Eachtra Journal

Issue 3                                          [ISSN 2009-2237]



             Archaeological Excavati...
Final Archaeological Excavation Report,
Monganstown 1
N6 Kinnegad to Kilbeggan
Co. Westmeath

Metalworking site




August...
E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                                                   ISSUE 3: Ea...
E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                                                ISSUE 3: Eacht...
E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                         ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-...
E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                                                        ISSUE ...
E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                       ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-22...
E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                       ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-22...
E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                       ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-22...
E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                       ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-22...
E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                       ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-22...
E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                       ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-22...
E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                       ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-22...
E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                             ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2...
E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                       ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-22...
E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                       ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-22...
E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                       ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-22...
E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                       ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-22...
E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                       ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-22...
E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                       ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-22...
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Clonfad Mill                Monganstown
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E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                                                       ISSUE 3...
E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                       ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-22...
E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                       ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-22...
E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath                                       ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-22...
Ex., A001 01, N6 K2 K, Monganstown1,  Co. Westmeath   Eap Journal
Ex., A001 01, N6 K2 K, Monganstown1,  Co. Westmeath   Eap Journal
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Ex., A001 01, N6 K2 K, Monganstown1,  Co. Westmeath   Eap Journal
Ex., A001 01, N6 K2 K, Monganstown1,  Co. Westmeath   Eap Journal
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Ex., A001 01, N6 K2 K, Monganstown1, Co. Westmeath Eap Journal

  1. 1. Eachtra Journal Issue 3 [ISSN 2009-2237] Archaeological Excavation Report E2771 - Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath Metalworking site
  2. 2. Final Archaeological Excavation Report, Monganstown 1 N6 Kinnegad to Kilbeggan Co. Westmeath Metalworking site August 2009 Client: Westmeath County Council Culleen Beg Mullingar Co. Westmeath E Number: E2771 Ministerial Order No.: A001/01 Licensee: John Lehane Contact details: The Forge, Innishannon, Co. Cork. Written by: John Lehane and Penny Johnston Tel.: 021 470 16 16 Fax: 021 470 16 28 E-mail: info@eachtra.ie Web Site: www.eachtra.ie
  3. 3. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Table of Contents Acknowledgements ..................................................................................................... iv 1 Non-Technical Summary ....................................................................................1 2 Scope of the Project ............................................................................................1 3 Receiving Environment ......................................................................................2 3.1 Geology........................................................................................................2 3.2 Soils and their uses .......................................................................................2 3.3 Topography ..................................................................................................2 4 Archaeological and Historical Background .........................................................3 4.1 Bronze Age c. 2500-500 BC .........................................................................3 4.2 Iron Age c. 500 BC-500 AD ........................................................................3 4.3 Early Medieval c. 500-1100 AD ...................................................................3 4.4 Later Medieval c. 1100-1650 AD ..................................................................4 4.5 Post-medieval c. 1650-20th century ...............................................................5 4.6 Placenames and Townlands ..........................................................................5 5 Site location and topography...............................................................................6 6 Results of the Excavation ....................................................................................6 6.1 Area 1 ..........................................................................................................6 7 Artefactual Remains .......................................................................................... 10 8 Environmental Remains .................................................................................... 11 9 Industrial Residues ............................................................................................ 11 10 Discussion ......................................................................................................... 12 11 Conclusion ......................................................................................................... 13 12 Bibliography ......................................................................................................14 13 Figures ............................................................................................................... 15 14 Plates ................................................................................................................. 21 15 Appendices ........................................................................................................ 27 15.1 Appendix 1: Context Register ......................................................................27 15.2 Appendix 2: Stratigraphic Matrix ................................................................33 15.3 Appendix 3: Radiocarbon dates from Monganstown 1 ................................34 15.4 Appendix 4: Assessment of Industrial Residues from Excavations at Monganstown 1 ........................................................................................................................ 35 15.5 Appendix 5: Charred plant remains and charcoal from Monganstown 1 .....54 Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ iii
