Eachtra Journal

Issue 4                                       [ISSN 2009-2237]



           Archaeological Excavation Re...
Archaeological Excavation Report,
N25 Rathsillagh to Harristown Realignment
Bricketstown

Kiln and field systems




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00E0626                  Bricketstown, Co. Wexford                                                                    ISSU...
00E0626                 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford                                                                         ...
00E0626               Bricketstown, Co. Wexford                                      ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-...
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00E0626               Bricketstown, Co. Wexford                                       ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009...
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00E0626               Bricketstown, Co. Wexford                                     ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2...
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00E0626               Bricketstown, Co. Wexford                                                     ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journ...
00E0626               Bricketstown, Co. Wexford                                                    ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journa...
00E0626               Bricketstown, Co. Wexford                                                  ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal ...
00E0626               Bricketstown, Co. Wexford                                                         ISSUE 4: Eachtra J...
00E0626               Bricketstown, Co. Wexford                                     ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2...
Archaeological Excavation Report E0626 - Bricketstown, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0626 - Bricketstown, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0626 - Bricketstown, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
Archaeological Excavation Report E0626 - Bricketstown, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal
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Archaeological Excavation Report E0626 - Bricketstown, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal

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The site comprised a kiln, a small pit, and a field system, evidenced by three ditches. This is one of three kilns discovered during the road development scheme. It was medieval/post-medieval in date and consisted
of a circular main chamber with the flue projecting to the south-southwest. It was probably a limekiln and there was evidence for several periods of use.

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Archaeological Excavation Report E0626 - Bricketstown, Co. Wexford, Ireland - EAP Journal

  1. 1. Eachtra Journal Issue 4 [ISSN 2009-2237] Archaeological Excavation Report E0626 - Bricketstown, Co. Wexford Kiln and field systems
  2. 2. Archaeological Excavation Report, N25 Rathsillagh to Harristown Realignment Bricketstown Kiln and field systems December 2009 Client: Wexford County Council c/o Tramore House Road Design Office, Tramore, Co. Wexford Licence No.: 00E0626 Licensee: Michael Tierney Contact details: The Forge, Innishannon, Co. Cork. Written by: Michael Tierney, Penny Johnston and Tel.: 021 470 16 16 Fax: 021 470 16 28 Aidan Harte E-mail: info@eachtra.ie Web Site: www.eachtra.ie
  3. 3. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Table of Contents i Acknowledgements .......................................................................................................... iv 1 Summary ..........................................................................................................................1 2 Introduction .....................................................................................................................1 3 Description of Development .............................................................................................1 4 Background to the excavation 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 ..........................................................................................3 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 Results of Archaeological Excavation ................................................................................5 6.1 Early Land Division – Ditches ....................................................................................5 6.2 The Kiln .....................................................................................................................6 6.3 Small isolated pit ........................................................................................................9 7 Artefacts ...........................................................................................................................9 8 Environmental Remains ...................................................................................................9 9 Discussion ........................................................................................................................9 10 Conclusion .......................................................................................................................12 11 References ........................................................................................................................ 13 12 Figures .............................................................................................................................16 13 Plates ...............................................................................................................................22 14 Appendices ......................................................................................................................24 14.1 Appendix 1: Context Register ...................................................................................24 14.2 Appendix 2: Stratigraphic Matrix .............................................................................27 14.3 Appendix 3: Archaeobotanical Assessment Report on the Charred Plant remains from Bricketstown - 00E0626 ..........................................................................................................28 14.4 Appendix 4: Table of charcoal assessment results from Bricketstown - 00E0626 ........30 14.5 Appendix 5: Radiocarbon Date Results ....................................................................31 Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ iii
