Eachtra Journal

ISSN 2009-2237

Medieval moated site at Shandon td., Dungarvan, Co. Waterford

June, 2012 · Written by: Eachtra Print This Page This entry is part 4 of 7 in the Issue 14

Archaeological Excavation Report

Medieval moated site

The greatest proportion of archaeological features encountered at Shandon relate to Medieval activity. While nothing dateable was recovered from the sub-rectangular enclosure ditch itself, the discovery of 12th/13th century pottery from features inside and immediately outside the enclosure provides a strong case that the ditch is contemporaneous.

It must be considered a possibility that the enclosure at Shandon is a Medieval moated site. The latter have been defined as “all rectangular enclosures bounded by banks and moats of Medieval date, whether they enclosed a major house or simply a garden or cattle pen” (Barry 1987, 84). While there was no definite evidence of a bank at Shandon, there is a suggestion that one may have existed. Moated sites date to the 13th and 14th century (ibid., 85) and the local pottery found at Shandon overlaps with this date range.

It must also be considered that the Shandon enclosure relates to Hiberno-Norse activity. Prior to the present work, the motif piece was the sole indicator of such activity. However, this find is now further substantiated by the discovery of an 11th century Hiberno-Norse coin (Plate 12). Because of preservation by redesign and avoidance, a large proportion of archaeological features at Shandon were not excavated and consequently it is quite possible that further diagnostic Hiberno-Norse material survives on the site. However, one coin and a trial piece do not a Hiberno-Norse settlement make and it is plausible that the coin was deposited in Anglo-Norman times long after its original period of manufacture and use.

Authors: S. Elder, E. Dennehy, J. Tierney, D. Noonan & A. Doolan

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