Ardbraccan Townland & Parish
Ordnance Survey Field Name Books of the County of Meath 1835 -36, Vol. 1. No.1.
This townland is situated on the east side of the parish.
It is bounded on the north by the parishes of Donaghpatrick and Liscarton.
It is bounded on the east by the parishes of Liscartan and Navan and the townlands of Neillstown Park and Glebe.
It is bounded on the south by the townlands of Boyerstown, Mullaghmore alias Allerstown, Irishtown and Ongenstown.
It is bounded on the west by the townlands by the townlands of Betaghstown, Neillstown, Durhamstown and Grange.
It contains 1,096 acres 1 rood 3 perches statute measure, and is all under cultivation. It is the property of the Bishop of Meath, who holds about 278 acres in his possession and lets the remainder under leases of 21 years at the yearly rent of from £1-15 shillings per Irish acre. The tenants purchase their bog at £1 per perch. The soil is of good loam and produces excellent crops. It yields 12 barrels of wheat, or 16 barrels of oats, or 56 stones of flax, or 360 bushels of potatoes per acre.
The Bishops Palace is situated near the centre of the townland, and is known by the name of Ardbraccan House.
It is beautifully situated in a demesne adorned with forest trees, and its gardens are elegantly laid out. About one fifth of a mile south west of the palace is a Protestant Church, capable of accomodating 350 persons. It was built in 1777. Convenient to the church is a school house. The school is supported by the Bishop and by Archdeacon Pakenham.
The Master and Mistress have a free house and garden and £28 per annum.The average number of scholars is; Protestants, 25 males and 20 females; Catholics, 30 males and 20 females. About one sixth of the inhabitants of the townland are Protestant; the remainder are Roman Catholics.
County Cess is 1 shilling and 2 pence per acre per half year.
Ordnance Survey Field Name Books of the County of Meath 1835 -36 Vol. 1. No1.
Parish of Ardbraccan, Barony of Lower Navan.
Ard Breacain St. Brecan's height.
Ardbraccan John O'Donovan.
Ardbrackan Down Survey.
Ardbrackan Civil Survey 1654-56.
This parish is situated in the barony of Navan Lower. It is bounded on the east by Liscarton and Navan parishes.
It is bounded on the south by the parishes of Ardsallagh, Rataine and Churchtown.
It is bounded on the west by the parishes of Clonmacduff and Martry.
It is bounded on the north by Donaghpatrick parish.
Townlands: Ardbraccan, Betaghstown, Boyerstown, Curraghtown, Durhamstown, Gainstown, Glebe, Grange, Hanlonstown, Irishtown, Mullaghmore alias Allerstown, Neillstown, Neillstown Park, Ongenstown.
It contains 6,490 acres 3 roods 18 perches statute measure. The principal proprietors are the Earl of Essex, Nicholas Codington Esq., of Oldbridge, and the Preston family. It is a rectory, and is united with other parishes in the Union of Ardbrackan. The incumbent is the Honourable Archdeacon Pakenham. The See House of the Bishop of Meath is in this parish.
St. Brecan, of a Thomond family and who is said to have been baptised by St. Patrick, is traditionally the founder of the first church here, and fromhim the parish takes its name. But the patron saint of the parish is St. Ultan, whose feast date was the 4th of September. There is a well, called Tobar Ultain, St. Ultan's Well, in Ardbraccan townland, at the church of Ardbraccan.
The proportion of County Cess paid by this parish during the last half year (1834) was £85-2-5 1/2.
In "The Rising Out of Meath", circa 1586, the following then inhabitants of this parish are mentioned:-
Jn. Waffer of Gainstown.
W. FitzGarret of Ongestown.
Jasper Staples of Hollanstone.
Sir John Dillon of Doramestown.
Glebe: Ardbraccan Parish
The Glebe is situated on the east side of the parish.
It is bounded on the north by the townland of Ardbraccan.
It is bounded on the east by the townland of Neillstown Park.
It is bounded on the south by the parish of Navan.
It is bounded on the west by Ardbraccan townland.
It contains 61 acres 1 rood 4 perches statute measure, and is all under cultivation. It is church land, and is held by the rector of Ardbraccan. The soil is good loam, and produces 12 barrels of wheat, 16 barrels of oats, 56 stones of flax, or 360 bushels of potatoes per acres. County Cess is 1 shilling and 2 pence per acre per half year. The Glebe House is situated in the centre of the townland, about half a mile from the church.