  4. 4. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 List of Figures Figure 1: Portion of Discovery map showing the route of the N25 Rathsillagh-Harristown road ..........16 Figure 2: Ordnance Survey sheets (REF) showing the route of the N25 Rathsillagh-Harristown road..17 Figure 3: Portion of RMP sheet (REF) showing the location of the excavation at Bricketstown (00E0626) . ..............................................................................................................................................18 Figure 4: Route of new road with all excavated sites displayed ..............................................................19 Figure 5: Plan of the excavated area showing the three ditches and the kiln ......................................... 20 Figure 6: Section through kiln bowl showing the cut of the robber trench (C.13) ................................21 List of Plates Plate 1: Post-excavation of kiln bowl and flue (C.47) showing ditches in background ...........................22 Plate 2: Post-excavation of kiln bowl showing cut in the base that continues the line of the flue (inner cut) ..............................................................................................................................................22 Plate 3: Mid excavation of kiln bowl showing stone lining (C.43) ........................................................23 Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ iv
  5. 5. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 i Acknowledgements Project Manager: Michael Tierney Licensee: Michael Tierney Field Staff: Kieran Power, Cathy Fisher, Stuart Noon, Ben Middleton, Laurence Fenton, Gerry O’ Neill, Tom Jaynes Photography: Brian MacDomhnaill Illustrations: Stuart Elder, John Lehane, Bernice Kelly, Brian MacDomhnaill, Enda O’ Mahony, Robin Turk Text: Aidan Harte, R.B. Middleton, Tina Murphy, Stuart Elder, Antonia Doolan, Penny Johnston This project was funded solely by Wexford County Council under the National Development Plan. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ v
  6. 6. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 1 Summary County Wexford Townland Bricketstown Parish Kilgarvan Civil Parish Whitechurchglynn Barony Bantry National Grid Co-ordinates 29125 12305 Chainage 6360 Site Type Kiln Excavation licence number 00E0626 2 Introduction The archaeological site at Bricketstown was identified during archaeological monitoring of topsoil removal (licence 00E0379) along the route of the Rathsillagh to Harristown Little N25 realignment scheme in Co. Wexford. The site was excavated under excavation licence number 00E0626. It com- prised a kiln, a small pit, and a field system, evidenced by three ditches. This is one of three kilns discovered during the road development scheme. It was medieval/post-medieval in date and consisted of a circular main chamber with the flue projecting to the south-southwest. It was probably a limekiln and there was evidence for several periods of use. Archaeological excavation at the site was conducted by Eachtra Archaeological Projects during July and August 2000 under licence 00E0626. 3 Description of Development The N25 is the main southern east to west route, 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. A section of the N25 route between the townlands of Rathsillagh and Har- ristown 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 sought to straighten and level out the N25 and to provide a wider single car- riageway with hard shoulder in either direction, in keeping with the Barntown scheme completed in 1998 (Fig. 1). 4 Background to the excavation area The 8.5 km route of the new road crosses a series of low, undulating hills, to the south of the old N25 route, and is situated at a height of between 45 m and 80m above sea level. The landscape here is characterised by small hills, interspersed with many small streams; these eventually flow into the River Corock to the southwest, into the Slaney to the northwest, as well as feeding into Ballyteige Bay to the south. From its western beginning in Rathsillagh townland the routeway climbs gently, running parallel and to the south of the old N25. It then continues through Assagart, Ballyvergin, Shanowle, Camaross, Carrowreagh, Dungeer, Bricketstown and through into Harristown Little, eventually exit- ing in Harristown Big townland and tying into the Barntown improvement which opened in 1998 Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 1
  7. 7. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 (Figs. 1-3). The higher ground was lush pasture, well drained, and gave spectacular views all around. Sites on this part of the route included prehistoric settlement activity and a series of medieval/post-medieval limekilns. Conversely, the lower ground in Camaross, Carrowreagh and Dungeer was quite marshy and prone to growth of gorse. Sites traditionally associated with low-lying ground were found in these townlands, for example a burnt mound at Dungeer and a moated site at Carrowreagh (Fig. 4). 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 activity within the area affected by the roadtake. 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 atefacts, 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 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 Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 2
  8. 8. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 number of flints and a ground stone axe, associated with a hearth and pit may also be Neolithic in date (Cotter 1986). 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 stakeholes 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). 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- Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 3
  9. 9. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 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 roadtake is located approximately 2 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 1990-1). Evidence for settlement in the county during the early medieval period comes from ringforts, typical monuments of the period. These were circular or subcircular enclosures made from earthen banks that surrounded areas roughly between 25 and 40 metres in diameter. Excavated examples have demon- strated 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-in- feudated 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 Provinces 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 Car- rowreagh was found along the line of the new road. Moated sites were distributed at the peripheries of the colonial organisation 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). How- ever, by the end of the fourteenth century, much of the Anglo-Norman settlement in Co. Wexford had retreated to a southeastern 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 Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 4
