A reappraisal of the archaeological remains in the vicinity of the great passage tomb and manorial village of Dowth, Brú na Bóinne, Co. Meath
Fenwick, Joseph P.
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Fenwick, Joseph P. (2018). A reappraisal of the archaeological remains in the vicinity of the great passage tomb and manorial village of Dowth, Brú na Bóinne, Co. Meath. Journal of Irish Archaeology, XXVI, 143-166.
This paper presents the results of a programme of archaeological and geophysical field investigation in the immediate environs of the great passage tomb and nearby medieval manorial village of Dowth in Co. Meath. Based on this fieldwork, against a backdrop of documentary research, it proposes a reappraisal of the archaeological remains from the Neolithic period to the present day, in the light of parallel phases of human activity at nearby Newgrange and Knowth, which, together with Dowth, collectively comprise the core area of the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site. A number of new features of potential archaeological significance have been identified. These include the disturbed remains of two possible passage tombs to the northeast and southeast of the great mound and traces of a D-shaped terraced platform attached to its north-eastern quadrant, bolstering the traditional belief that the mound had been remodelled during the Anglo-Norman period to serve as a motte-and-bailey. The results of the geophysical survey do not support previous assertions that traces of the manorial village of Dowth lie in the field between the mound and the medieval graveyard. The majority of these earthworks, it would seem, are related to medieval and post-medieval agricultural activity, with the pattern of subsequent spade-dug cultivation possibly dating to as late as the nineteenth century.