Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
Archaeological Report - Caherweelder 4 , Co. Galway (Ireland)
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×

Introducing the official SlideShare app

Stunning, full-screen experience for iPhone and Android

Text the download link to your phone

Standard text messaging rates apply

Archaeological Report - Caherweelder 4 , Co. Galway (Ireland)

416
views

Published on

A well, marked on the Down Survey map from the 1650s was named as Peter’s Well on the …

A well, marked on the Down Survey map from the 1650s was named as Peter’s Well on the
first edition Ordnance Survey map and was listed as a Recorded Monument (GA103:084).
Local information suggests that the well was backfilled about 100 years ago and that a
nearby pool known as Toberawoneen Pool was deepened and widened by machine and
replaced it as the local well. The excavation revealed the location of the blocked up well
which was identified by the remains of a stone revetment which enclosed it. A number of
ditches and the possible remains of a hard standing were also identified.

Published in: Education

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
416
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
2
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. Eachtra Journal Issue 8 [ISSN 2009-2237] Archaeological Excavation Report E3708 - Caherweelder 4, Co. Galway Well
  • 2. EACHTRA Archaeological Projects Final Archaeological Excavation Report Caherweelder 4 Co. Galway Well Date: October 2010 Client: Galway County Council and National Roads Authority Project: N18 Oranmore to Gort E No: E3708 Excavation Director: Enda O'Mahony Written by: Enda O’Mahony & Finn Delaney
  • 3. Final Archaeological Excavation Report Caherweelder 4 Co. Galway Excavation Director Enda O'Mahony Written By Enda O’Mahony & Finn Delaney EACHTRA Archaeological Projects CORK GALWAY The Forge, Innishannon, Co. Cork Unit 10, Kilkerrin Park, Liosbain Industrial Estate, Galway tel: 021 4701616 | web: www.eachtra.ie | email: info@eachtra.ie tel: 091 763673 | web: www.eachtra.ie | email: galway@eachtra.ie
  • 4. © Eachtra Archaeological Projects 2010 The Forge, Innishannon, Co Cork Set in 12pt Garamond Printed in Ireland
  • 5. Table of Contents Summary���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������iii Acknowledgements�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� iv 1 Introduction ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 1 2 Background to the scheme �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 1 3 Topography, geology and hydrology ������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 1 4 Historical background ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 4 5 Site description ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 4 6 Methodology ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 6 7 Results of excavation �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 6 7�1 Naturaldeposits��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 6 7�2 Thewell�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 6 7�3 Ditchfeatures�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 8 7�4 Stonedeposit������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������10 8 Conclusion ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 10 9 References �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 11 i
  • 6. List of Figures Figure 1: Discovery series OS map showing the route of the new N18 Oranmore to Gort road and the location of all the excavation sites� The excavation site at Caherweelder 4 is highlighted� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 2 Figure 2: The route of the new N18 Oranmore to Gort road overlaid on the first edition OS map (Sheet GA103)� The excavation site at Caherweelder 4 is also highlighted� ���������������� 3 Figure 3: The route of the new N18 Oranmore to Gort road overlaid on the 25 inch OS map (Sheet GA103)� The excavation site at Caherweelder 4 is also highlighted� �������������������������� 5 Figure 4: The route of the new N18 Oranmore to Gort road overlaid on the RMP/SMR map which is based on second edition OS map (Sheet GA103)� The excavation site at Caherweelder 4 is also highlighted� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 7 Figure 5: Post-excavation plan of the site� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 9 List of Plates Plate 1: Pre-excavation photograph of the site from the south-west� ��������������������������������������������������� 6 Plate 2: Post-excavation photograph of the site from the south-east� �������������������������������������������������� 8 ii