  10. 10. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 county include the remains of a medieval house were excavated at Ballyanne (Moran 2000), with pot- tery indicative of occupation in the 12th to 14th centuries, and excavations at Ferns, Hook Head, New- town, Tintern, Taghmon, 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 Bricketwtown (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 townlands affected by the roadtake. References to the house/castle date to the early seventeenth century (Moore 1996). 6 Results of Archaeological Excavation The excavated area measured 20 m by 10 m and contained a kiln (C.47), a small pit (C.7) and three ditches (C.6, C.11 and C.45) that traversed the site (Fig. 5). The earliest ditches were the earliest fea- tures at the site and they were later cut by the kiln. Full contextual descriptions are found in Appendix 1 and the stratigraphic matrix is presented in Appendix 2. 6.1 Early Land Division – Ditches Three ditches (C.6, C.11 and C.45) traversed the area of excavation (Fig. 5). The largest of these (C.11) had gently sloped sides that lead to a concave base. It was aligned east northeast – west southwest and crossed the south of the site. It silted up naturally over time (C.12) but was probably only partially backfilled at the time that the kiln fell out of use. This was evidenced by occasional flecks of burnt clay within the fill- probably waste from the kiln that became gradually incorporated into the ditch as it was in use. The other two ditches (C.6 and C.45) ran parallel to each other. Both were aligned northeast – south- west and were narrower and shallower than the southern ditch (C.11). The westernmost ditch (C.6) was quite well defined but narrow, with evidence that it was backfilled as a result of natural processes. A brown silty clay (C.3) accumulated within the cut. The easternmost ditch (C.45) had poorly defined edges and gently sloping sides which formed a broad ‘U-shaped’ profile. It was backfilled with stony silt (C.5). Within both the parallel ditches the in-filling appeared to be the result of gradual erosion and slump- Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 5
  11. 11. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 ing, rather than deliberate backfilling, and hence the ditch fills accumulated over a substantial period of time. The excavators noted “tip lines” visible in both ditch sections which suggested that the sedi- ment accumulated during the slow backfilling process and was derived from the area situated between the two ditches. Perhaps a bank may have occupied the intervening area, suggesting that these parallel ditches were contemporary and formed part of the same boundary. The relationship between the parallel ditches (C.6 and C.45) and the large southern ditch (C.11) was more difficult to determine as, although the trajectories of C.11 and C.45 evidently met, at their pro- jected point of intersection they were cut by the kiln, truncating the southern part of C.45 in particu- lar. The fact that the alignments of the parallel ditches (C.6 and C.45) and the large ditch (C.11) did not respect each other may suggest that they were not contemporaneous. There was no evidence within the fills of C.45 and C.6 to suggest that these ditches were open when the kiln was in use, however, the fill of C.11 contained some charcoal flecking and this is a sign that it was not fully silted up before firings began at the kiln. The bank of the boundary may still have been extant when the kiln was in use, however, as they are often built into hills or banks to provide shelter for the kiln and to facilitate loading from the top. 6.2 The Kiln The kiln was aligned north northeast - south southwest (Fig. 5). It consisted of a sub-circular bowl, c. 3 m in diameter, with a wide flue extending towards the south southwest (Plate 1). It survived to a depth of 1.25 m. The flue measured 4 m in length and it was 1.08 m deep. The total length of the kiln was in the region of 7 m. A linear slot cut into the subsoil for c. 1.5 m at the base of the bowl and continued the line of the flue through into the kiln chamber (Plate 2). This presumably aided the circulation of air within the kiln. The base of the bowl was almost flat and was cut to the level of the underlying slate bedrock. A masonry wall (C.43) lined the basal edge: it consisted of two courses of stones (shale, sandstone and quartzite), set lengthways (Plate 3). The gaps between the stones silted up over time. This wall presumably served as a revetment to the unconsolidated slate bedrock behind and it showed signs of burning/heat damage resulting from firing within the kiln. Part of the upper course of masonry in the northeast quadrant of the kiln has been removed; there was evidence that stone from the kiln structure was robbed out and reused elsewhere (a robber trench, C.13, is shown in the section drawing Fig. 6) and the cut (C.47) and the masonry lining of the bowl (C.43) were the only evidence of the original kiln construction which remained in situ. The flue exited the kiln bowl at the southwest, and extended for approximately 4 m, gradually sloping upwards from the base of the kiln bowl to ground level at the end of the flue (Plate 1). It was c. 1 m wide where it entered at the kiln bowl, and it widened gradually to just over 2 m wide at the southwest end. C.47 cut through yellowish brown sandy clay subsoil into vertically bedded slate bedrock and had steep, almost vertical sides throughout. It was not lined with stones. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 6
  12. 12. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 The base of the kiln bowl was cut by a linear slot, 2.40 m long and approximately 0.15 m deep, which followed the same northeast to southwest alignment as the flue and probably improved the circula- tion of air in the kiln (Plate 2). This cut was filled with the same primary fill as the general kiln bowl (C.41). Within the flue, a hearth deposit (C.40) lay directly on the base; it was mostly found just inside the mouth of the flue but was patchy towards the kiln bowl. This may have represented the remnants of multiple burning episodes which were then partially removed. Where this hearth layer was identified near the drying chamber it was overlain by a deposit of rake-out from the chamber (C.37). It comprised burnt clay which probably originated from the side walls of the drying chamber or the superstructure of the kiln. A comparable fill (C.41) was found at the base of the chamber overlying slate bedrock in the centre. It dropped behind the masonry wall (C.43) around the edge, and, like C.37, it consisted of burnt clay that had collapsed from the structure of the kiln. These fills (C.37, C.40 and C.41) were the only fills of in situ remains from kiln firings. C.42 comprised a series of well-stratified deposits. They were heavily truncated due to subsequent re-cutting (C.39). The two lower layers of stone fragments and ashy deposits included fragments of masonry cracked by heat together with ash from kiln firings. Above these, a mid brown silty clay layer probably reflected a period of disuse, either in the form of abandonment, tertiary silting from local environment or careful backfill with surrounding sediment. Layers of slate, burnt clay and charcoal above this possibly represented deliberate backfilling of the kiln using original up-cast slate bedrock together with raked out hearth debris. These deposits represented the final stages in the life span of the initial kiln (C.47). Evidence for disuse of the kiln chamber was also discovered within the flue; a fill of re-deposited natu- ral subsoil with frequent inclusions of slate (C.35) was found along the northwest side of the flue. It was absent from the other side of the flue due to subsequent use and later re-cuts (C.39 and C.19). The deposits within the kiln