Thursday, 20 June 2013

Week 4 and the sun is shining!

The sun is back and pieces of the archaeological jig-saw are finally falling into place.

We are now certain that the large walls to the west of the castle are the foundations of the bawn wall and not an extension of the main building. Also the cobbles in this area represent the yard surface in the bawn. We have also confirmed that there is no cellar at Derrywoone; a feature which would not be uncommon in such a castle. The southern sections of the bawn wall remain elusive but we will keep trying! Interestingly we have discovered some earlier features under the old ground surface at the west of the castle which may be evidence of previous occupation at the site, which, given its fantastic setting, would not be surprising (hopefully radiocarbon dating will confirm this…)

Some other interesting finds so far this week… we found a curious pit (see below) immediately outside of the bawn wall containing animal bone and a dump of lime mortar at its base. This could be tantalising evidence of the construction phase of the castle – it could be a pit used for mixing/preparing the mortar during the construction of the bawn wall with the animal bones perhaps the rubbish from the workman’s lunch!

Pit outside of bawn wall
We also found the base of what looks like a small cup from the same feature (IMG320) – Agnieszka is our hand model for the day.

We also had our fourth school visit today. We were impressed by the children’s almost perfect trowelling line while Stephen showed the children Timo’s ground floor plan of the castle (something he is very proud of! – it is quite good actually).

School group try their hand at excavation
Group get a tour of the castle by Stephen


  1. Very interesting project, keep up the good work.

    Barry R McCain
    Ulster Heritage Project

  2. Thanks for your comment Barry! Glad you are enjoying the updates.