Burials uncovered at Swords Castle dig

At least three sites will be further excavated following discovery by Digging History group

Archaeologists at work at Swords Castle in Dublin

Archaeologists at work at Swords Castle in Dublin

 

A number of burials have been uncovered by archaeologists at Swords Castle in Dublin.

A group named Digging History has been examining the area since earlier this week . While members were digging around the castle they discovered the remains of at least three burials.

Christine Baker, Fingal’s community archaeologist, said: “It is not the first time that burials have been uncovered at Swords Castle; however, the depth, just a few inches below the ground surface, is surprising.

“We know from previous works that an 11th-century burial ground was here before Swords Castle was built.”

Ms Baker said the team previously found isolated human bones, “but to find burials that haven’t been totally removed by the old orchard or subsequent works so close to the surface is very unusual”.

The burials have been disturbed by tree roots and, given their position and condition, will not survive reburial.

The sites will be excavated by the National Museum of Ireland and the National Monuments Service.

During the excavations of 1971 by Tom Fanning, burials were found north of the chapel.

“An important element of the archaeology project has been Finding Fanning’s Burials, which were excavated in 1971 and have since disappeared. We now have an opportunity to solve the questions that have remained unanswered for over 40 years’ said Ms Baker.

“By excavating, analysing and scientifically dating these remains we will be able to find out more about the people who were buried here and when they were buried,” she said.

“The find has generated a lot of excitement among the volunteers on site but everyone is very respectful that these are remains and they will be excavated in an appropriate manner,” Ms Baker said.