were largely truncated by later re-cutting of the bowl (C.39). The first re- cut (C.39) sought only to remove material from within the bowl. The sides were again cut steeply, with the exception of the southwest side, and followed the line of the inner face of the stone wall (C.43). The re-cut (C.39) was dug down to the primary fill of the original bowl cut (C.41). Therefore, this re-cut replicated the original bowl cut (C.47), but created a slightly smaller kiln bowl, measuring 2.5 m north to south by 2.2 m east to west and 0.93 m deep. Within the re-cut kiln bowl, two fills (C.38 and C.36) indicated some usage. The deposit on the east- ern side (C.36) was reddish ashy material that was apparently raked to the side of the bowl. The other deposit (C.38) was situated near, and extended into, the flue. There were, however, very few deposits to indicate extensive use of the re-cut kiln, and soon after the re-cut was used, it appears to have been abandoned. This was possibly because the structure collapsed. Contexts such as C.35 seem to be the result of backfill or collapse of material from the flue cut, while C.34 and C.32 contained burnt subsoil Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 7
  13. 13. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 and represented erosion of the kiln wall. C.28, a fine silty clay layer, seems to mark a period of aban- donment. It overlay the contour of earlier, more substantial fills. Following this there is some indication that the kiln was used once again (C.26 and C.25 may be the remains of a small fire in a partly filled kiln hollow). Over these there was another substantial infilling of slate-like material (C 24), either a collapse episode or another episode of backfilling. C.14 and C.17 lay above this backfilling. These were silty clays that accumulated naturally and marked the closing of this secondary use of the kiln. The next phase of use was represented by another re-cut (C.19). This final re-cutting of the kiln is more ‘untidy’ than C.39, being a more irregular shape. It was sub-circular and measured 2.16 m east to west by 1.88 m north to south and 0.48 m deep. No attempt was made to expose the cut back to its original masonry facing or depth. Within this kiln bowl, C.33 and C.27 mark the final usage of the kiln and flue. C.33 is a burnt remnant of dark reddish brown charcoal flecked silty clay which was overlain by C.27 a mixed mottled deposit of burnt subsoil particles and charcoal flecks, possibly burnt material raked out from the bowl and/or eroded burnt upper walling of the flue. An radiocarbon date (Beta-219130) from charcoal in this deposit (see Appendix 5) returned a result that places use of the kiln from anywhere in the mid seventeenth century to the early twentieth century (cal AD 1640-1690 and cal AD 1730-1810 and cal AD 1920-1950). These were overlain by deposits that represented backfill and collapse of the kiln walls (C.10, C.15, C.18 and C.20) and flue (C.16, C.22 and C.29). C.18 and C.20 represented the initial abandonment of the open feature, particles of burnt kiln walling being eroded together with silting from the local environment, thus creating two thin layers over which the more substantial layers C.15 and C.10 ac- cumulated. C.15 and C.10 are both more mixed with larger inclusions and may well be derived from up-cast slumping back into the bowl. The flue deposits include C.29, C.22 and C.16. C 29 is very similar to the material through which the flue is cut so it is possibly derived from the erosion of the upper flue walls together with some slumped up-cast. The thinner sediment (C.22) forms a more even layer, containing a greater degree of finer, more rounded inclusions, from local environment rather than bedrock. Finally C.16 is a thick layer of mixed material together with many slate inclusions which seemingly marks either backfill or collapse of the up-cast from previous cleaning and re-cutting epi- sodes. These deposits represent the final backfill collapse of infilling of the kiln, prior to the robbing episode (C.13). Both C.16 and C.29 contained fragments of clay pipe stems. Although initially assumed to be intru- sive, in the light of the late radiocarbon date that was obtained from charcoal within the kiln, these finds were probably deposited during use of the kiln. Following the disuse and final infilling of the kiln the structure was robbed out (robber trench C.13) presumably to reuse the stones that lined the kiln bowl. The trench (C.13) was a steep-sided linear cut that followed the line of the original flue cut, most notably on southeast cut edge, through into the kiln bowl itself (Fig. 6). It is assumed that the purpose of this cut was to remove stones that lined the Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 8
  14. 14. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 flue walls. The assumption that the flue was originally walled is supported by the almost total lack of subsoil scorching above bedrock/subsoil horizon compared with that seen in the kiln bowl itself. Also the upper course of C.43 masonry is missing at the northeast terminus of C.13. Finally, fragments of burnt kiln walling were found randomly sorted through robber cut infill (notably C.31) strongly sug- gesting that the original flue edges were substantially disturbed at this late stage. The robber trench had secondary fills (C.46, C.31, and C.21) and many were derived from disturbed kiln material that must have been scattered in the surrounding area. They may have been deliberately dumped back into the robber trench as a ground levelling operation. Further fills of the robber trench (C.9 and C.2) represented gradual silting from the local environment and probably represented aban- donment of the site. 6.3 Small isolated pit The westernmost portion of the site was marked by a small isolated sub-circular pit (C.7) with a char- coal flecked stony fill (C.4). It measured 0.8 m x 0.6 m and was 0.09 m deep. There is no demonstrable link between this feature and the rest of the site. 7 Artefacts No artefacts were retrieved from this site. 8 Environmental Remains Nine samples from the site were processed for recovery of charred macroplant and charcoal content. Charcoal was found in four samples and this was assessed by Mary Dillon in advance of radiocarbon dating (Appendix 4). Both ring-porous and diffuse-porous wood charcoal was found but preservation was poor. Martha Tierney examined the samples for plant remains but no charred seeds were found in any of the samples (see Appendix 3). 9 Discussion The Bricketstown kiln appeared to be of quite typical form; it was key-hole shaped and it was similar to the kilns excavated under licence no. 00E0417, at Harristown Little and under licence no. 00E0476 at Bricketstown. One primary hearth deposit (C.40) was identified on the base of the kiln, just inside the mouth of the flue. There were many deposits of rubble and collapse, and several apparent attempts at recutting the kiln, but none of these were long-lived. The final phase of activity at the kiln was when a robber trench was cut across it, presumably to remove stones that originally lined the kiln wall. A radiocarbon date (Beta-219130) from charcoal within the kiln returned a result that places use of the kiln from anywhere in the mid seventeenth century to the early twentieth century (cal AD 1640- 1690 and cal AD 1730-1810 and cal AD 1920-1950). Such a large date range, and the very late dates returned indicate that the results are unreliable for the purposes of dating activity at this site (see Ap- pendix 5 for details). However, the monument form appears quite similar to the other kilns excavated Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 9
