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Further evidence to suggest this being the site of the motte comes from a botanical survey conducted by Donal Synnott (1980) on the area: Mallow (Malva sylvestris), a plant used to make a soothing gelatinous unction for throats and chest complaints, and black horehound (Ballota nigra), apparently used against the 'fomentations' of mad dogs, were both located near the site of 'The Moate', and do not occur anywhere else in Duleek (Synnott 1980, 18). It is likely that these plants were first introduced into Ireland by the Normans and they are frequently found near old Norman castles, mottes, and abbeys (ibid, 18). If this was indeed the site of the Anglo-Norman motte, then the excavations described herein were located in the centre of two separate phases of Duleek's past; ecclesiastical and Anglo-Norman.

In 1598, Duleek was listed as a market town, and in 1654 the Civil Survey records the presence of 51 houses, St. Cianan's church, a priory, a stone house called the 'colledge', a mill and two stone bridges.

Excavation at the site at Main Street, Duleek revealed four main phases of activity. Phase 1 consisted of a number of ditches and gullies located below the foundations of a structure. Phase 2, to which the main concentration of features was assigned, consisted of a structure, with an apparent yard created by a wall and cobbled surface, with a number of related ditches and pits. Phase 3 describes the continuous silting up of most of the site over time. This consistent silting process was due mainly to flooding from the nearby river (located to the east of the site) and continued from the time the Phase 2 structure at Main St. Duleek fell into disuse, until modern flood defences were erected in the 1990's. Phase 4 comprised a number of post-medieval features which were uncovered on the site. The majority of these features served drainage purposes and were constructed as the silting of the site continued, in order to alleviate the flooding in the area


Campbell, K. 1981. 'Commons, Duleek: archaeological excavation report'. Unpublished report lodged with The Heritage Service and the National Museum of Ireland.
Cuffe, P, 1963. 'The Priory of DuleekÓ. Riocht na Midhe, III, I, 29-32.
Synnott, D. 1980. 'A Common Green, Duleek; The Botany and History of a Meath Commonage' Duleek Historical Society
Wright, A. 2001. 'Moat or Mount?' in Duleek Heritage, The Parish of Duleek. 175-6.



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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