  4. 4. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Table of contents cont. 15.6 Appendix 6: Analysis of charcoal assemblages from Monganstown 1...........59 15.7 Appendix 7: Chemical analysis of industrial residues ...................................67 15.8 Appendix 8: Lithics Finds Report for A001/01 – Monganstown 1, Co. West- meath ....................................................................................................................73 Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ iv
  5. 5. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Acknowledgements Senior Archaeologist: John Tierney Licensee: John Lehane Field staff: Ray Riordan, Caroline Healy, Helen Butler, Julian Stroud, Deidre Gleeson, Christina Murphy Additional Post-Excavation Work: Antonia Doolan, Sara Camplese, Illustrations: Enda O’Mahony, Deidre Gleeson Text: John Lehane, Áine Richardson, Antonia Doolan, Penny Johnston Specialists: Neil Fairburn, Marcos Martinón-Torres, Abigail Brewer, Penny Johnston, Mary Dillon, Farina Sternke, Queen’s University Belfast 14Chrono Centre Works were carried out on behalf of Westmeath County Council and were funded by the National Roads Authority under the National Development Plan 2000 - 2006. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ v
  6. 6. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 List of Figures Figure 1: General situation of site along the route of the new road N6 Kinnegad to Kilbeggan Discovery Series Map ............................................................................................................................................15 Figure 2: Monganstown 1 in relation to trenches of archaeological centreline testing that was carried out along the route of the new road .............................................................................................................16 Figure 3: RMP sites near the route of the new road N6 Kinnegad to Kilbeggan ...................................17 Figure 4: The excavated site showing three areas of excavation (Areas 1, 2 and 3) at Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath (A001/01) ...........................................................................................................................18 Figure 5: Area of excavation in Area 1 at Monganstown 1 ....................................................................19 Figure 6: Sections through furnaces C.57, C.60 and C.63 ................................................................... 20 List of Plates Plate 1: General site photograph ............................................................................................................21 Plate 2: General site photograph ............................................................................................................21 Plate 3: C.24 post-excavation ................................................................................................................22 Plate 4: C.63 mid-excavation ................................................................................................................22 Plate 5: C.40 post-excavation ................................................................................................................23 Plate 6: C.15 post-excavation.................................................................................................................23 Plate 7: C.2 post-excavation ................................................................................................................. 24 Plate 8: C.66 mid-excavation ............................................................................................................... 24 Plate 9: C.50 mid-excavation.................................................................................................................25 Plate 10: Flint A001/01:13:1 ..................................................................................................................25 Plate 11: An example of clay wall remains within furnace C.63 ............................................................26 Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ vi
  7. 7. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 1 Non-Technical Summary This report details the results of archaeological excavations carried out at Monganstown townland, along the line of the N6 realignment between Kinnegad and Kilbeggan (Figure 1). Situated approxi- mately 2 km west of Kinnegad, the site is one of fourteen new archaeological sites identified during test excavations carried out in 2004. Following the identification of archaeological remains in situ during the testing phase, it was recommended that preservation by record would be required. The main concentration of archaeological features was confined to an area of approximately 15 m 2 and was excavated under ministerial order A001/001. Evidence was recovered showing the existence of early medieval charcoal production pits, and Iron Age ironworking features, as well as other possible smelting and smithing furnaces close by. Several other pits were excavated, and had been used for the disposal of slag, although they may have originally had a different function. 2 Scope of the Project This archaeological services project was carried out on behalf of Westmeath County Council, County Buildings, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. The project was funded by the National Roads Authority under the National Development Plan 2000-2006. The purpose of the project was to conduct archaeological site investigations within the lands made available for the scheme and to assess the nature and extent of any new or potential archaeological sites uncovered. There were two contracts; Contract 1 (Kinnegad to Tyrellspass) undertaken by Eachtra Archaeological Projects and Contract 2 (Tyrellspass to Kilbeg- gan) carried out by Valerie J. Keeley Ltd. and Cultural Resource Development Services Ltd. This report covers results from Contract 1, Kinnegad to Tyrellspass. Phase 1 of the project (archaeo- logical centreline testing of the route) was carried out in June and July 2004 under licence (04E0908) issued by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (DoEHLG). The principal aim of this phase of the project was to investigate known and possible sites of archaeological interest along the route of the proposed road scheme and to investigate the remainder of the route. This was done by a programme of centreline and offset testing (Figure 2). In addition Phase 2 included the resolution of identified sites which were excavated in the townlands of Monganstown, Farthingstown, Kiltotan Collinstown and Rattin. This phase of the project was carried out between January and March 2005 and excavations were carried out by two licensed directors under the direction of a senior archaeologist. In total fourteen sites were excavated during this phase of works and were carried out under Ministerial Order. The sites were situated near the western end of the scheme, in County West- meath, and were found in the townlands of Farthingstown and Kiltotan Collinstown (in the Barony of Fartullagh) and Monganstown and Rattin (in the Barony of Farbill). Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ 1