  15. 15. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 at Harristown Little and Bricketstown, both of which produced radiocarbon dates that spanned the period AD 1450-1660. This site was initially interpreted as a grain drying kiln and appears in a gazetteer of excavated grain drying kilns (Monk and Kelleher 2005, 109). It now appears that this classification is mistaken. The complete absence of grain or plant remains in any of the kiln deposits (Appendix 3) is one argument against the interpretation of the site as a grain drying kiln. In addition, the series of kilns excavated during this project were significantly bigger than the usual size of excavated keyhole shape grain dry- ing kilns; chamber diameters ranged from 0.32 m to 1.6 m in most surveyed examples (Ibid., 81), while the chamber at the Bricketstown site was 3 m in diameter. The size of the kilns is actually much more in line with the sizes noted for the few excavated examples of late medieval/early post-medieval limekilns known from Ireland (see comparative table). A more recent limekiln was recorded along the route of the Harristown-Rathsillagh realignment, 1.7 km northwest of this site and within the townland of Ballyvergin. It was shown on the 1st edition OS map and was said to have been in use only 70 years prior to its destruction (Elder 2001). This kiln ap- pears to have been a successor to the earlier examples excavated at Harrisown Little and Bricketstown. It’s existence is proof of the availability of suitable raw materials in the general area. The post-medieval example from Ballyvergin was cut into a field boundary and in this it resembles the other kiln sites at Bricketstown, as at both sites (00E0476 and 00E0626) there was evidence that the kilns truncated earlier field boundary ditches. This may have been because the ditches were associated with banks, and banks afforded shelter for the kilns and may have facilitated the loading of the bowl prior to burning. Table of comparative details for excavated examples of Irish limekilns Site County Orientation Total length Bowl Length Bowl Width Bowl Depth Flue length Flue width Ballymount Great 97E0316 (Conway 1998) Dublin 1.2 0.71 Laurence’s Street, Drogheda 98E0544 (Murphy 2000) Louth 3.4 3.4 Custom House 97E0028 ext (Delaney 2000) Galway NW-SE 3.5 3.5 >1 Bowl and Nicholas Street Site F stokehole No flue (Walsh 1997) Dublin N-S c.2.2 m 1.88 1.8 1.55 found N/A Danecastle, Carrick-on-Ban- now 04E0855 Not fully (Ó Drisceoil 2004-5) Wexford NNW-SSE excavated 3.48 1.64 5.04 4.35-1.35 Bohercrow road, Murgasty 97E0026 (Cummins 1999) Tipperary E-W 8.5 c. 3.5? 3.48 1.2 c. 5? Bricketstown 00E0476 Wexford NE-SW 7 2.87 2.72 0.7 4 0.84 to 2.6 Bricketstown 00E0626 Wexford NNE-SSW 7 c. 3 c. 3 1.25 4 1 to 2 Harristown Little 00E0417 * Wexford NNE-SSW 3.7 * 2.7 2.7 0.52 1* 1 * indicates truncation, full extent unknown ? indicates that measurements are estimates based on summary measurements given Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 10
  16. 16. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Other excavated limekilns include Drogheda (Campbell 1987) and Tullyallen 5 (Campbell 2001) in Co. Louth, Kilkenny Castle (Sweetman 1976) and Callan (Moran 2001) in Co. Kilkenny, two lime- kilns at Mondaniel (03E1094), Co. Cork (Quinn 2006) and one limekiln at 8-9 Lower Abbey St., Sligo 98E0216 ext (Hayden 1999). Additional suggestions that this was a limekiln come from the form of the structural remains at Brick- etstown (00E0626), in particular the air vent that was cut into the base of the kiln bowl. The constant distribution of air during lime burning was crucial as this ensured that the procedure occurred evenly (Bick 1984) and ventilation channels would have promoted an improvement in results from the kiln. The ventilation facility at this kiln, however, was considerably less impressive than the remains from the other kiln at Bricketstown (00E0476) where stone-lined ventilation channels, arranged in a cruci- form pattern, were excavated. The baked substratum found at each of these Wexford kilns indicates extreme heat, and is comparable to the results from another excavation in Co. Wexford; Ó Drisceoil (2004-5) noted that a limekiln at Danecastle was lined with a mixture of clay and crushed sandstone which had baked rock-hard in the heat of the kiln. Temperatures inducing such baking must have been far in excess of the requirements for drying grain and hard-baked subsoil is not usually a noted feature of grain drying kilns. Tempera- tures reached during experimental firings of grain drying kilns were never in excess of 65ºC (Monk and Kelleher 2005, 97-100) while the temperatures required for making lime is usually near the 900ºC mark (Stowell 1963, 10; Hale et al. 2003). High temperatures are evident in the oxidised edges of the excavated features at Bricketstown 00E0626 (see Plates 1-3). Permanent structure limekilns fall into two basic types, draw or flare kilns. The type found at Har- ristown Little fits into descriptions of flare kilns. These kilns were operated by placing a single consign- ment of stones (such as limestone, marble or chalk) in the kiln, loading from the top. These stones con- tain calcite (calcium carbonate) which can be heated to produce calcined lime or quicklime (CaCO3 + heat → CaO + CO2). The heat source came from the hearth which was lit at the base of the kiln. These needed to be big fires as heating only at low temperatures causes a reversible reaction, and allows the re-absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The process is only reversible if temperatures have ex- ceeded 900ºC, releasing all the carbon dioxide. Once the fire was lit it required several days of burning before the limestone was calcined. The end product, quicklime, was retrieved from the bottom of the kiln. The entire procedure of lime burning was “more an art than a science”, being dependent on the weather (wind strength and direction) and the quality of both raw materials and fuel supplied (Bick 1984). Quicklime is an alkaline crystalline solid which is caustic but it has several uses; used in building work as a bonding agent (an ingredient in mortar), in render, in whitewash, and as fertiliser (Rynne 1999), although its use for the latter purpose in Ireland generally dates to the period around the mid seventeenth century (Ó Drisceoil 2004-5). The date returned from charcoal in this Bricketstown kiln Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 11