  • 7. Caherweelder 4-e3708 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3708-caherweelder4-co-galway/ Summary A well, marked on the Down Survey map from the 1650s was named as Peter’s Well on the first edition Ordnance Survey map and was listed as a Recorded Monument (GA103:084). Local information suggests that the well was backfilled about 100 years ago and that a nearby pool known as Toberawoneen Pool was deepened and widened by machine and replaced it as the local well. The excavation revealed the location of the blocked up well which was identified by the remains of a stone revetment which enclosed it. A number of ditches and the possible remains of a hard standing were also identified. Townland Caherweelder Parish Kileely Barony Kiltartan County Galway Ministerial Order Number A045 E Number E3708 OS Map Sheet GA103 National Grid Reference 144600/216361 Elevation 25.8 m OD Site Type Well iii
  • 8. iSSUe 8: eaChtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 Final arChaeologiCal exCavation report Acknowledgements The excavation director was Enda O’Mahony and the site supervisors were Mike Duf- fin and Ewellina Chrobak. The field crew included Thomas Conway, Cecelia Falkendal, Anna Marciniak, Mirek Mazurek, Anna Okoniewska, Izabela Polchlopek and Elaine Roche. The senior archaeologist was Finn Delaney and the post-excavation manager was Jacinta Kiely. Choryna Kiely, Fillip Debniak and Fiona Greene were involved with the administration of the project. Illustrations are by Ben Blakeman and Maurizio Toscano. Specialist analysis was carried out by Margaret McCarthy, Tim Young, Farina Sternke, Mary Dillon and the 14 Chrono Centre at Queen’s University Belfast. Joseph O’Brien was the resident engineer for consultant engineers Hyder Tobins. The project was com- missioned by Galway County Council and was funded by the National Roads Authority. The Project Archaeologist was Jerry O’Sullivan. iv
  • 9. Caherweelder 4-e3708 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3708-caherweelder4-co-galway/ 1 Introduction This report constitutes the final excavation report of a recorded (GA103:084) well in the townland of Caherweelder, Co. Galway (Fig 1). The site was excavated as part of the archaeological excavation programme in advance of construction for N18 Gort to Oran- more road scheme. The site was located within the lands acquired for the scheme and was identified during the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and was subject to archae- ological testing at Phase 1 (E3708) which identified the remains of the backfilled well. 2 Background to the scheme The N18 Oranmore to Gort (Glenbrack to Rathmorrissey) national road scheme was approved by An Bórd Pleanála on 7 June 2007. The development will consist of approxi- mately 27 km of dual carriageway, and all associated works. The area of archaeological investigations lies within the footprint of the proposed scheme as defined by the Com- pulsory Purchase Order (CPO) published by Galway County Council on 1 August 2006. Eachtra Archaeological Projects was commissioned by Galway County Council and the National Roads Authority to undertake Phase 1 archaeological testing and Phase 2 exca- vation of sites directly impacted by the proposed development. 3 Topography, geology and hydrology The underlying geology in the surrounding area is Carboniferous limestone of the Burren and Tubber formations bordered by Namurian shales and sandstones to the west, in Co. Clare and Devonian old red sandstone to the east, in the Slieve Aughty uplands. Glacial till overlies the bedrock to varying depths (0–5 m) and the soils derived from the till are generally deep well drained brown earths. The topsoils are characteristically deep and dry and, enriched by the limestone parent material, support moderately good grass pastures. There are boulder fields and expanses of bedrock exposure typical of karst limestone country. Turloughs and swallow-holes are features of areas with an underlying limestone bed- rock which enables the ground water and water table to produce sometimes perplexing drainage systems. A turlough is shown on the first edition Ordnance Survey map of the area directly to the east of the excavation site (Fig 2). The turlough appears to be fed by a spring marked as ‘Toberawoneen pool’. Water features appear to be a characteristic of the surrounding landscape as a well marked as ‘William Connolly’s well’ is shown to the east of the turlough. A small spring to the south of the townland in close proximity to the lands acquired for the scheme is marked as ‘Pollbaun’. The second edition six inch and 25 inch Ordnance Survey maps show a drain/stream running east from the site of ‘Connolly’s Well’(Fig 3 and 4). The land commission subsequently excavated a deep field drain further to the south re-directing the earlier drain. This recent drain runs just to the north of the excavation area. 1