  8. 8. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 3 Receiving Environment 3.1 Geology The bedrock geology is mostly comprised of Lower Carboniferous rocks, mainly limestone, which overlies Devonian Old Red Sandstone (Holland 1981; Riada Consult 2003, 58). Some sills of Carbon- iferous volcanic rocks also pass through the bedrock sequences. The dominant topographical feature of Croghan Hill, 7 km southeast of Tyrrellspass, is comprised of shallow intrusive basaltic and dolamitic rocks formed by volcanic activity (Riada Consult 2003, 59). Superficial drift deposits overly the bedrock, varying from impermeable clay to permeable gravel (Ria- da Consult 2003). Glacial features such as eskers and kames dominate an otherwise flat landscape; the eskers are punctuated by sand and gravel quarries that provide good quality building materials (Casey 2002). 3.2 Soils and their uses The soil type encountered in the area (Grey-Brown Podzolic) covers 3.43 % of Ireland, on the southern limit of the north to west Drumlin belt across the northern half of the country (Gardiner and Radford 1980, 91). The lighter Grey Brown Podzolics are ‘good all-purpose soils’ and the heavier Grey Brown Podzolics are better for pasture production (Ibid., 27). Although the soil is technically a fertile type, it has a high clay content which results in poor drainage and peat accumulation in the area is widespread. This is particularly the case along the western portion of the road route, (where the sites from this project were found), which has been covered by the growth of fens and raised bog. These peat lands have generally been worked and, while residual peats are often present, they do not tend to exceed 1 m thickness (Riada Consult 2003, 61). 3.3 Topography The landscape followed by the route of the new road from Kinnegad to Athlone is generally lowlying, ranging from the low undulating drift cover east of Athlone to the flat plains of the central boglands and moraine near Kinnegad. Only a 4 km stretch of the corridor east of Tyrellspass rises above 100 m in height, most of the land undulating gently along the northern extremities of the Bog of Allen. Outside the area of bogland the landscape is typified by regular enclosed fields, bordered by densely overgrown banks with mature hedgerows of ash, elder and hawthorn. This uniform landscape is bro- ken up by streams, eskers and rivers; the River Brosna and its tributaries drain the western part of the study area, while the land east of Rochfortbridge is drained by the Yellow River and other smaller tributaries of the River Boyne (Casey 2002). The moist climate combined with the low-lying condition of much of the area ensures seasonal flood- ing, limiting the land-use capability to livestock grazing punctuated by infrequent tillage. In areas of marginal land close to the edges of the raised bogs the pasture is criss-crossed by drainage ditches without the usual accompanying enclosing bank (Casey 2002). Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ 2
  9. 9. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 4 Archaeological and Historical Background (based on an Archaeological and Historical Background by Orlaith Egan) The sites within this study area are located in a rich multi-period archaeological landscape (Figure 3) and several monuments have already been assessed in the original EIS report (Riada Consult 2003). Recent excavations along the routes of new roads have added significantly to the list of known sites and the newly discovered sites from this part of the N6 road will add further knowledge to the overall understanding of the area. The area is associated with ancient routeways of unknown date; a large togher discovered by R.A. S Macalister in the nearby townland of Baltigeer in the 1930s may possibly have linked up with the Slighe Dala or Slí Asail, two ancient routeways which led to Tara and Connacht. One of the five great ancient roads of Ireland, the Slí Mór, is also thought to have passed through the area. The earliest indication of archaeological activity within the area was the recovery of a stray Mesolithic Bann flake (IAWU 2002) and a stone axe (SA 1989:17), potentially of Neolithic date (c. 4000-2500 BC), found in the townland of Rattin (IAWU 2001). However, all the archaeological sites excavated in the area have been identified as of Bronze Age date or later. 4.1 Bronze Age c. 2500-500 BC The earliest known evidence of settlement is represented by an Early Bronze Age (c. 2500-1500 BC) togher discovered by the Irish Archaeological Wetland Unit in the townland of Rattin (IAWU 2001). Finds from the area include a socketed bronze axe head from the Late Bronze Age (1936:1873 NMI) which was recovered near Kinnegad townland (exact location unknown). Bronze Age burnt mounds are also reasonably common; one definite example (CHS 20) and several potential sites were discovered during fieldwalking of the proposed route (Riada Consult 2003, 247). A burnt mound was excavated at Kiltotan Collinstown 12 and at Kiltotan Collinstown 13 an anomalous pit produced a Middle-Late Bronze Age radiocarbon date. 4.2 Iron Age c. 500 BC-500 AD There is a general dearth of evidence from this period in the Irish archaeological record. However, two Iron Age radiocarbon dates from iron smelting pits were produced at this site at Monganstown 1. 4.3 Early Medieval c. 500-1100 AD The record of Early Historic activity in the study area and the surrounding countryside is rich. An ancient monastic site founded at Clonfad (WM27: 067, WM27: 066) to north of the townland of Rattin, consisted of a possible church site, a rectangular enclosure, a graveyard, crosses, and Bishop’s grave. St. Etchen was bishop of Clonfad or Cluain-fota-Baethain in the sixth century and the annals of Ulster record his death between 578-84 AD. He is reputed to have ordained St. Columcille and St. Colmáin mac Lúacháin of Lynn and many others. The monastery survived into the eight century AD as Blahmac, an abbott of Clonfad was killed in 799 AD (Gwynn & Hadcock 1970). Sites with evidence for craft/industry from this period include charcoal/metalworking pits at Monganstown 1, which produced two Early Historic radiocarbon dates, and material from a small metalworking pit at Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ 3
