Eachtra Journal

ISSN 2009-2237

A lime kiln at Cullenagh More, Co. Galway (E3881)

October, 2010 · Written by: Eachtra Print This Page This entry is part 12 of 23 in the Issue 08

Archaeological Excavation Report

Lime kiln

This report constitutes the final excavation report of a previously unrecorded lime kiln in the townland of Cullenagh More, Co. Galway. The site was excavated as part of the archaeological excavation programme in advance of construction for N18 Gort to Oranmore road scheme. The site was located within the lands acquired for the scheme and was identified during the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and was subject to archaeological testing at Phase 1 (E3708) which identified the remains of the lime kiln.

This excavation revealed the extant remains of a late medieval, mixed feed, permanent lime kiln in the townland of Cullenagh More. The lime kiln consisted of a square structure with a kiln pot measuring, roughly, 3.5 m across and with a surviving depth of 1.5 m. There was a central flue in each of the four walls. In its later days the kiln was used as a storage shed and although disused, was known locally, into the 20th century. A late medieval date was returned from the kiln.

There was a square, stone-lined subterranean main chamber with flues to the north, south, east and west. In form and dimensions it generally conforms to the pattern expected from relatively early Irish lime kilns and charcoal from the eastern flue produced a late medieval/post-medieval radiocarbon date. No evidence for a lime-slaking pit was found during the excavation and it seems more likely that the lime kiln was built here to process the limestone at source and the calcined limestone was transported to the building site after burning when it would have been almost half its former weight.

Authors: Tori McMorran and John Tierney

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