Kiltenala Church Graveyard, Doonass Demesne
164551 161747
CL054–010001, CL054–010002
Kiltenala Church was in receipt of funding through the Civic Structures Conservation Grant, for repairs to the north wall and door opening. Part of the work undertaken was also to investigate the south-east wall, which had collapsed. During the sorting of the collapsed stonework it became apparent that the ground levels in that area were c. 0.2–0.3m higher than the original ground levels. In order to establish the line of the foundation course of the south wall an area of 2m2 was excavated.
The excavation was carried out on 24 November 2008. A 2m by 2m square was marked out in the south-east corner of the church. This area was cleaned back by hand. During the course of the excavation a number of disarticulated bones were recovered. The majority were identified in the field as human, although some small animal bones were noted. All soil was sieved to ensure maximum recovery of artefactual remains. No archaeological objects were found.
The ground levels were deepest, at c. 0.3m, against the western gable wall. It was in this area that the greatest concentration of disarticulated human bones was recovered. They included a skull, a number of leg long bones and other bones. They appeared to have been ‘placed’ or thrown against the gable wall and were most likely upcast from later graves impacting on earlier burials.
The material excavated consisted of upcast from later burial activity and rubble from the collapsed south-east corner of the church. The original ground level of the church was not reached or disturbed.
The outline of the foundation course of the wall was established, which fulfilled the objective of the excavation. No further excavation will be required for this purpose.
The bones are being examined by a specialist. The report is expected early 2010. Subject to approval by the National Monuments Service it is hoped the remains can be returned to the graveyard for reburial.
Michael Lynch, Leana, Kilnaboy, nr Corofin, Co. Clare.

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