  10. 10. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Kiltotan Collinstown 14, which also returned an Early Historic date. The most common settlement monuments of this period are ringforts (also known as rath or lios). These are interpreted as enclosed farmsteads and they generally consist of a circular ditch outside an earthen bank (constructed with the upcast from the excavation of the ditch). Larger examples may have more than one ditch and a bank forming the enclosure. At Kiltotan Collinstown 14 there are four ringforts located within 1 km of the site. The nearest, WM033-061, is situated just 350 m to the north. East of the site are WM033-065 and WM033-066, at distances of 700 m and 400 m respectively. The fourth ringfort, WM033-062, is about 840 m north-northeast of the site. Also within 1 km of the site is a fifth recorded monument, WM033-068, listed as an earthwork. At Monganstown 1 a further two ringforts (WM 027:069 and WM 027:070) are located in the area between the site and the town of Kinnegad, with one, just 500 m from the site. The evidence suggests that the area was quite intensely settled during the Early Historic period. 4.4 Later Medieval c. 1100-1650 AD The villages of Tyrrellspass and Rochfortbridge both date from the medieval period and are located near the sites examined in this project. Rochfortbridge is located 11 km southwest of Kinnegad within the Barony of Fartullagh. The village is named after the Rochforts, a French family who settled in Ireland in 1243. Before the Rochforts established themselves in the area the Tyrrells, a powerful An- glo-Norman family, held the Barony of Fartullagh. This included the lands around Rochfortbridge and the parish of Castlelost. In the 13th century (c. 1411) the Tyrrells built a castle that consisted of a motte and bailey (a stone castle came later) in Tyrrellspass, to the northwest of the town. It guarded the western entrance to the Barony of Fartullagh and it remained the centre of power for the Tyrrells until the Cromwellian Invasions (1650). They also built a semi-fortified manorial church on the castle lands which contained an effigy of armoured Knight John Tyrell dating to 1607. The site of another castle (WM 027: 071) and a bridge (WM 028: 003), reflecting further settlement in the later medieval period, are located in the townland of Kinnegad. A defensive castle was also constructed in Rattin (WM34: 008), built to defend extensive Anglo-Nor- man territories in the midlands. The lands were owned by Hugh de Lacy but passed into the possession of Sir John Darcy and his descendents when he became Chamberlain and Steward of the household of King Edward ΙΙΙ, Chief justice of England and Peer of the realm. In the Insurrection of 1641 Nicholas Darcy forfeited Rattin and the greater part of his estates (Bardon 1913). The remains of a sixteenth century towerhouse (called Rattin Castle) are found in the townland today. Test trenches c. 1500 m to the northwest of the castle failed to produce any archaeological remains (Conway 1999, 298). How- ever, phase 1 test excavations north of Rattin towerhouse found the remains of a probable timber and brushwood trackway. There is also a recorded earthwork site (WM 34:007) located to the west of the castle but its function and date are unknown. The only excavated site from this project that dated to the Medieval period was a small furnace at Kil- totan Collinstown 14 which produced a fifteenth century radiocarbon date. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ 4
  11. 11. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 4.5 Post-medieval c. 1650-20th century The post-medieval archaeology examined during the project included the remains of field systems and vernacular architecture. Post-medieval field boundaries and ditches were excavated at Farthingstown 009, Farthingstown 011, Monganstown 2, Kiltotan Collinstown 12, Kiltotan Collinstown 13 and Kil- totan Collinstown 14. The field systems at Kiltotan Collinstown are probably related to a nineteenth century farmstead pictured on the 1st Edition OS map and located immediately adjacent to the site at Kiltotan Collinstown 12. Vernacular architecture was also examined at the site of Rattin 4, where a nineteenth century farmhouse was tested and recorded prior to road construction. South of Rattin 4 the post-medieval Clonfad mill still stands. This mill has been subjected to a standing building survey and has been reported separately. In addition there are two demesnes located within the study area (Farthingstown House and Side- brook House), both found in the townland of Farthingstown. The term ‘demesne’ originates from Norman French and indicates the portion of an estate retained by a feudal lord for his own use. The term is also used to indicate the extent of a wealthy landowners post-medieval landholding, imme- diately adjacent to their home. Most Irish examples typically consist of a big house with associated buildings, ornamental and recreational grounds, and perhaps the remains of an elaborate boundary wall (Riada Consult 2003, 249). 4.6 Placenames and Townlands The sites were excavated in the townlands of Farthingstown, Kiltotan Collinstown, Rattin and Mon- ganstown. The townland of Farthingstown lies in the parish of Castlelost in the barony of Fartullagh. It covers a substantial area containing c. 1802 acres. It is known in Irish as Baile na Feóirlinge meaning ‘town of the farthing’ (Walsh 1957). It was known as ‘Ballyneforlin alias Fardingston’ in the inquisi- tions of the seventeenth century (Inq. Car. Ι no. 129). The townland of Kiltotan and Collinstown is also located within the parish of Castlelost and the Barony of Fartullagh. It lies south and southeast of the old mail coach road from Tyrrellspass to Dublin and borders part of the County of Offaly. In 1837 it consisted of c. 320 acres, which was mainly of arable and pastureland but included a narrow stretch of bog, which bordered the parish of Newtown. Kiltotan is known in Irish as Cill Toiteáin meaning ‘the church of the conflagration’. Collinstown is known as Baile Choileáin translated as ‘the town of Collins’. (OS Namebooks). The townland of Rattin is located in the west of the parish of Killucan within the barony of Farbill. It is known in Irish as Rath Aitinne meaning ‘Rath of the furze’. The lands of Rattin were formerly part of the lands of Clonfad, situated to the west. The name Monganstown is derived from ‘the town of the Mongans’ and the townland covers an area of 483 acres. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ 5
  12. 12. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 5 Site location and topography The site is situated approximately 2 km west of Kinnegad town, near the eastern end of the new route (Figures 1-3). It is 500 m south of the current N6, at Chainage 57240 (field 123/National Grid Co-or- dinates 258000/244650), in the townland of Monganstown, in the parish of Killucan and the barony of Farbill. The excavation was located 150 m north of, and in the flood plain of, the Kinnegad River, which forms the county boundary between Westmeath and Meath. It is on a slightly raised ridge in a level boggy field, which has been in use as pasture for cattle and sheep. It appears that the drier ground of the raised ridge would have attracted occupation in the past. The Boyne Valley Drainage Scheme in the 1950’s is responsible for the presence of deep field drains up to 3 m in depth close to the site. 6 Results of the Excavation Three separate areas (Area 1 to 3) were stripped of topsoil during the original test excavations of the new route (Figure 4). Area 1 was the largest, being 53 m long (east to west) and 20 m wide, though of an irregular shape. The features identified included two charcoal production pits, six furnaces and several other pits and postholes (Figure 5, Plates 1 and 2). Area 2 was located 19 m west of Area 1 and just 4.4 m west of Area 3. It was 20 m long (northeast to southwest) and 10 m wide. The area was opened in order to uncover a possible linear feature identified during the testing phase but the only features visible were the remnants of a lazy-bed system. Area 3 was then opened between Areas 1 and 2, 4.4 m to the east of Area 2. It measured 20 m by 4 m with a long-axis running northeast to southwest. No archaeological evidence was uncovered in this area. A full record of the excavated contexts is presented in the context register in Appendix 1 while the stratigraphic matrix is presented in Appendix 2. 