  17. 17. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 probably indicates activity in the post-medieval or early modern period, and it is possible that it was used either for the production of fertiliser or for mortar. In order to create mortar from the quicklime extracted from the kiln, the quicklime was hydrated, causing a vigorous chemical reaction. The lime was often soaked in water for several month to form slaked lime or Ca(OH)2. This was then mixed with sand to form mortar. If the kilns were used for the creation of building materials they could have been used in several late medieval or early post-medieval buildings in the vicinity of these sites. Very near the road take there are two sites of possibly late me- dieval date where there may have been stone built structures; buildings where lime from the limekilns may have been used once it was made into mortar. These include the church site at Kilgarvan (WX036- 032), where there is a medieval grave slab, indicating that there may have been a stone built church at the site in the medieval period. There was another church site at Wilkinstown (WX036-032), although a D-shaped enclosure at this site (Moore 1996) may indicate a much earlier foundation. The slaked lime was mixed with water in slaking pits, but as there was no evidence of lime-rich ma- terials adhering to the sides of any of the ditches or pits excavated at this site it is likely that any lime produced here that was used for mortar was taken elsewhere for slaking. Rynne (1999, 29) notes that most small limekilns, citing as example a stone-built kiln with a 2.2 m diameter bowl (Power et al. 1994, 334) were probably used only intermittently for the production of small quantities of lime to be used for agricultural purposes. The bowl of this Bricketstown kiln is slightly larger but it may still have been used for the production of agricultural fertiliser. By the late seventeenth century thousands of acres in Ireland had been improved by manuring and liming, in- cluding areas of Co. Wexford, where “all sorts of excellent bread, corn, grain, orchards, fruits, sweet herbs, meadows, pastures for all sorts of cattle” were the produce of land that was “not naturally fer- tile” (Molyneux 1680s, cited in Clarkson and Crawford 2001, 15-16). By the late eighteenth century Young (1780) commented that the Irish farmers were accomplished lime burners, and that this was the primary form of “manure” or fertiliser that they used. 10 Conclusion The archaeological site at Bricketstown, Co. Wexford, excavated under licence no. 00E0626 covered an area 20 m by 10 m and contained a kiln, a small pit and three ditches that traversed the site and were interpreted as relict field boundaries. The ditches were the earliest features at the site and they were later cut by the kiln. The kiln illustrated several periods of use. It was medieval/post-medieval in date and consisted of a circular main chamber with the flue projecting to the south-southwest. These types of kilns may have been used as limekilns. This example was one of three similar types of kilns discovered during the N25 Rathsillagh-Harristown road realignment scheme. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 12
  18. 18. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 11 References Bennett, I. 2004-5 “Archaeological Excavations in Co. Wexford”, Journal of the Wexford Historical Society 20, 184-196. Bick, D. 1984. Limekiln on the Gloucestershire-Herefordshire border, Industrial Archaeology Review VII (1), 85-93. Campbell, K. 1987 ‘The archaeology of medieval Drogheda’, Archaeology Ireland 2. Campbell, K. 2001 ‘Tullyallen 5, Co. Meath’, in Bennett, I. (ed.) Excavations 1998. Bray, Wordwell. Clarkson, L.A. and Crawford, E.M. Feast and Famine. Food and Nutrition in Ireland 1500-1920. Oxford, Oxford University Press. 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. Conway, M. 1998 ‘Ballymount Great, Co. Dublin’, in Bennett, I. (ed.) Excavations 1997. No. 079. Cotter, C. 1986. “MacMurroughs, Co. Wexford”, in Cotter, C. (ed.) Excavations 1985. Dublin, Irish Academic Publication for Organisation of Irish Archaeologists. Cummins, T. 1999 ‘Bohercrow Road, Murgasty, Co. Tipperary’ in Bennett, I. (ed.) Excavations 1998. Bray, Wordwell. Delaney, D. 2000 ‘Custom House, Flood Street/Courthouse Lane, Galway’, in Bennett, I. (ed.) Excavations 1999. Bray, Wordwell. Elder, S. 2001 Archaeological Monitoring Report 00E0379. Unpublished report for Eachtra Archaeological Projects. 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. Hale, J., Heinemeier, J., Lancaster, L., Lindroos, A. and Ringbom, A. 2003. Dating ancient mortar, American Scientist 91 (2). Hayden, A. 1999 ‘8-9 Lower Abbey Street Sligo’ in Bennett, I. (ed.) Excavations 1998. Bray, Wordwell. Howarth, O.J.R. 1911 A Geography of Ireland. London, Oxford Geographies. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 13
  19. 19. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 McCarthy, M. 2004. “Strandfield, Co. Wexford”, pp. 520-521 in Bennett, I. (ed.) Excavations 2002. Bray, Wordwell. McLoughlin, C. 2004. Kerlogue, pp.517-518 in Bennet, I. (ed.) Excavations 2002. Bray, Wordwell. Mitchell, F. & Ryan, M. 1997 Reading the Irish Landscape. Dublin, Town House. Monk, M. and Kelleher, E. 2005. An assessment of the archaeological evidence fro Irish corn-drying kilns in the light of the results of archaeological experiments and archaeobotanical studies, JIA XIV. Moore, M. 1996 Archaeological Inventory of County Wexford. Dublin, The Stationery Office. 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. Moran, J. 2001 ‘Tinnamoona, Chapel Lane, Callan’ in Bennett, I. (ed.) Excavations 2000. Bray, Wordwell. Murphy, D. 2000 ‘Former Drogheda Grammar School, Laurence’s Street, Drogheda’ in I. Bennett (ed.) Excavations 1999. Bray, Wordwell. Ó Drisceoil, C. 2004-5. Excavation of a Limerkiln at Danceastle, Carrick-on-Bannow, Journal of the Wexford Historical Society 20, 203-208. 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 Monuments st Carnsore, Co. Wexford. Unpublished excavation report for the Electricity Supply Board. Power, D. et al. 1994 Archaeological Inventory of County Cork Vol. II East and South Cork. Dublin, The Government of Ireland. 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. Quinn, A. 2006 320 Mondaniel 3 03E1094 Co. Cork in Bennett, I. (ed.) Excavations 2003. Bray, Wordwell. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 14
  20. 20. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Rynne, C. 1999 The Industrial Archaeology of Cork City and its Environs. Dublin, Government of Ireland. 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. Stowell, F.P. 1963. Limestone as a raw material. Oxford University Press. Sweetman, P.D. 1976 ‘Kilkenny’ in Delaney, T. (ed.) Excavations 1975. Walsh, C. 1997. Archaeolgical Excavations at Patrick, Nicholas and Winetavern Streets, Dublin. Brandon, Kerry. Young, A. 1780.A Tour in Ireland. Dublin. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 15
  21. 21. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 12 Figures Figure 1: Portion of Discovery map showing the route of the N25 Rathsillagh-Harristown road Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 16
