CRDS Ltd have been retained by Meath County Council to act as the archaeological consultants on the bundled wastewater collection system for County Meath, to be carried out in eight towns: Athboy, Donore, Duleek, Kilmainham Wood, Moynalty, Rathcairn, Rathmoylan and Summerhill. This project is expected to continue until 2009. A total of 2759 metres of pipe will be laid in and around Rathmoylan. With the exception of 156m excavated in Greenfield, all this work will be on roads. The pipeline will enter the constraint circle of an early church (ME042–020).
On 3 March 2008, while monitoring to the direct west of the existing Church of Ireland church (ME042–020), human remains were encountered. An excavation of a 220m portion of the pipeline trench was subsequently undertaken between 26 March and 9 May 2008 under the existing licence (see No. 961 below).
The human remains on-site consisted of two burials as well as an amount of disarticulated bone. A range of medieval and post-medieval ditches, pits, gullies and furrows was encountered as well as some possible bowl furnaces. In addition to features recorded during the excavation, a single ditch was encountered to the east of the main village crossroads. This was originally thought to represent a simple field boundary but it is now believed it could be related to the main site. Similarly, deposits recorded to the north of the church originally thought to be laid in advance of the construction of the modern road may be related to the site.
CRDS Ltd were subsequently awarded the ‘Design Build and Operate’ contract for the scheme. This consists of wastewater treatment plants, pump stations and outflow pipes in each of the eight towns. A revised method statement was submitted to the NMS and the NMI for the monitoring associated with a wastewater treatment plant in the townland of Formal in Rathmoylan. These works were to be completed under the existing licence. The footprint for the development measured c. 120m by 65m. In addition, an associated access road c. 5m wide and 325m long was stripped to the site. These works were undertaken in July 2008 and no archaeologically significant features were encountered.
Denis Shine, Cultural Resource Development Services Ltd, Unit 4, Dundrum Business Park, Dundrum, Dublin 14.
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