6.1 Area 1 6.1.1 Charcoal pits Two large charcoal production pits (C.21 and C.24) were identified during excavations. The pits had a similar morphology, being sub-rectangular in plan with almost vertical sides and flat bases. Both pits were almost 3 m long, between 1.2 m and 1.3 m wide and 0.2 m deep, with C.21 the larger of the two. A large amount of charcoal remained in situ in both pits. The larger of these pits (C.21) measured 2.85 m north-south x 1.3 m in width x 0.26 in depth. It was situated in a corner of the site, approximately 20 m northwest of the main concentration of features and 14 m from the other charcoal pit (C.24). It contained an undisturbed charcoal rich fill (C.14) which was interpreted as the original fill of the pit following charcoal manufacture. Analysis of this material has shown that oak was the main raw material used for the manufacture of this charcoal and it has produced an Early Historic radiocarbon date of AD 898-920. There was no indication why this material was not utilised following its production. The second pit (C.24) measured 2.8 m northwest-southeast by 1.2 m in width and a maximum of 0.2 m in depth (Plate 3). This pit was identified during the test excavation and the upper fill (C.25) was material that was re-deposited as a result of archaeological test trenching. This overlay the original Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ 6
  13. 13. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 charcoal fill (C.13) which contained a piece of burnt struck flint (A001/001:13:1). The charcoal was identified as oak and it yielded an Early Historic radiocarbon date of AD 897-1024. The orientation of the individual wood pieces could be discerned lying along a northwest-southeast alignment, the same orientation as the pit itself. 6.1.2 Furnaces Six furnaces were excavated on the site; C.40, C.47, C.57, C.60, C.63 and C.74. Four of these (fur- naces C.47, C.57, C.60 and C.63) were situated roughly in the centre of the site (Figure 5). The most southerly furnace (C.47) measured 0.54 m in length and 0.5 m in width. The lower fill (C.46) was composed of burnt clays that were interpreted as being part of the superstructure of the furnace. A total of 8 kg of slag were also retrieved from this deposit and chemical analysis indicated that this slag was from a bloomery furnace (Appendix 7). The second fill (C.48) was topsoil-like and probably accumulated in the furnace after the original furnace contents were removed. The smallest furnace on the site (C.57, Figure 6) measured 0.4 m by 0.3 m in plan. It contained two fills (C.58 and C.59); the lower fill (C.59) consisted of various slag and oak charcoal elements. The up- per fill (C.58) was a layer of slumped topsoil that filled the furnace following removal of the original contents. Two furnaces (C.60 and C.63) were of similar size and morphology; both were sub-circular with aver- age dimensions of 0.78 m by 0.61 m by 0.42 m. The furnace C.60 contained two fills (C.61 and C.62). The basal fill (C.62) was a charcoal-rich deposit found at the base of the cut (Figure 6) and interpreted as the remnants of the original charcoal (identified as ash) used as fuel in the furnace to attain the high temperature necessary for smelting. A total of 9 kg of slag were retrieved from this deposit. The upper fill (C.61) was similar to the upper fills of other furnaces, and contained topsoil-like sediments as well as 12 kg of slag. The furnace C.63 (Plate 4) differed from all the other furnaces in that it contained three fills (C.64, C.65 and C.75). The basal fill (C.75) was a layer of nearly pure charcoal that was recorded at the bottom of the cut (Figure 6) and it contained 14 kg of slag. It was similar to C.62, the basal fill in furnace C.60. This basal layer was overlain by a deposit of burnt clay (C.65) with possible structural elements (burnt clay and charcoal) that may imply a domed superstructure that collapsed into the furnace when it was broken to extract smelted ores. A total of 15 kg of slag remained in the deposit. The uppermost fill of this furnace (C.64) contained small amounts of slag and some oak char- coal and was probably disturbed furnace fill that accumulated in the furnace after its use. The largest furnace was C.74/C.40. This was an elongated, sub-rectangular pit/furnace (C.74) with a small circular furnace (C.40) at its southern end (Plate 5). This was found on the western edge of the main grouping of features in the centre of the site. C.40 was c. 0.55 m in diameter and 0.32 m in depth and it contained two fills (C.39 and C.38). The primary fill (C.39) was a dark slag rich mix, with 15 kg of slag retrieved along with charcoal from a diffuse-porous wood type. This context returned an Iron Age radiocarbon date of BC 361-113 (UB 6940, see Appendix 3). The upper fill of the furnace (C.38) was interpreted as a mix of topsoil and collapsed materials (including 3 kg of slag and ash, hazel and yew charcoal) that filled the furnace subsequent to the use of the feature. Recovered from this fill were two large pieces of vitrified clay lining that were originally part of the furnace; they may have formed Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ 7
  14. 14. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 part of a shaft (see Appendix 4) or they may have been from the clay walls of a bloomery furnace. One of these pieces has a small round hole towards its base for the insertion of bellows. The edges of C.74 extended northwards from this circular bowl, approximately 1.3 m in length by 0.5 m in width. These dimensions made it roughly 1 m longer than the other furnaces. This part of the furnace was filled by two deposits (C.72 and C.73), the basal fill (C.73) being very disturbed and composed of burnt clays (some possible fragments of superstructure), slag pieces (13 kg), charcoal and topsoil-like mate- rial. The presence of topsoil-like material in these fills may indicate some disturbance by ploughing in the general area, which resulted in the formation of homogenous brown fills mixed with debris from the furnace which had been dismantled to remove the processed ores. The upper fill (C.72) was clayey sand topsoil that probably slumped into the furnace void following a period of disuse. The irregular morphology of this feature implies that it was severely disturbed after smelting/smithing. Furnace cut Length Width Depth Fuel/Charcoal type Clay walls Vitrified clay lin- present ing present C.47 0.54 0.5 Oak and yew Yes (in C.46) No C.57 0.4 0.3 Oak No No C.60 0.8 0.6 0.35 Ash No Yes (in C.61) C.63 0.76 0.62 0.5 Oak Yes (in C.65) Yes (in C.65 and C.75) C.74/C.40 1.3 0.55 0.32 Ash, hazel and yew Yes (in C.73 and Yes (in C.38 and (diameter of C.38) C.39) C.40 0.55 m) 6.1.3 Stakeholes One stakehole (C.6) was situated in the southeast corner of the site. It had only one fill (C.5) indicating that it was formed by a driven post/large stake, which was subsequently removed. A similar stakehole (C.15, filled by C.16) was situated in the northwest corner of the site (Plate 6). The charcoal from this stakehole was identified as oak (Appendix 6) and it probably represents the remains of a burnt post (Appendix 6). Whether these two features formed part of larger structures is unknown, but there is no evidence for associated stakes or postholes. However, it is quite likely that some form of shelter was erected around the metal working site as this would have been necessary to protect against the ele- ments. 