Monitoring was carried out associated with the Meath bundled wastewater collection system. The development involved the insertion of network pipes in the relevant townlands and upgrade and extension of a wastewater treatment plant in Stalleen townland. The development will also involve insertion of an outfall pipe between the treatment plant and the River Boyne; this work has not yet commenced.
The development was carried out within and around Donore village in the Boyne valley in east County Meath. The development corridor was located within the Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne UNESCO World Heritage Site. A total of 3320 linear metres of pipe trench were excavated through the four townlands (Cruicerath, Donore, Platin and Stalleen). Trenches measured c. 1.5m in width and between 2m and 4m in depth and site conditions were hazardous.
Stratigraphy along the entire pipe route consisted of tarmac and concrete overlying gravel and boulder clay. Boulder clay was interweaved with natural sands and gravels, which sealed bedrock. These deposits were interpreted as indicative of glacial moraine and were recorded to varying depths across the route. A post-medieval culvert and wall were uncovered in Stalleen and Donore townlands. A layer of dark-brown/black silt identified in Stalleen townland might be a result of flooding from the culvert; however, it lies in close proximity to a significant multi-period settlement site identified in the footprint of the treatment plant (exposed in the course of topsoil-stripping in the course of this development). This significant multi-period site was subsequently excavated and found to include an early medieval settlement and medieval grange associated with Mellifont Abbey (see No. 983 below, 08E0456).
The route for the Boyne outfall runs from the south side of the Boyne Canal to the River Boyne via a subterranean bore beneath the canal (MH025–002) and towpath (MH025–003) and from the north side will traverse the Boyne flood-plain by means of open excavation. This component of the development is due to commence in 2009.
Mandy Stephens, CRDS Ltd, Unit 4a, Dundrum Business Park, Dublin 14.
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