County: Meath Site name: ARDBRACCAN
Excavations.ie number: 2004:1158 License number: 04E0584
Author: Neil Fairburn, Cocyn Uchaf, Moelfre, Anglesey, Wales LL72 8LL, for ACS Ltd.
Site type: Burnt mounds, circular enclosure and pits
ITM: E 682203m, N 767849m
Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.653946, -6.756472
Testing took place along Testing Area 11 of the Navan bypass section (Contract 3) of the planned M3 Clonee-North of Kells road scheme, Co. Meath. The work was carried out for N3 Meath Consult on behalf of Meath County Council and the National Roads Authority. The testing methodology generally consisted of mechanically excavating 2m-wide trenches along the centre-line and perpendicular to the centre-line to the edge of the land-take every 20m. Three sites in the form of two burnt mounds, a circular enclosure and two circular pits, designated Ardbraccan 1, Ardbraccan 2 and Ardbraccan 3, were uncovered.
Ardbraccan 1 consisted of a burnt mound c. 8m in diameter and 0.2m deep and three circular pits 0.6m, 0.61m and 1.1m in diameter, which were filled with charcoal and burnt stone. An isolated charcoal-rich pit was also located in an adjacent field. No other features were exposed in the vicinity.
Ardbraccan 2 consisted of a burnt mound c. 8m in diameter, a possible trough, two probable modern linear ditches and an undated circular enclosure. The burnt mound was sectioned across its width and showed that it had a mixed fill of silty clay, charcoal and heat-shattered stone to a depth of c. 0.3m. The section appears to show that the burnt stone may have been deposited at different times, as there are distinct deposits.
One rectangular pit was positioned close to the edge of the burnt mound and may be a trough. It measured 1.65m by 1.15m and had a depth of c. 0.3m. It had a mixed fill of silty clay and charcoal.
The undated circular enclosure, c. 30m in diameter, c. 2.5m wide and c. 1.1m deep, had cut through the edge of the burnt mound and is clearly a later feature. The main fill of the enclosure ditch was a heavily laminated silty clay and this would strongly indicate that the ditch contained standing water during the formation process of the ditch fill.
Ardbraccan 3 consisted of two large subcircular pits, both 1.5m in diameter and 0.3m deep, and a curving spread of burnt stone. No other features were exposed in the vicinity.
County: Meath Site name: ARDBRACCAN
Excavations.ie number: 2004:1160 License number: 04E0586
Author: Neil Fairburn, Cocyn Uchaf, Moelfre, Anglesey, Wales LL72 8LL, for ACS Ltd.
Site type: Ditch and pits
ITM: E 682383m, N 767869m
Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.654097, -6.753745
Both pits were c. 0.3m in diameter and c. 0.08m deep. They had mixed fills of brown silt and charcoal and were located 1m from the edge of a slightly curving V-shaped ditch. The ditch Testing took place along Testing Area 13 of the Navan bypass section (Contract 3) of the planned M3 Clonee-North of Kells road scheme, Co. Meath. The work was carried out for N3 Meath Consult on behalf of Meath County Council and the National Roads Authority. The testing methodology generally consisted of mechanically excavating 2m-wide trenches along the centre-line and perpendicular to the centre-line to the edge of the land-take every 20m.
One site in the form of a V-shaped ditch and two shallow pits, designated Ardbraccan 4, was uncovered.was 0.8m wide and 0.37m deep, with a light-brown compact fill of silty clay with occasional charcoal.
County: Meath. Site name: Testing Area 1 Ardbraccan
Excavations Number: 2004:1161 Licence Number: 04E0924
Author: Dermot Nelis, Irish Archaeological Consultance Ltd. 8 Dungar Terrace, Dunlaoghaire, Co. Dublin
Site Type: Possible Bronze Age hut sites; burnt spread
ITM: E682023, N768858m.
An assessment was carried out in advance of the planned M3 Clonee-North of Kells PPP scheme, Co. Meath, on the Navan Kells and the N52 bypass (Contract 4) between July and October 2004. This section of the scheme is c. 11km long from the townland of Ardbraccan, north of Navan to the townland of Cakestown Glebe, north of Kells. The EIS recommended testing any known or possible site identified and Meath County Council further proposed to test the whole of the remainder of the route. For the purposes of testing, this section was divided into 14 testing areas. The assessment methodology generally consisted of mechanically excavating 2m wide test-trenches along the centre line and perpendicular to the centre-line to the edge of the land-take every 20m. The work was carried out on behalf of Meath County Council, the National ROads Design Office and the National Roads Authority.
