Tipperary, constructed between and is the product of an Irish building tradition but influenced by West British styles. Over the next few decades the techniques used at Cashel were progressively assimilated into the skills of local masons, producing a unique blend of Romanesque which is distinctive to Ireland and frequently referred to as Hiberno-Romanesque. This style replaced the traditional Irish doorway with several orders of sculptured arches supported on pilasters, arcades with attached columns were used on the walls, the stone was cut ashlar and there was extensive use of sculptured ornament.
West of the Shannon the Romanesque tradition continued into the thirteenth century although elsewhere with the invasion of the Anglo-Normans came a new style of architecture. Cashel has a particularly rich history and was associated with the early Kings of Munster. In during development at the Old Orchard Inn, human skeletons were uncovered. There is no record of any archaeological site at this location in the Archaeological Survey of Ireland archive and no historical reference to the area exists, the only information available on this site was a report to the National Museum in the s of human skeletons found in the area.
The first edition OS map however, shows a bend in the old roadway and curvilinear field boundaries that may indicate the presence of an ecclesiastical enclosure. Trial trenching was subsequently undertaken at the development site in order to establish the extent of the remains. Full excavation was undertaken over two two-month seasons Plate Plate In Phase 1, a palisade trench was identified on both the north and south sides of the excavated area, suggesting that there was an enclosure.
Radiocarbon dates place this phase to between the fifth and seventh centuries AD. During Phase 2 the site was used for burial and the excavation revealed the remains of at least individuals. Some of the remains were badly disturbed but analysis of a significant proportion was possible. In addition to the lack of post-medieval features or finds, the east-west orientation of the burials, the shallowness of the burials, the presence of stones placed by the skull in ear-muff fashion, suggests an early medieval or medieval date for the burials. A C14 determination from one of the skeletons yielded a date centred in the early tenth century.
The burials were almost all contained within or superimposed on the area enclosed by the palisade trench of Phase 1.
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The relationship of burials and the comparative lack of disturbance of the skeletons suggested that the burials were all more or less contemporary to within a number of consecutive generations. The burials were sealed by layers containing Leinster cooking ware, suggesting that they did not post-date the thirteenth century. Phase 3 saw the construction of a second palisade trench with a possible entrance feature. Stone walls associated with a hearth were uncovered on the north. Carroll, J. Bennett ed. Wordwell Ltd. Church Island is a small island located on the western side of Lough Carra that is situated in the centre of Mayo Fig.
The excavations further the information on early church sites, especially those in remote areas.
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Excavation of this site was undertaken over a single season in and was confined to an area 13m X 8m incorporating a medieval church. Five levels were recorded on the site. The earliest level Level 1 revealed a large wooden structure, indicated by four post-holes. Another nine post-holes may represent evidence for other structures. A small rectangular building was defined by a shallow trench and two post-holes.
A large hearth was located to the NW of this building. The next level Level 2 was defined by a trench dug to enclose an area 8m X 4m. The trench contained loose stones and boulders and an entrance feature was recorded in the NW end. Several layers of daub were added to level the ground. One pit, four post-holes and five stone settings for wooden stakes were also discovered. A plinth constructed of several courses of rounded stones was uncovered at the NW end of the site.
It was built on top of the enclosure trench at the SW end and incorporated an internal west corner. A short intense period of activity Level 3 followed this. It appeared that a portion of the foundations associated with Level 2 were reused. The western corner was infilled with stones and some evidence suggested a fire occurred in the NW half of the building.
A small furnace was located at the SW end. The Level 4 building was slightly off alignment with the Level 2 building.
Unpublished Excavations: EARLY MEDIEVAL PERIOD : CHRISTIANITY
The walls of the extant church were in ruins except for the SE gable. A carved sandstone window survived in the gable. Other features included an altar base and a central post-hole. Evidence of a SW window and a NW entrance also survived. A total of 22 skeletons were recorded from the site. Finds included a range of iron objects and a variety of animal, bird and fish bones.
No diagnostic finds were associated with Levels 1 and 3. A small piece of dressed green porphyry and a bronze stick pin were found at Level 2. Dating of Level 4 relies on the three decorated bone mounts and bone comb fragments. The fabric of the building suggests a late thirteenth or fourteenth century date. Ryan, F. The site is located at the modern graveyard of Clonmacnoise, to the east of the monastic enclosure on the Eiscer Riada Fig. The discovery of the first recorded ogham stone from Co.