  • 10. iSSUe 8: eaChtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 Final arChaeologiCal exCavation report 135000 142500 150000 Derrydonnell More Coldwood E3867 225600 225600 E3887 Moyveela 3 Moyveela 2 E3907 E3884 Moyveela 1 Ballinillaun 2 E3883 E3886 Ballinillaun 1 E3888 Lavally E3869 Roevehagh 2 E4012 Roevehagh 1 E3885 Caherweelder 7 Caherweelder 6 E3826 E3871 Caherweelder 5 Caherweelder 4 E3866 E3708 Caherweelder 3 Caherweelder 2 E3889 E3890 Caherweelder 1 E3880 214400 214400 Owenbristy E3770 Drumharsna North E3868 Drumharsna South E3872 Cullenagh More E3881 Ballyglass West E3870 203200 203200 Caherweelder 4 ¢ 135000 142500 150000 0 5 10 CPO line Excavation Areas Kilometres Figure 1: Discovery series OS map showing the route of the new N18 Oranmore to Gort road and the location of all the excavation sites� The excavation site at Caherweelder 4 is highlighted� 2
  • 11. Caherweelder 4-e3708 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3708-caherweelder4-co-galway/ 144000 145000 RINN (ED KILLEELY) 217105 217105 BALLYNASTAIG (DUNKELLIN BY) BALLYNABUCKY (DUNKELLIN BY) CAHERPEAK EAST CAHERWEELDER KILTIERNAN EAST KILTIERNAN EAST 215710 215710 CARANAVOODAUN Caherweelder 4 ¢ 144000 CARANAVOODAUN 145000 0 0.25 0.5 CPO line Excavation Areas Kilometres Figure 2: The route of the new N18 Oranmore to Gort road overlaid on the first edition OS map (Sheet GA103)� The excavation site at Caherweelder 4 is also highlighted� 3
  • 12. iSSUe 8: eaChtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 Final arChaeologiCal exCavation report 4 Historical background The townland name Caherweelder derives from the Irish Cathair Mhaoilir. The first part of the placename is easily resolved as stemming from caher or a ‘stone fort’ and the first edition Ordnance Survey map illustrates and names a stone fort as ‘Caherweelder’ at the centre of the townland. The second part of the placename Maoilir is less apparent. It could refer to a family name such as ‘Mulder’ which would translate as ‘Mulder’s stone fort’. Maoil in Irish means to overflow and could be related to the turlough at the centre of the townland. Another possibility is that it derives from Maethail meaning ‘soft land’ which would be equally apt or Maol meaning bald, as in bald/dilapidated structure (roof- less), land or even bald (hornless) cattle (Joyce 1913 Vol I, 395). The well is named on early edition Ordnance Survey maps as ‘Peter’s Well’. A well is marked in approximately this location on the Down survey map from the mid 1650s. The origins and customs of the well are not known and there is no record of its use as a holy well. Surveyors from UCG were unable to locate the well during a survey in 1982, but it was evident when inspected for the EIA (O’Sullivan 2006 and UCG 1997). It was identified as several large stones and numerous smaller ones forming a roughly circular arrangement around a wet hollow overgrown by briars and furze. According to local landowner, Mr. Pádraig Greaney, ‘the well was blocked up after a boy was drowned there about 100 years ago’. He also stated that the watering-rights for the well were shared by several communities, and subsequently transferred to an adjacent machine-cut pond (still extant) when the well was backfilled. Mr. Greaney also said deep machine-cut drains were dug on these lands in the 1980s. 5 Site description The excavated site is located towards the northern end of Caherweelder townland (NGR 144600/216361) (Fig 1 – 5). It lies just to the south of Turloughtrasna cross roads. There are good views from the site to the east and south but a low hill blocks views to the north and west (Plate 1). The area is used as rough pasture land for grazing cattle and is divided by deep drainage ditches lined with post and wire fences. The excavation area lies to the south of a low, gorse covered, hill on the western edge of a turlough. The site is located adjacent to a deep drainage ditch which runs east-west to the north of the excavation area. The modern field drain was designed to re-direct the naturally occurring stream that originally ran from east to west 150 m north of the site. The site was identified by several large stones and numerous smaller ones which formed a roughly circular arrangement around a wet hollow overgrown by briars and furze. 4
  • 13. Caherweelder 4-e3708 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3708-caherweelder4-co-galway/ 143880 144960 217000 217000 216000 216000 Caherweelder 4 ¢ 143880 144960 0 0.25 0.5 CPO line Excavation Areas Kilometres Figure 3: The route of the new N18 Oranmore to Gort road overlaid on the 25 inch OS map (Sheet GA103)� The excava- tion site at Caherweelder 4 is also highlighted� 5
  • 14. iSSUe 8: eaChtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 Final arChaeologiCal exCavation report Plate 1: Pre-excavation photograph of the site from the south-west� 6 Methodology An area measuring 144 sq m was stripped of sod and topsoil by hand. The site was then subjected to an intensive hand clean. The burnt mound was fully excavated by hand and recorded using the single-context recording system with plans and sections being produced at a scale of 1:20 or 1:10 as appropriate. A complete photographic record was maintained throughout the excavation. 7 Results of excavation 7.1 Natural deposits The topsoil across the site had a maximum depth of 0.15 m and consisted of a mid-brown peat (C.1) with no inclusions and the subsoil was a sterile orange-grey silty clay with no inclusions. 7.2 The well The well (C.15) was sub-circular in plan and measured 2.5 m x 2 m and had a depth of 1.3 m. The well was framed to the north and west by five large boulders up to 1 m in length 6
