2013:106 - Carrickkildavnet, Mayo

County: Mayo Site name: Carrickkildavnet

Sites and Monuments Record No.: MA065-025 Licence number: E4486

Author: Rory Sherlock

Site type: Tower-house and bawn

ITM: E 472044m, N 794138m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.880861, -9.946185

The castle at Kildavnet, a late medieval tower-house which was apparently built by the O'Malleys, stands on the shore of Achill Sound close to the southern tip of Achill Island. During July/August 2013, Achill Archaeological Field School undertook an excavation to the west of the tower-house under Ministerial Consent, since the tower-house is a National Monument in the guardianship of the State. The project investigated a 10m x 10m area and uncovered the foundation of a large wall, probably a late medieval bawn wall, which measured up to 1.4m wide and which appears to extend in a west-north-westerly direction from the south-western corner of the tower-house. While the wall appears to have been largely demolished in early modern times, there was some evidence to suggest that it was slightly narrower than the foundation upon which it rested, since the external facade of the wall appears to have been set back from the face of the foundation, whereas the internal face of the wall rose directly from the face of the foundation below it. The foundation was composed of large blocks and boulders, measuring up to 0.7m by 0.5m, with smaller stones between them. Very few contemporary finds were uncovered, since the vast majority (over 99%) of artefacts came from early modern deposits associated with intensive spade-dug cultivation in the area, but a number of lower deposits contained significant amounts of animal-bone fragments and these may well contribute to our understanding of the site in the late medieval period. Little evidence was uncovered for structures within the bawn, since this area was only investigated in a narrow gap between the wall foundation and the edge of the trench.

Achill Archaeological Field School, Dooagh, Achill Island, Co, Mayo.