6.1.4 Clay Extraction Pits Six pits (C.2, C.23, C.45, C.52, C.66 and C.79) were excavated on the site. They ranged in size from 4 m to 0.80 m in length, with depths of between 0.67 m and 0.10 m. The first pit (C.2) was an irregular cut and measured 3.84 m northwest-southeast x 0.80 m in width x 0.58 m in depth. It was situated in the northeast corner of the site (Plate 7). The primary fill (C.4) con- tained oak and hazel/alder charcoal, fragments of clay and 5 kg of slag waste. The other fills (C.1 and C.3) both contained charcoal (including oak, ash and elm) and slag, with most slag being retrieved from C.1, where 2 kg of slag was found. The oak charcoal identified from C.1 returned an Iron Age radiocarbon date of BC 338-46 (UB 6940, see Appendix 3). This pit was probably originally used as a quarry pit, for extracting clay that was used to build the superstructure of the nearby furnaces. It Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ 8
  15. 15. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 was evidently later backfilled with waste material from the iron-working process taking place in the surrounding area. A similar pit (C.69) was situated approximately 1 m southwest of C.2. It measured 3.3 m southeast- northwest x 0.8 m x 0.4 m in depth and it had two fills (C.70 and C.71). The basal fill of the pit (C.71) contained small to moderate slag and oak charcoal inclusions (see Appendix 6 for charcoal identifica- tions) and it represents deliberate deposition of waste material from furnace activities. One fragment of a hazelnut shell was recovered from this context, indicating that waste from domestic activities may have been used to set the furnaces alight (Appendix 5). The upper fill (C.70) consisted of a mix of redeposited material that included topsoil. This pit was interpreted as a quarry pit and, like the other quarry pit C.2 and the disused furnaces, it was backfilled with waste from metalworking that was car- ried out at the site. Another linear quarry pit (C.45) was found 2 m south of C.2 and C.69, and it was located beside a deposit of orangey gravely clay. It measured 3.8 m east-west x 0.8 m x 0.4 m in depth and it had three fills (C.44, C.56 and C.55). The basal fill (C.44) contained frequent charcoal and slag inclusions as well as some plant remains. It was overlain by C.56, a deposit of red burnt clay, probably the lining of a furnace. This deposit also produced plant remains. The plant remains from both contexts were in a poor state of preservation but may represent domestic material that was used as tinder for the furnace fires; C.44 produced one charred unidentified seed, one stem or straw fragment, and one indetermi- nate fruit stone and C.56 produced one hazelnut shell fragment during plant remains analysis (Ap- pendix 5). Both of these deposits evidently represented redeposited furnace waste. The uppermost fill (C.55) contained only small amounts of charcoal, probably re-deposited from the surrounding area, and no industrial residues and may have been a result of natural silting. Another pit (C.23) was situated at the southeast edge of the main body of features and to the south of the pit C.45. There was no evidence of burning in situ or any other indicator of use. It had four fills (C.31, C.30, C.22 and C.32). The primary fill of the cut (C.32) seemed to represent a deliberate back- filling episode. Other small deposits such as C.22 and C.30 contained small amounts of slag (there was 1 kg in C.22) and represented rubbish deposited in the pit. The uppermost fill (C.31) may have been the result of natural silting. The remaining pits were centrally located and they produced the most complex stratigraphy on the site. The earliest pit was C.79 which was situated next to one of the charcoal pits (C.24) at the northwest corner of the main concentration of the archaeology. The pit (C.79) measured 2.9 m northwest-south- east x 1.78 m x 0.67 m in depth. It had two fills (C.68 and C.29). The lowest was C.68, a deposit of silty sand with 10 kg of slag, interpreted as a layer of disposed slag. This underlay a spread of dark sediment with frequent charcoal inclusions (C.29) and it filled the pit and spread outside its confines, covering an area of approximately 3.2 m by 1.3 m. This spread (C.29) was also cut by another pit (C.66) which measured 2.5 m north-south x 0.85 m x 0.23 m in depth and was filled by C.67, a silty sand with occasional slag and charcoal (Plate 8). This pit (C.66) was in turn cut by a crescent-shaped pit (C.52) which was situated in the centre of the site. It measured 3.5 m east-west x 1.1 m x 0.3 m in depth and it followed and respected the edge of a natural deposit of orange gravely clay. It was filled by Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ 9
  16. 16. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 layers C.53 and C.54, both of which had inclusions of slag and charcoal pieces. The charcoal-rich spread (C.29) that partially filled the earliest pit (C.79), was overlain by a thin layer of re-deposited industrial waste material (C.33) where charred seeds and hazel nut shell fragments were found (Appendix 5) along with fragments of oak charcoal (Appendix 6). This spread had dimensions of 1.0 m north-south x 0.4 m x 0.1 m and it was cut by another pit (C.36) which measured 1.5 m east- west x 1.45 m x 0.16 m and was filled by C.34, which contained frequent slag and moderate charcoal inclusions. It was cut by another pit (C.37) which measured 0.8 m north-south x 0.5 m x 0.1 m, and was filled with a layer of slag-rich industrial waste (C.35). It was postulated during excavation that some of these pits were dug for the purpose of extracting deposits of ore from the subsoil, as many of the pits were situated in proximity to natural deposits of orange gravely clay. Small lumps or nodules of possible iron ore and manganese deposits were identi- fied along the sides of natural deposits during the excavation and it was surmised that higher concen- trations were mined out at the time the site was in use. However, it is extremely unlikely that these pits could have produced anything near the amount of ore required for smelting purposes (Neil Fairburn, pers. comm.). The pits were found adjacent to the furnaces and their positions appear deliberate. It is therefore possible that some of the pits were excavated in order to extract clay for the manufacture of the furnace superstructures, for example clay domes, and were later utilised for the disposal of the industrial waste. 6.1.5 Pits of unknown function A shallow depression or possible pit (C.10) was located in the southeast corner of the site and may have been associated with a nearby stakehole (C.6). It was irregular in plan and measured 0.5 m east-west x 0.45 m x 0.07 m in depth and had one charcoal-flecked fill (C.9). Another shallow pit (C.50) was located to the west of the main concentration of archaeological features (Plate 9), it measured 0.54 m east-west x 0.5 m x 0.15 m and it had only one fill (C.51). A third pit (C.78) situated nearby, measur- ing 2.05 m southwest-northeast x 1.1 m x 0.21 m and containing two fills (C.76 and C.77). The lower fill (C.76) consisted of a thin layer of charcoal while the upper fill (C.77) represented deliberate back- filling. The absence of evidence for burning in situ suggested that the charcoal production occurred elsewhere. 7 Artefactual Remains Only one find was recovered from this site, a burnt flint (A001/01:13:1, Plate 10) which was examined by Farina Sternke (Appendix 8). It was a type that was probably made in the Early Mesolithic or the Neolithic, although the find spot is probably typically Mesolithic (an island of raised ground sur- rounded by marchland). This is an early find that has evidently been disturbed and incorporated into deposits associated with later archaeological activity. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ 10
