Deel Hall, Church Street, Rathkeale
The Deel Hall site lies in the south-western part of Rathkeale, south of the bridge. The Urban Archaeological Survey of Ireland designated this area as being the likely location of medieval settlement in Rathkeale. In the early part of the 20th century T.J. Westropp, the noted antiquarian, recorded the structural remains of the Castle of Rathkeale as ‘near the River’. A full archaeological assessment, including testing, was carried out at this location in advance of a submission for planning permission. This decision was pre-empted by the location of the site within the zone of archaeological potential for the urban area of Rathkeale (LI029–031).
The site was occupied in the 19th century by the gas works for the town. The Deel Hall site was heavily altered and disturbed from the latter 19th century with the inauguration of the gas works and subsequently the electricity company. The site was again subject to considerable change in the 20th century with the spreading of waste associated with the production of gas and the supply of electricity. This material has raised the ground level on this site by as much as 3m on the bank of the river. Previous archaeological work in this vicinity has not uncovered any vestiges of medieval settlement. Testing did not uncover any material or strata of archaeological origin.
Editor’s note: Although excavated during 2006, the report on this site arrived too late for inclusion in the bulletin of that year.
Red Tobin, 35 Brook Meadow, Avoca, Co. Wicklow.
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