Offaly while digging a grave in the new graveyard at Clonmacnoise prompted a series of excavations, funded by the National Monuments Service formally the OPW. Offaly [Aerofilms]. The upper levels, dating to post AD , consisted of pits, cobbled surfaces and refuse spreads. Beneath this were the eight to tenth century levels that contained Round House 2 in the eastern half of the cutting. It was c. It appeared to represent two phases, one with two large post-holes in the side walls possibly representing roof supports and the other on the southern side representing an earlier round house.
There was a long narrow enclosure at the west with a sand and gravel yard, a wooden gate and a large hearth. Six flags at the exterior southern wall, led to a large hollow with a number of furnace bottoms, slag, and a large quantity of animal bone, ash and charcoal. Another section of a possible rectangular structure with a number of post-holes and three pits was also excavated. A similar D-shaped platform was found adjacent to the road on the east and it contained a large post-pit. The earliest evidence of occupation was a curved double row of post-holes in the south-eastern corner of Cutting 1.
An area of cobbling was also uncovered and may have represented a cobbled slip and a place where boats were tied up. Later a boundary of wood and stones was built across the cobbles parallel to the Shannon with a sunken feature behind it, possibly representing a docking area for boats.
A semi-circle of post-holes in the northern end of Cutting 1 may have represented half of a circular structure. Above this, separated by charcoal enriched soil, was a rectangular floor possibly associated with two corn drying kilns. One of the kilns had 12 stake-holes running in a circle below the rim which may have been supports for a suspended mat or tray for holding corn. A large post-pit was associated with the kilns and a later pit damaged the kilns.
A number of post-pits beside the western perimeter may have formed another circular structure c. A charcoal layer was recorded above the structure and above that were stone foundations. Within this building and on the west side was a compact layer with a hearth defined by stones set into it. A large timber or peat lined circular pit had been cut into the floor of the structure and contained bones, charcoal and a number of finds.
The flexed burial of a child of about seven years was uncovered in a pit c. It is suggested to date to the post-medieval period or later. A metal-working hearth was also excavated and produced a large quantity of broken crucibles and moulds. It was cut by a large pit which contained a crutch-headed pin dating to AD Ridge and furrow cultivation had disturbed the tenth-twelfth century deposits in the NW area of the site.
AD , an iron escutcheon, two sherds of E ware, a fragment of bracelet with white interlaced inlay, jet bracelets, a Hiberno-Norse penny, silver ingot, thirteenth and fourteenth century pottery sherds. Large quantities of animal and fish bones were also excavated. The radiocarbon dates support the theory that the Early Christian activity at the site began in the seventh century and also suggests that there was some earlier activity.
The lack of medieval pottery at the site in an area so close to the Anglo-Norman castle may suggest that the site was abandoned before the arrival of the Anglo-Normans and remained unused since then. King, H. Excavations Offaly [OSI]. The early medieval wooden bridge at Clonmacnoise Fig. The site was first discovered in by two local divers Donal Boland and Mattie Grehan.
Offaly [National Monuments Service]. Offaly [Donal Boland]. The early medieval wooden bridge was located on a shallow and relatively narrow part of the river, but owing to the exceptional depth and softness of the riverbed clays there, it could never have served as a natural fording place. While it is likely that this was a long-term crossing point for boats, it was crossed by a bridge structure for only a brief period.
The bridge measured c. A line of narrow, vertical hazel and alder poles was first driven into the riverbed to mark out its proposed location. The main bridge structure was then constructed of a double row of vertical oak posts, m apart. The bridge consisted of c.
Underwater excavations revealed that the vertical posts were prevented from sinking into the riverbed by a simple, but ingenious method of individual base-plates, beams and planks Plate This was driven to a depth of 3. It had been crudely sharpened to a blunt point with augur holes drilled through the tip. It had a through-mortise cut through its side 3. This snugly held a transverse oak beam; itself mortised at either end. Each of these mortises also a held broad, cleft oak plank. As the post descended into the riverbed, this arrangement of planks prevented it from sinking too far and allowed it to stand without swaying.
Similar features on most of the other vertical posts indicate that this technique was used right across the river. The superstructure of the bridge has long been destroyed by collapse and riverine erosion and many timbers may have been robbed out soon after its abandonment.