  17. 17. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 8 Environmental Remains Twenty-one bulk soil samples and thirteen charcoal samples were analysed for the retrieval of charred seeds and charcoal. The flots for charred seeds were examined by Penny Johnston and Abigail Brewer (Appendix 5) and the charcoal from the site was examined by Mary Dillon (Appendix 6). Charred seeds were only found in six samples, these were mostly fragments from hazel nut shells. Most of the charcoal from the site was identified as oak, but ash and yew were also significant elements of the as- semblage. 9 Industrial Residues Visual inspection of the industrial residues from the site was carried out by Neil Fairburn (Appendix 4) and chemical analysis of three samples was carried out by Marcos Martinón-Torres at the Archaeo- logical Science Laboratories at the Institute of Archaeology in London (Appendix 7). Several of the samples resembled tap slag which suggested that the smelting occurred in a shaft furnace. If this was the case it is one of the earliest examples known from Ireland, where iron smelting technology is gen- erally considered deeply conservative (see Appendix 4). Chemical analysis suggested that the material, although visually resembling tap slag, was actually material that accumulated at the bottom or around the walls of a bloomery furnace (Appendix 7). The composition may be because this slag was a by- product, rather than a product, of the smelt (Appendix 4). Chemical analysis also indicated that the ore source was high in manganese and that the smelting process was quite efficient. High manganese (Mn), strontium (Sr) and barium (Br) are the indicators that could help to identify the potential ore source in the vicinity. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ 11
  18. 18. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 10 Discussion All of the features excavated at this site were associated with iron working and included charcoal pits, furnaces and various extraction and/or disposal pits filled with charcoal and slag. In total, twenty-three cut features were excavated at the site and forty-eight deposits (fills and spreads) were investigated. The stratigraphic matrix from Monganstown 1 was fairly simple, with no difficult sequence of inter-cutting features, implying a relatively short-lived phase of metalworking activity. Metalworking residues excavated across the river at Kinnegad 2 (Murphy 2003 and Murphy 2004, 510) indicate that the general area around Monganstown was a favoured location for metalworking. The location of these sites is dependant on two primary factors; access to fuel and access to ore. Access to bog ore was presumably relatively easy in the midlands as much of this part of the country is covered by raised mires. The bog may also have provided a source of fuel as peat has been identified as a fuel used to fire furnaces in some parts of Scotland in prehistory (Pleiner 2000, 129). However, the primary source of fuel at this site was identified as oak charcoal (Appendix 5 and 6). The fact that charcoal production pits were excavated at the site indicates that the metalworking was carried out near the lo- cation of the fuel source; Pleiner (2000, 118) suggests that it is more economical to locate the site near the fuel source rather than the ore, especially when fuel is in short supply, as ore is smaller in volume and lighter in weight than the charcoal required for smelting and it is therefore less problematic to transport it. The method of making charcoal was probably relatively simple, involving the excavation of a pit, filling it with timber, covering in vegetation to limit the oxygen supply, then lighting the fire and allowing it to smoulder, slowly turning the wood to charcoal. This production process was similar to that identified at Kinnegad 2 (Murphy 2003) It is clear that substantial iron working was carried out at Monganstown 1. In total 61 kg of industrial residues were recovered from a number of pits and furnaces during the archaeological excavation. The industrial residues consisted of material associated with iron working including furnace and amor- phous slag from most contexts. An iron smithing PCB (Plano Convex Bottom), was found in C.62 (from furnace C.60) and pieces of vitrified furnace lining were found in several of the deposits within furnaces (C.60, C.63 and C.40) and in slag-rich waste deposits that backfilled three clay extraction pits (C.2, C.23 and C.45) and in another small pit (C.50), presumably cleared after use of (Appendix 4). Fragments of vitrified clay-lining from Monganstown were very large and they indicate a feature with an internal diameter of c. 0.3 m. In some cases this indicates a feature considerably smaller than the width of the excavated furnaces (generally c. 0.5 – 0.6 m wide) and it may suggest that these furnaces were the bases of shaft furnaces (see Appendix 4). There was also a considerable quantity of material that resembled fluid tapped slag (27.5 kg), the type of slag that is produced in shaft furnaces. However, chemical analysis on a limited number of samples suggested that it was actually slag from a bloomery furnace (see Appendix 7). In this case the vitrified clay linings found among the slag and the fragments of clay walls found within the furnaces may actually be the surviving remains of domes or clay walls temporarily built over small bowl furnaces. Partial remains of the superstructure of several furnaces survived in the form of collapsed clay walls (in C.47, C.63, C.74 and C.40, see an example in Plate 11). Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ 12
