Sites 151.1 and 151.2, Dogstown
The site at Dogstown was located in a large open stubble field close to an access road in the grounds of Rockwell College. It was situated on a slight rise in undulating lowland with the Galtee Mountains on the horizon to the south-west. The site was located c. 110m north of the Bronze Age site 151.3 (see No. 1863 below) and c. 300m south-east of the deserted medieval village of Dogstown. The site has been repeatedly ploughed, and deep ploughing in the 1970s considerably disturbed the semi-decayed underlying limestone bedrock resulting in the truncation of the archaeological remains.
Sites 151.1 and 151.2 were originally recorded separately during testing; however, both are treated as a single site for the purposes of this report. The site was excavated as part of the N8 road improvement scheme.
Dogstown, Site 151.1
At least three phases of activity were recorded on this site. Phase 1 consisted of possible structural remains, Phase 2 related to linear ditches and Phase 3 consisted of features cut into the linear ditches.
In Phase 1, the concentration of features located in the north-east of the excavated area appeared to form the remains of a U-shaped structure. The outline of the structure was formed by nine substantial post-holes with dimensions varying from 0.1m by 0.1m to 0.34m by 0.78m. The depths varied from 0.08m to 0.32m and the fills were mainly silty clays. The structure was open ended to the east. The excavation produced no indication of date.
Two further features may also belong to this phase of activity and were cut by a Phase 2 linear feature, F6.
In Phase 2, two linear features set at right angles to each other extended across the site in a north-west/south-east and north-east/south-west direction. Both features measured 0.63m in width and 0.17m and 0.42m in depth respectively. The fills were moderately moist dark-brown silty clays. No indication of possible date was recorded in either instance; however, it is likely that they were associated with the nearby deserted medieval village of Dogstown.
A third phase of activity was represented by features which were cut into the linear ditches. These formed no recognisable pattern and no indication of date was recorded.
Dogstown, Site 151.2
The features on site 151.2 were recorded in the south-east corner of the excavated area, c. 110mm north of the Bronze Age site Dogstown 151.3 (see No. 1863 below). The features consisted of a hearth with possible spit arrangements, a line of posts and miscellaneous cut features. All appeared to represent a single phase of activity and were heavily truncated.
The hearth was oval in plan, measured 0.45m by 0.6m and was 0.1m deep. Two possible spit arrangements or screens were located around the hearth. The first of these was made up of four features which formed an L-shaped arrangement on the south side of the hearth. The features were quite substantial and measured 0.18–0.3m in width and 0.09–0.4m in depth.
A second arrangement of less substantial stake-holes located to the east and west of the hearth appeared to form the remains of a spit. The average diameter of the stake-holes was 0.12m and the depth ranged from 0.05m to 0.2m. The fills were silty clays.
A line of post-holes (Structure 2) extended for a distance of 4m in a north–south direction to the east of the hearth. The posts were equidistantly spaced c. 1m apart. The remains were heavily truncated, but the posts appeared to have been substantial in nature, measuring 0.25–0.36m in diameter with a depth of up to 0.21m. This appeared to represent a fence or windbreak to the east of the hearth.
The remaining features in this area did not form any coherent pattern.
No dating evidence was recorded in any of the features excavated in this part of the site, although it is hoped that sufficient charcoal was retrieved to obtain radiocarbon dates. It is possible, however, that the remains may relate to the Bronze Age activity recorded at Dogstown 151.3, 50m to the south.
Martin Doody, New Road, Portlaoise, Co. Laois, for Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd.
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