Moynalty River (Owenroe), Moynalty
No archaeology identified
The Meath bundled wastewater collection system is a development by Meath County Council encompassing works in eight towns or villages under three separate contracts. Cultural Resource Development Services Ltd (CRDS) have been retained as archaeological consultants for the entire scheme. The scheme entails, among other developments, the construction of a new pipeline extending south-east underneath a tertiary road extending south-east of Moynalty village and an associated wastewater treatment plant. There are two points where groundworks will impact upon the adjacent Moynalty River in Donore townland, adjacent to the site of the wastewater treatment plant and adjacent to the site of the existing pumping station.
At the request of Nicholas O’Dwyer Consulting Engineers, acting on behalf of Meath County Council, Archaeology Underwater Surveys (trading under CRDS Ltd) have carried out assessments of the potential archaeological impact on two sites where the proposed development will impact directly on the Moynalty River; the assessments consisted of wade surveys and metal detection of the portions of the riverbed impacted upon and visual assessment of the crossings and their immediate environs. For the purposes of the current report the two areas of the Moynalty (Owenroe) River surveyed have been labelled Area X and Area Y. The exact dimensions of the two impact areas had not been finalised at the time of the survey, so two broad survey areas, both c. 100m in length, were subject to assessment.
The first river crossing or river impact area, Area X, is located c. 500m south-east of St Mary’s Church to the south-east of Moynalty village. A portion of the river, c. 100m in length, located adjacent to the proposed wastewater treatment site (WWTS), was surveyed (NGR 273705 282290).
The second river crossing, Area Y, is located c. 40m west of the village main street. A section of the Moynalty River, measuring c. 100m in length, adjacent to the site of the existing pump station, was surveyed (NGR 273335 282770).
No features of potential archaeological significance were identified during the wade survey and visual inspection and no finds of archaeological significance were recovered, either through inspection or metal detection. However, Area X is located immediately adjacent to three sites excavated by CRDS Ltd under the current DBO contract within the footprint of the proposed access road and water treatment plant (see No. 970 above, 07E0942). Two of the sites contained features which were subsequently dated to the prehistoric period.
Area Y is located in Moynalty village close to a number of archaeological sites. The portion of the river impacted upon is located a short distance north-west of a medieval bridge (ME011–012) and less than 50m north-west of the site of a medieval church (ME011–013). The remains of a motte are located c. 100m further to the south-east (ME011–014) and a mound of uncertain date is located a short distance to the south-west (ME011–011). While the existing village is of modern origin, the presence of a motte adjacent to a medieval church site suggests the possibility of at least a small medieval settlement. The site is also close to the site of discovery of the Donore Hoard, one of the most significant assemblages of early medieval artefacts.
Aisling Collins, CRDS Ltd, Unit 4A Dundrum Business Park, Dublin 14.
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