  19. 19. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 In general, simple bowl furnaces are thought to have been utilised at the beginning of the Iron Age and into the Early Historic and medieval period in Ireland (Scott 1991). The identification of shaft furnaces has important technological implications as the procedures used in shaft furnaces were more efficient. There is a possibility that there was a shaft furnace at Monganstown 1, indicating a relatively sophisticated smelting process and suggesting a very early date for use of this technology; the earliest known examples are from a small quantity of tap slag retrieved at Farranstack, Co. Kerry (03E0171) where the furnace was identified as a shaft furnace producing radiocarbon dates of between 1020-1270 AD (Dowd and Fairburn 2005). However, chemical analysis has yet to confirm this issue for certain. What is clear is that the smelting process was relatively efficient, perhaps due to the qualities of the ore used, rather than because of the technology (Appendix 7). The Monganstown 1 radiocarbon results demonstrate a wide period of use at the site, with deposits from the area associated with metalworking producing Iron Age dates and deposits from charcoal production pits indicating Early Medieval activity. This suggests a long period of intermittent activity at the site. Such repeated usage is perhaps down to the ideal location, on a slightly raised island that probably attracted occupation in the past, as the area has been extensively drained since the 1950s. The only artefact from the site, a flint that was disturbed from its original depositional context, indicates that occupation in the general area extends even further back than the radiocarbon dates suggest. 11 Conclusion Charcoal pits and furnaces associated with iron working were excavated at Monganstown 1, with material from the site producing both Iron Age and Early Historic dates. The industrial residues were primarily identified as the remains from iron smelting with a small amount of iron smithing residues. The results from this site will feed into a growing collection of discoveries that is changing our knowl- edge about metalworking technology available in Ireland in the past. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ 13
  20. 20. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 12 Bibliography Bardan, P. 1913. ‘Fairbill Topography’, Typed manuscript, Westmeath County Council Library Casey, M. 2002. ‘N6 Kinnegad to Athlone Aerial Survey’, section of the N6 Environmental Impact Statement, 2004. Conway, M. 1999. ‘Rattin’, in Bennett, I. (ed.) Excavations 1999: Summary account of archaeological excavations in Ireland. Bray, Wordwell. Dowd, M. and Fairburn, N. 2005 ‘Excavations at Farranstack, Co. Kerry: evidence for the use of shaft furnaces in medieval iron production’ Journal of Irish Archaeology XIV, 115-121. Gardiner, M.J. and Radford, T. 1980. Soil Associations of Ireland and Their Land Use Potential. Soil Survey Bulletin No.36. An Foras Talúntais, Dublin. Gwynn, A. and Hadcock, R.N. 1970. Medieval Religious Houses. Ireland. London. Holland, CH (ed.) 1981. A Geology of Ireland. Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh. Irish Archaeological Wetland Unit, UCD, 2001. ‘Cavemount, Esker & Derryhinch Bogs, Cos Meath, Offaly & Westmeath’, in Peatland Survey Report 2001. Irish Archaeological Wetland Unit, 2002. ‘Fieldwork 2000, Counties Westmeath and Offaly’ in I. Bennett (ed.) Excavations 2000. Bray, Wordwell. Murphy, D. 2003. ‘Archaeological Excavation Report for site K-E-K M4 Motorway, Contract 1, Kinnegad 2, Co. Westmeath, Licence 02E0926’, Unpublished report by Archaeological Consultancy Services Ltd. Murphy, D. 2004. ‘Kinnegad 2, Multi-period smelting site 25838 24541 02E0926 Co. Westmeath’ in I. Bennett (ed.) Excavations 2002. Bray Wordwell. Ordnance Survey field name Books of the County of Westmeath, 1837. Pleiner, R. 2000. Iron in Archaelogy: The European Bloomery Smelters. Oxford, Oxbow Books. Riada Consult, 2003. ‘N6 Kinnegad to Athlone Dual Carriageway Environmental Impact Statement’, Unpublished report for Westmeath County Council. Scott, B. 1991. Early Irish Ironworking. Belfast, Ulster Museum. Walsh, Rev. Paul, 1957. The Placenames of Westmeath. Dublin Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ 14
  21. 21. 13 Figures Monganstown Monganstown Clonfad Mill 2 1 Rattin 3 Rattin 5 Rattin 4 E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ Farthingstown 6 Farthingstown Farthingstown 10 11 Farthingstown Kiltotan and Kiltotan and 8 Collinstown Collinstown Site 12 Site 14 Farthingstown 9 Kiltotan and Collinstown Site 13 0m 2000m Figure 1: General situation of site along the route of the new road N6 Kinnegad to Kilbeggan Discovery Series Map ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 15
  22. 22. N Morganstown002- Late Medieval Field system E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath 56000.000 55500.000 Rattin 004- 56500.0 Postmedieval Building Moranstown001- 00 55000.000 Rattin003- Ironworking site 57500.000 Wooden trackway 57000.000 54500.000 54000.000 53500.000 530 00.0 00 Rattin005- Hearth 52 50 0.0 00 Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ Legend: Archaeological sites C.P.O. outline Test Trenchs 0m 1 Km Figure 2: Monganstown 1 in relation to trenches of archaeological centreline testing that was carried out along the route of the new road ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 16
  23. 23. Clonfad Mill Monganstown Monganstown Rattin 3 2 1 Rattin 5 Rattin 4 E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath Farthingstown 6 Farthingstown Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ Kiltotan and 7 Farthingstown Collinstown 10 Site 12 Farthingstown Kiltotan and 11 Collinstown Farthingstown Site 14 8 Farthingstown 9 Kiltotan and Collinstown Site 13 Earthwork Ecclesiastical Site N 0km 2km Castle Potential Site Ringfort Rectangular enclosure Motte Barrow Figure 3: RMP sites near the route of the new road N6 Kinnegad to Kilbeggan ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 17
  24. 24. N C.21 C.15 C.79 C.66 C.18 C.24 C.52 C.69 C.2 C.50 C.20 C.60 C.63 C.78 C.74 C.57 C.40 C.27 C47 C.45 C.12 C.10 C.6 C.8 C.23 1m 0 5m E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ Kinnega d River 57500.0 00 57000.000 Monganstown A001/01 Ironworking site E 257923 N 244632 E 257923 N 244602 0 200 m Figure 4: The excavated site showing three areas of excavation (Areas 1, 2 and 3) at Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath (A001/01) ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 18
  25. 25. N C.21 C.15 C.79 C.66 C.18 C.24 E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath C.52 C.69 C.2 C.50 C.20 L1 C.60 Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ C.63 K1 C.78 T1 C.74 S1 C.57 20 E 30 E 35 E 40 E 45 E 0N 0N 0N 0N E F 0N C.40 C.27 C47 C.45 C.12 C.10 C.6 C.8 C.23 Monganstown A001-001 Post-Excavation Plan Furnace Possible Clay Extraction Pits Extent of Excavation Indicating areas of different soil type 1m 0 5m Charcoal Pit Non-Archaeological Figure 5: Area of excavation in Area 1 at Monganstown 1 ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 19
  26. 26. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 42.20 E 42.66 E 0N E F 0N 58 59 57 1 0 cm 0 5 0 cm 63.55 E 1.00 N Baked clay 36.42 E 2.28 N K L 61 60 62 1 0 cm 0 5 0 cm W E S1 T1 64 63 65 75 1 0 cm 0 5 0 cm Figure 6: Sections through furnaces C.57, C.60 and C.63 Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ 20
  27. 27. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 14 Plates Plate 1: General site photograph Plate 2: General site photograph Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ 21
  28. 28. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Plate 3: C.24 post-excavation Plate 4: C.63 mid-excavation Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ 22
  29. 29. E2771 | A001/01 Monganstown 1, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Plate 5: C.40 post-excavation Plate 6: C.15 post-excavation Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2771-monganstown-1-co-westmeath/ 23

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