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Early medieval furnaces discovered along N6

Tuesday, 11th August, 2009 10:45am

Story by Tom Kelly
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Medieval furnaces discovered along the Kinnegad-Kilbeggan N6 route recently were similar to ones found at Monganstown, Kinnegad as a result of earlier excavations, it emerged.

The early medieval furnaces, which are likely to have been used for smithing, were found at the townlands of Kiltotan and Collinstown in 2005 by Cork-based Eachtra Archaeological Projects, following excavation work required as part of the Kinnegad-Kilbeggan N6 realignment.

The site of the excavations include two parallel ditches of "relatively recent origin", and two pits with evidence of burning.

Researchers first thought that the pits were the badly preserved remains of medieval iron smelting furnaces, but later concluded that the furnaces were used for smithing, rather than smelting.

"Activity at one of these... was probably associated with some of the early historic ringforts that are known from the area around the site," archaeologists said in their report, published in the Irish archaeology journal, 'Eachtra'.

Another furnace examined produced a late medieval or post-medieval radiocarbon date following tests, and the conclusion was reached that this was unrelated to activity at nearby ringforts.

"It does, however, demonstrate that metalworking was carried out in the area over a long period of time," the report added.

The archaeological project was carried out on behalf of Westmeath County Council, and funded by the National Roads Authority.

Coralstown/Kinnegad GAA news

Congratulations to Alan Plunkett, secretary of Coralstown/Kinnegad GAA Club, who married Edel Cooney on Saturday last. The couple are wished the very best for the future.

The monster bingo held on the Bank Holiday Monday, August 3, was an outstanding success, and the next Drive-Thru bingo will take place in the town on October 18.

Best of luck to the Coralstown/Kinnegad seniors who play St. Malachy's in the championship on Saturday evening, and well done to the ladies, who beat Tyrrellspass in the championship recently, and face Killucan this weekend. Loyal fans of Coralstown/Kinnegad GAA Club are asked to come out and support both teams.

Finally, the latest Coralstown/Kinnegad GAA Lucky Numbers Draw took place last week, and the €5,400 jackpot was not won. The numbers drawn were 9, 16, 20 and 25, and the match three winners were Greg Moran, Trish Nolan and Pat (c/o A&J).

Getting married in Kinnegad?

Love is reportedly in the air as much as the whiff of recession, and to prepare any would-be newly-weds for the most important step of their lives, a bulletin offering information on marriage preparations was issued by Kinnegad parish last weekend.

Details on how to go about getting married were posted in Kinnegad, Coralstown and Clonard churches at the weekend, with Fr. Tom Gilroy (PP, Kinnegad) offering advice on how to "get hitched".

The circular informed future marriage candidates that the charge for getting married in Kinnegad Parish is €400, which should be paid to the parish one month before the big day.

All marriage frees accrued by Kinnegad Parish go directly into the Parish Building and Development Fund.

Cemetery in Coralstown

Cemetery devotions will take place at St. Agnes' Cemetery, Coralstown on Sunday next at 2.30pm, with the final clean-up of the graveyard having taken place on Monday last. The deceased will also be remembered at Clonfad Cemetery at 6pm on Sunday evening.

Three top prizes in Clonard draw

Tickets remain on sale for the Friends of St. Finian Committee's draw in association with the St. Finian's Church, Clonard Restoration Project, and the support of everyone in Kinnegad parish would be greatly appreciated.

The draw takes place in Clonard on September 26, 2009, and tickets are available at €5 apiece, or €20 for a book of five.

The three prizes up for grabs in the draw are a Fordson Vintage Tractor (first prize), €1,000 cash (second prize) and a flat screen television (third prize).

The Friends of St. Finian group will meet at St. Finian's Hall, Clonard on Friday next at 9pm. All are welcome to attend the meeting.

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