  • 15. Caherweelder 4-e3708 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3708-caherweelder4-co-galway/ 144000 145000 216900 216900 215800 215800 Caherweelder 4 ¢ 144000 145000 FULACHT FIADH RINGFORT - CASHEL WELL CPO LINE 0 0.25 0.5 EARTHWORK RINGFORT - RATH HOLY WELL Kilometres EXCAVATION AREA Figure 4: The route of the new N18 Oranmore to Gort road overlaid on the RMP/SMR map which is based on second SOUTERRAIN SETTLEMENT CLUSTER edition OS map (Sheet GA103)� The excavation site at Caherweelder 4 is also highlighted� 7
  • 16. iSSUe 8: eaChtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 Final arChaeologiCal exCavation report Plate 2: Post-excavation photograph of the site from the south-east� and sub angular in shape which were partly set into the natural subsoil (Plate 2). The up- per fill of the well consisted of large limestone boulders of up to 1 m in length. A plastic mid brown peat (C.10) underlay the upper stone deposit (C.5). The base of the well was filled with a shallow deposit of light greenish grey sandy silt (C.11). A line of stones was located 1 m outside the inner larger stones to the south and east. They were located along a slight break in slope which fell away from this point towards the well. There was only one dry stone course surviving however collapsed stones were identified on either side. The stones ranged in size from 0.10 m to 0.25 m and were ir- regular in shape. The well had been deliberately backfilled with large limestone blocks which may have originally derived from both the inner stone surround and the outer line of enclosing stones. 7.3 Ditch features A shallow linear north-south running ditch (C.13), possibly used to divert excess water from the well into the turlough was located just to the north. The ditch contained, a mid- grey silty clay (C.12) with frequent coarse pebbles, occasional medium-sized stones, and had a maximum depth of 0.28 m. 8
  • 17. Caherweelder 4-e3708 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3708-caherweelder4-co-galway/ 144589 144597 ± 13 216399 216399 9 6 15 4 216391 216391 0 5m 144589 144597 Figure 5: Post-excavation plan of the site� 9
  • 18. iSSUe 8: eaChtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 Final arChaeologiCal exCavation report A linear north-south running ditch (C.9) which may have formed the eastern extent of a pathway that is marked on the first edition map was located 3 m to the west of the well. This ditch contained two fills. The upper fill (C.7) was a mid-brown peat, similar to the topsoil (C.1) and had a maximum depth of 0.22 m. The lower fill (C.8) was a light grey sandy silt alluvium deposit, with a maximum depth of 0.1 m. 7.4 Stone deposit A deposit of light grey/blue stones and pebbles (C.6) measuring 12 m x 6 m was located on the western fringes of the well and may have acted as hard standing associated with the use of the well. 8 Conclusion The well appears to have been a very simple structure and nothing was found to expand or contradict the historical information gleaned from the landowner, Mr Greaney. The well was identified on the Down Survey map from the 1650s and was in use up to 100 yeas ago. The well bears the name Peter’s well but has no known religious associations. It is one of a number of wells in Caherweelder townland with Toberawoneen Pool located to the north and William Connolloy’s well to the north-west. A small spring named Pollbaun is located to the south. These small functional wells are a feature of the south Galway landscape. Another well was excavated at Ballyglass West in association with a Bronze Age burnt mound during the course of the current project. The well at Caherweelder is also located close to a number of burnt mound sites (Caherweelder 1, 2, 3 5 and 6). This association reflects the valuable commodity that is a reliable water source across all time periods. 10
  • 19. Caherweelder 4-e3708 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3708-caherweelder4-co-galway/ 9 References DEHLG [undated] Sites & Monuments Record [= archive and database of information on archaeological sites & monuments]. Department of Environment, Heritage & Local Government. Joyce, P W 1867–1913 Names of Irish Places, 3 vols. London & Dublin. O’Sullivan, J 2006 ‘Archaeological Heritage,’ In Galway County Council Environmental Impact Statement for N18 Oranmore to Gort National Road Scheme. UCG & OPW 1997 Sites & Monuments in County Galway [= statutory Record of Monuments & Places maps and handlists]. University College Galway for the Office of Public Works. 11