  22. 22. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 00E0471 00E0474 00E0473 00E0626 00E0424 Legend 00E0623 00E0417 New Road 00E0475 Existing N25 00E0625 New Archaeological Sites 00E0476 00E0624 00E0425 1km Figure 2: Ordnance Survey sheets (REF) showing the route of the N25 Rathsillagh-Harristown road 17 ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237
  23. 23. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford DE 18 LIS TE1531 D 14 21 D 20 13 173131 EL 19 ISTE Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ D 67 16 25 00E0471 24 00E0474 23 00E0473 00E0626 00E0424 00E0623 52 00E0417 Legend New Road 00E0475 Existing N25 D 00E0625 64 New Archaeological Sites EL 00E0476 IS 33 00E0624 00E0425 1km TE 58 D 3232 Figure 3: Portion of RMP sheet (REF) showing the location of the excavation at Bricketstown (00E0626) 18 ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237
  24. 24. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Figure 4: Route of the new road with the excavated site displayed 500m 0m Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 19
  25. 25. 00E0626 E 291138 N 123026 E 291123 N 123026 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford A Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ C.7 B Limit of E 291123 excavation E 291138 N 123016 N 123016 0 5m Figure 5: Plan of the excavated area showing the three ditches and the kiln 20 ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237
  26. 26. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 A B C.21 C.16 C.13 C.22 C.31 C.29 C.46 C.34 C..13 Cut of C.35 Robber Trench C.37 C.47 C.40 0 50cm Figure 6: Section through kiln bowl showing the cut of the robber trench (C.13) Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 21
  27. 27. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 13 Plates Plate 1: Post-excavation of kiln bowl and flue (C.47) showing ditches in background Plate 2: Post-excavation of kiln bowl showing cut in the base that continues the line of the flue (inner cut) Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 22
  28. 28. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Plate 3: Mid excavation of kiln bowl showing stone lining (C.43) Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 23
  29. 29. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 14 Appendices 14.1 Appendix 1: Context Register Context Type Dimensions Description 1 Topsoil layer extent of site mid reddish brown silty clay, moderate inclusions of sub-angular and sub-rounded fine and medium pebbles, also contains sub-angu- lar and sub-rounded small stones on occasion, sharp smooth lower horizon. 2 Kiln Fill 2.85 N-S x 2.7 x 0.3 Light yellow firm silty clay with frequent medium sub-angular peb- bles occasional flecks of charcoal and occasional to moderate occur- rences of slate. Kiln fill in robber trench. 3 Ditch Fill 14.4 NW-SE x 1.0 Mid-brown friable silty clay with moderately occurring fine and me- x 0.26 dium angular pebbles, and medium sub-angular pebbles, occasional sub-angular coarse pebbles and small stones. Ditch fill. 4 Pit Fill 0.8 NW-SE x 0.6 x Mid-brownish black compact sand with angular and sub-angular 0.09 moderate fine pebbles and medium stones, occasional medium peb- bles and small stones. Frequent flecks, moderate small pieces and occasional medium pieces of charcoal. Pit fill of Context 7. 5 Boundary Extent of site NE- mid-brown silty clay consisting of fine and medium angular and me- Ditch Fill SW x 1.4 x 0.24 dium and coarse sub-angular pebbles and small sub-angular stones 6 Ditch Cut Linear with sharp break of slope on NW and SE side, moderately sloping concave shaped sides on the NW and SE. Flat concave base in profile. Boundary ditch cut. 7 Pit cut 0.7 E-W x 0.68 x Sub-circular shape with sharp break of slope at top and base. Steep 0.12 convex side on the NE, vertical concave sides on the SE, steep and concave sides on the SW and NE. Base is concave in profile. Pit cut, filled with Context 4. 8 Cancelled 9 Kiln Fill 6.3 NE-SW x 1.7 Mid-brown loose slatey silty clay. Moderately occurring small and x 0.3 medium and occasional large angular and sub-angular stones. Oc- casional small and medium pieces of clinker or cinder . Fill of robber trench. 10 Kiln Fill 2.6 NE-SW x 1.1 x Mid-brownish yellow friable silty sandy clay with frequent fine 0.14 angular and medium angular and sub-angular pebbles, moderately occurring sub-angular coarse pebbles. Occasional angular, sub-angu- lar and sub-rounded small stones. Kiln fill. 11 Ditch Cut 11.0 NE-SW x 1.8 north and south side are gentle in slope but irregular and smooth in x 0.44 shape. The shape of the base is concave in profile. This context is a shallow linear ditch 12 Ditch fill 11.0 NE-SW x 1.8 Mid-yellowish brown firm sandy silt with frequent fine sub-angular x 0.44 and sub-rounded and moderate coarse sub-rounded pebbles. Occa- sional flecks of burnt clay. Ditch fill of cut C.11. 13 Kiln Fill 6.4 NE-SW x 1.38 Linear shape with sharp break of slope at top and gradual break of x 0.95 slope at bottom on the SE and NW sides. Steep smooth to convex shaped sides on the NW and SE. Flat to concave base in profile. Cut of robber trench. 14 Kiln Fill 2.75 E-W x 0.25 x Light greyish brown silty clay. With angular and sub-angular 0.25 frequent medium pebbles, occasional to moderate small stones and occasional medium stones. Occasional flecks of burnt clay and char- coal. Kiln fill. 15 Kiln Fill 2.3 NE-SW x 1.7 x Mid-reddish mottled yellow and brown friable silty clay with fre- 0.16 quent angular fine and medium pebbles, moderate angular pebbles and occasional angular and sub-angular small stones. Kiln fill. 16 Flue Fill 4.0 NE-SW x 2.0 x Reddish brown soft silt. Frequent small and medium angular and 0.15 sub-angular stones. Occasional medium pieces of cinder and occa- sional small pieces of ash. Flue fill. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 24
  30. 30. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Context Type Dimensions Description 17 Kiln Fill 1.8 E-W x 0.4 x 0.11 Mid-reddish brown friable silty clay with moderately fine and oc- casional medium angular pebbles. Kiln fill. 18 Kiln Fill 1.6 N-S x 0.8 x 0.1 Mid-reddish brown friable silty clay with occasional angular pebbles. Kiln fill. 19 Recut 2.16 E-W x 1.88 x Sub-circular shaped with imperceptible break of slope top on NE and 0.48 SW and sharp on the SE and NW. Gradual break of slope base on all sides. Base is concave in profile. Kiln recut. 20 Kiln Fill 1.8 NW-SE x 1.0 x Mid-reddish brown friable silty clay with occasional angular pebbles. 0.12 Kiln fill. 21 Kiln Fill 1.6 NE-SW x 1.3 x Mid-brown loose to friable silty stony clay. With angular and sub- 0.24 angular occasional fine and medium pebbles and moderate medium stones. Fill of robber trench. 