Testing Area 1 is located in the townland of Ardbraccan, between Chainages 6000 and 60470. Within this area, 8324m2 available was test trenched, providing assessment coverage of 22.4%. There were no known monuments within the vicinity of the testing area. Two sites were identified in this area and designated Ardbraccan 5 and 6.
Ardbraccan 5 consisted of two slot-trenches 55m apart. The first is subcircular in plan (Chainage 60250) and was recorded immediately south of a north-east/south-west modern field drain. The area was extended by machine by 3.8m to the east to define fully the extent of this possible structure and any associated archaeological remains. Two hand-dug sections, located at the west and south and measuring 0.2m and 0.4m in width respectively, were excavated across this feature. It was sealed by topsoil and cut into natural.
This feature, interpeted as a Bronze Age temporary hut site, measured 3m north-south by 3.5m, with the slot-trenching measuring 0.25-0.4m in width. Testing showed it to have a sharp break of slope at the top, with sides varying from steep to gently sloping to a generally flat but slightly uneven base. It was filled with a friable mid-brown silty clay with ocassional small stones evenly distributed. A possible entrance was located in the south-east side of the feature and measured 1.5m in length. It was represented by a break in the slot-trench, but there was no evidence for an antrance surface in this area.
A possible post-hole located 0.1m east of the possible structure measured 0.2m in diameter and a small hand-dug section showed it to be 0.1m deep, with a sharp break of slope at the top with near vertical sides and a sharp break at the bottom with a flat base. It was filled with a loose to friable mid-brown silty clay, with occasional small stones evenly distributed.
No finds were recovered from either of the hand-dug sections or from the topsoil in this area. The site was located on a relatively low-lying flat area of dry ground.
The second slot-trench was recorded 55m to the north. It consisted of a subrectangular possible structure (Chainage 60300) with a possible entrance to the north. It was cut into natural and sealed by topsoil. The area was extended by machine to the east to define fully the extent of this possible structure and any associated archaeological remains; no firther features were revealed.
The feature measured 3.3m north-south by 2.1m and consisted of a non-enclosed slot-trench 0.2m wide and open to the north. It had gently rounded corners and a sharp break of slope at the top with almost vertical smooth sides giving on to aa gently rounded base. The slot-trench was 0.2m wide and 0.18-2m deep, with an opening measuring 1.1m. It had a single fill of loose to friable mid-brown silty clay, with occasional small stones evenly distributed. No finds were recovered from the hand-dug section or from the top-soil in this area.
The second slot-trench is also interpeted as a possible Bronze Age temporary hut site, similar to the first, although it is noted that this feature is subrectangular in plan rather than subcircular and has a possible entrance in the north and not in the south-east.
Ardbraccan 6 (Chainage 60040) consisted of an irregular-shaped burnt spread measuring 13m east-west by 12.5m and 0.1-0.25m deep. It extended beyond the trench in an eastward direction, but it was not possible to excavate another trench in this area, as it was located immediately west of a north-south fence line. It is estimated that the spread woudl not extend east beyond the trench for more than c. 3m, giving it an estimated overall length of c. 16m east-west. There was no above ground evidence for the presence of this feature, which it is suggested had been leveled in the recent past as a result of ploughing.
The burnt spread consisted of a loose dark brown/black sandy clay, with frequent burnt and broken stone and charcoal inclusions all evenly distributed. It was located on a geltly sloping ground immediately west of a marshy area defined by the nroth-south channelled stream/drain. Two hand-dug sections, oriented north-south and east-west, were excavated in teh middle and north-east of the feature to help define its extent and character. No artifacts were recovered from either of the sectons.
Ardbraccan 6 is interpeted as the ploughed-out remains of a probably Bronze Age burnt spread, ideally situated on a slightly sloping ground on the interface with a noticable wetter area. Two hand-dug sections were excavated, but there was no evidence for a trough. Due to the presence of the heat-shattered stone, however, it is considered likely that the presence of at least one such trough may survive inthe immediate landscape.