Judith Carroll & Co

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Balrothery, Co Dublin, excavations for private developers and Fingal County Council 2000-2005



balrothery1Between 2000 and 2005, several archaeological excavations by Judith Carroll and Company took place in the north county Dublin village of Balrothery, two miles to the south of Balbriggan. In 2000, we commenced the large scale excavation of Rosepark, a multi-ditched enclosure, which had been identified by aerial photography. The excavation revealed a hilltop enclosure comprising a large number of ditches, burnt features, cereal drying kilns and souterrains. The findings suggest that the site was occupied throughout most of the first millennium AD. The hilltop enclosure was defended by ditched fortifications from perhaps the late 3rd century AD to the 7th/8th century. An open settlement may have evolved from the ditched defences but the hilltop site is likely to have fallen out of use as a habitation site by the 9th century AD, possibly as a result of Viking attacks. The site was surrounded by a large rectilinear enclosure by the Anglo-Normans in the late 12th century. This enclosure formed a land division known as Rosepark from the family of the first Anglo-Norman landowner, Robert de Rosel, who was granted the land by Richard de Clare, earl of Pembroke, or Strongbow, as he is best known.

In 2002, Judith Carroll and Company carried out test trenching at Glebe South and Darcystown townlands proposed for development by Mullen Development Ltd (licence no. 02E0043). In 2003, testing by this company was carried out for Fingal County Council on a site in Darcytown adjacent to Mullen Development's site. This was excavated under licence no. 03E0067. In 2004, full excavation took place on Mullen Development's site under licence no. 02E0043 and two new licences, 04E0680 and 04E0741.




Full excavation took place between 2004-5 on Fingal County Council's site (licence no. 03E0067).

Three important burial site excavations resulted from the above at Darcystown and Glebe South.

The first is described is Darcystown 1 by Kenneth Wiggins (licence no. 03E0067). During testing in 2003 and resolution in 2004-5, in advance of the housing development by Fingal County Council, a number of urns containing cremation burials of Mid to Late Bronze Age date were found. A pit containing Neolithic pottery and two burnt mounds of Late Bronze Age date were also found in Darcytown 1.

The site at Darcytown 2, excavated under licence 04E0741 by Judith Carroll, describes a ring ditch containing two phases of Late Bronze Age burial and four cut features, including a cereal drying kiln dated to the early centuries AD.

The site at Glebe South excavated by Frank Ryan under licence no. 04E0680 revealed two Iron Age ring ditch burial sites with long stone cist inhumation burials of early medieval date cut into, and clearly related to these. The excavation also showed that a Bronze Age cremation burial site had predated the Iron Age/early medieval burials. It also revealed a Middle Bronze Age cereal drying kiln and cereal drying kilns and a ditch of medieval date.



Judith Carroll & Co Ltd
Archaeological Consultants
Ballybrack Road 
Dublin 18 

Tel: 01 6705067
Mobile: 087-9968819/ 087-3810933
Email: info@judithcarrollandco.ie
Website: www.judithcarrollandco.ie

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