22 Flue Fill 2.54 NE-SW x 0.7 Mid-yellowish brown friable clayey silt. Moderate fine angular x 0.08 pebbles, fine and medium sub-angular and sub-rounded pebbles, oc- casional small and medium sub-angular stones. Flue fill. 23 Kiln Fill 1.24 ENE-WSW x Dark greyish brown to black friable silty clay with frequent flecks of 0.2 x 0.02 charcoal. Kiln fill. 24 Kiln Fill 1.74 E-W x 0.32 x Mid-brownish yellow friable silty clay with frequent angular fine, 0.15 medium and coarse pebbles and sub-angular coarse pebbles, moder- ately occurring small angular stones. Kiln fill. 25 Kiln Fill 0.4 N-S x 0.32 x 0.05 Dark grey friable silty clay with moderate flecks of charcoal. Kiln fill. 26 Kiln Fill 0.4 N-S x 0.4 x 0.09 Mid yellow friable clay. Occasional sub-angular medium pebbles, small and medium stones and angular small stones. Kiln fill. 27 Flue Fill 2.0 NE-SW x 1.7 x Mottled red and black friable silty clay with moderately occurring 0.16 small pieces of charcoal. Kiln fill . 28 Kiln Fill 1.6 NW-SE x 1.0 x Mottled mid-reddish/ greyish brown friable silty clay with moderate 0.08 fine and frequent medium pebbles and occasional sub-angular small stones. Kiln fill. 29 Flue Fill +3.0 NE-SW x 1.9 Light brown firm silty clay with frequent small and medium angular x 0.21 and sub-angular stones. Kiln fill . 30 1.5 N-S x 1.0 x 0.25 Mid-greenish grey friable silty clay with occasional medium and moderate fine pebbles. Kiln fill or animal disturbance. 31 Kiln Fill 1.2 N-S x 0.3 x 0.35 Mid-brownish yellow soft clayey silt with occasional small sub- angular stones. Contains frequent small and medium pieces of clinker and occasional small sub-angular pieces of slate. Fill of rob- ber trench. 32 Kiln Fill 2.1 N-S x 2.0 x 0.15 Mid-reddish brown friable silty clay with occasional sub-angular pebbles and small stones and moderately occurring medium angular pebbles. Kiln fill. 33 Flue Fill 2.4 N-S x 1.2 x 0.1 Dark reddish brown soft silty clay with occasional large rounded stones, frequent flecks of charcoal and occasional large pieces of slate. Hearth fill. 34 Flue Fill 1.44 N-S x 1.4 x 0.1 Mid-reddish brown silty clay with occasional small angular, sub-an- gular and rounded small stones and medium sized moderately occur- ring angular and sub-angular stones. Flue fill. 35 Flue Fill 2.6 NE-SW x 0.9 Mid-yellowish brown soft silty clay with occasional medium and x 0.3 moderate small angular and sub-angular stones. Contains frequent pieces of small, medium and large pieces of slate. Flue fill. 36 Kiln Fill 1.5 N-S x 0.6 x 0.06 Dark greyish brown friable silty clay with moderately occurring flecks of charcoal. Kiln fill 37 Flue Fill 1.0 N-S x 0.9 x 0.05 Mid-orangish red very soft clayey silt with occasional angular and sub-angular small stones. Flue fill. 38 Kiln Fill 1.0 NE-SW x 0.5 x Mid-yellowish brown friable silty clay. Occasional angular fine and 0.06 medium and sub-angular medium pebbles, one large sub-angular stone. Flue fill . Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 25
  31. 31. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Context Type Dimensions Description 39 Recut 2.5 N-S x 2.2 x 0.933 Sub-circular shape with sharp break of slope at top and base, concave steep sides on the NW, SE and SW and vertical side on the NE. Flat to concave shape in profile. Kiln recut. 40 Flue Fill 3.1 N-S x 2.6 x 0.05 Dark black soft clayey silt with moderately occurring angular and sub-angular small stones. Frequent flecks and medium pieces of charcoal. Primary flue fill. 41 Kiln Fill 3.6 N-S x 1.6 x 0.06 Mid-red loose sandy clay with moderate angular and sub-rounded and occasional sub-angular and sub-rounded pebbles. Kiln fill. 42 Kiln Fill 2.9 N-S x 2.9 x 0.2 Mid-reddish brown friable silty clay with angular and sub-angular frequent fine pebbles and small stones, occasional medium stones and moderate medium pebbles. Moderate amounts of flecks of charcoal and pieces of burnt clay. Kiln fill. 43 Kiln Fill 2.9 N-S x 2.9 x 0.51 Mottled reddish brown soft silty clay with frequent large sub-angular stones. Kiln lining. 44 no sheet 45 Ditch Cut Extent of site NE- Linear with sharp top break of slope at the SE and NW and gradual SW x 1.4 x 0.24 break of slope at base. Sides are gentle to moderate and concave. The base is concave in profile. Boundary ditch cut, fill C.5. 46 Kiln Fill Only plans for grids Light brown firm silty clay with frequently occurring small and 2 and 3 exist, plan # medium angular and sub-angular stones and occasional small pieces 36 and 39. of charcoal. Fill of robber trench. 47 Kiln Cut Flue: 4.0 NE-SW x Sub-circular to linear shape. Sharp break of slope at top and base of 2.05 x 1.08. Kiln: kiln bowl and gradual break of slope at base of kiln. The base is flat 2.09 diameter x in profile. Cut of kiln and flue. 1.225 deep Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 26
  32. 32. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 14.2 Appendix 2: Stratigraphic Matrix 1 4 2 7 9 21 31 46 13 Robber Trench 16 10 22 15 29 18 20 27 H 33 19 34 14 35 17 37 23 H 40 24 Disuse 25 26 28 30 32 38 36 39 42 41 43 construction 47 3 5 12 early ditches 6 45 11 Natural Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 27
  33. 33. 00E0626 Bricketstown, Co. Wexford ISSUE 4: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 14.3 Appendix 3: Archaeobotanical Assessment Report on the Charred Plant remains from Bricketstown - 00E0626 By Martha Tierney Non-technical summary The main aim of this assessment was to determine the organic content of the soil samples collected during the excavation in order to determine whether the kiln had been used as a corn-dryer or a lime- kiln. As neither lime residues nor charred plant remains were present in any quantities neither hypoth- esis has been supported by these analyses. Introduction This report details the preliminary analysis of soil samples for charred plant remains taken during excavation in the townland of Bricketstown, Co. Wexford. The excavation contained a kiln (c. 47), a small pit (C.7) and three ditches (C. 6, C.11 and C.45). A total of seventeen samples were analysed but the archaeobotanical contents were limited. Methodology The samples were collected on site as bulk soil samples. In the laboratory the sample volume, colour and texture were recorded. The samples were processed using a simple flotation method, where each sample was soaked in water to allow carbonised plant material to float; this ‘flot’ was then poured into a stack of sieves (2 mm, 1 mm, 500 microns, 250 microns). When all of the carbonised material was collected the flot was air-dried prior to storage. The samples were scanned for organic content under a low-powered magnification and the organic remains were recorded in terms of abundance. Results of analysis Of the seventeen samples analysed, eight contained remains. Six of these were from the kiln. Discussion The charred plant remains retrieved from these samples are poor in quality and quantity, offering little insight into the function and use of this site. The kiln appears to be quite typical in form, and similar to the kilns excavated under licence 417 and 476. Though there is a general absence of plant remains from the kiln contexts, this is not to say that the kiln did not function as a corn-dryer. Both of the above mentioned sites produced poor assemblages also. Charred cereal remains may be due to a number of factors, for instance, the kiln bowl and flue could have been cleaned out well before they went out of use. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e0626-bricketstown-co-wexford/ 28

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