds.) Recent Archaeological Discoveries on National Road Schemes 2004. Archaeology and the National Roads Authority Monograph Series No. 2. Dublin, NRA. Green, S. W. and Zvelebil, M. 1990. “The Mesolithic colonisation and agricultural transition of south- east Ireland”, Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 56, 57-88. Howarth, O.J.R. 1911 A Geography of Ireland. London, Oxford Geographies. Hurley, M., Scully, O.M.D. and McCutcheon, S.W.J. (eds.) 1997. Late Viking Age and Medieval Waterford. Excavations 1986-1992. Waterford, Waterford Corporation. McCarthy, M. 2004. “Strandfield, Co. Wexford”, pp. 520-521 in Bennett, I. (ed.) Excavations 2002. Bray, Wordwell. McCutcheon, C. 2003. Pottery, pp. 197-235 in Cleary, R.M. and Hurley, M.F. Cork City Excavations 1984-2000. Cork, Cork City Council. McCutcheon, C. 2006. Medieval Pottery from Woodquay, Dublin. Medieval Dublin Excavations 1962- 81, Ser.B, vol. 7. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy. McLoughlin, C. 2004. Kerlogue, pp.517-518 in Bennet, I. (ed.) Excavations 2002. Bray, Wordwell. Mitchell, F. and Ryan, M. 1997. Reading the Irish Landscape. Dublin, TownHouse. Moore, M. 1996. Archaeological Inventory of County Wexford. The Stationary Office, Dublin. Moran, J. 2000 Ballyanne, Co. Wexford in Bennett, I. (ed.) Excavations 1998. Bray, Wordwell. Mullins, C. 2003 Rathaspick in Bennett, I. (ed.) Excavations 2001. Bray, Wordwell. Mullins, C. 2003 Rathaspick in Bennett, I. (ed.) Excavations 2001. Bray, Wordwell. Musty, J. 1974. Medieval pottery kilns. In Medieval pottery from excavations: studies presented to Gerald Clough Dunning, with a bibliography of his works, 44-65. London. J. Baker O’ Conor, K.D. 1998. The Archaeology of Medieval Rural Settlement in Ireland. Discovery Programme Monograph 3, Royal Irish Academy. O’Keefe, T. 2000. Medieval Ireland, An Archaeology. Tempus Publishing, England. O’Kelly, M.J. 1975 Archaeological Survey and Excavation of St. Vogue’s Church, Enclosure and Other Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 22
  29. 29. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Monuments st Carnsore, Co. Wexford. Unpublished excavation report for the Electricity Supply Board. Ó Ríordáin, S.P. and Hunt, J. 1942. “Medieval dwellings at Caherguillaore, Co. Limerick”, Journal of the Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 72, 37-63. Pollock, A.J. and Waterman, D.M. 1963 A medieval pottery kiln in Downpatrick. Ulster Journal of Archaeology 21, 79–104. Purcell, J. 2004. St. Vogue’s, p.520 in Bennet, I. (ed.) Excavations 2002. Bray, Wordwell. Purcell, A. 2002. “Courtlands East, Co. Wexford”, in Bennett, I. (ed.) Excavations 2000. Bray, Wordwell. Rees, A. 2002 Portmuck, Islandmagee, CO. Antrim 2000:0015 in I. Bennett (ed.) Excavations 2000. Bray, Wordwell. Simpson, L. 2000. Forty years a digging: a preliminary synthesis of archaeological investigations in medieval Dublin, pp. 11-68 in Duffy, S. (ed.) Medieval Dublin I. Dublin, Fourcourts Press. Simpson, M.L., Bryan, P.S., Delaney, T.G. and Dickson, A. 1979 An early thirteenth-century double- flued pottery kiln at Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim: an interim report. Medieval Ceramics 3, 41– 51 Stout, G. 1987 Wexford in Prehistory 5000 B.C. to 300 A.D., pp.1-39 in Whelan, K. (ed.) Wexford History and Society. Interdisciplinary essays on the history of an Irish county. Dublin, Geography Publications. Tierney, J. 2005. Final report on excavation of sites under licence 98E575. Unpublished report for Eachtra Archaeological Projects. Taylor, C.C. 1978. ‘Moated sites; their definition, form, and classification.’ In F.A. Aberg (ed.) Medieval Moated Sites. The Council for British Archaeology, Research Report No. 17. 5-13. Maps reproduced under licence where appropriate Ordnance Survey Ireland Licence No. AU 0005603 © Government of Ireland Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 23
  30. 30. 00E0471 Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 13. Figures Figure 1: Discovery map showing the route of the N25 Rathsillagh-Harristown road Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0471-carrowreagh-co-wexford/ 24

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