Bronze Age Burnt Mound, Dysert townland, Ardmore


Bronze Age Burnt Mound, Dysert townland, Ardmore

The srutháin in Ardmore village has two main branches, the first rises out beyond Sluggeragh cross while the shortest branch starts 300m uphill from the round tower graveyard in Dysert townland. A dense stand of willow trees grow on what can be called a groundflush ie. where ground water saturates the land as a series of connected springs. These springs have been used as a fresh water source for a long time as indicated by the presence of the ploughed-out remains of a Bronze Age burnt mound in the field adjacent to the willow stand.

The burnt mound is the remains of a butchery and cooking site used by families farming here in the Bronze Age. These sites are usually located where pits will fill naturally with water springs and which can then be used as boiling pits for meat. The water is boiled by roasting stones in large fires and then rolling the hot stones into the water-filled pits. The long lived nature of the sites means that heaps of heat-shattered stone and charcoal form into horshoe-shaped mounds. The mound in Dysert has been ploughed low but if you ever go a for a walk by the Lickey river in Grallagh townland there is a full sized mound surviving there in the woods (near here

These burnt mounds are found all over Ireland, over 7000 are known, and were in use for well over a thousand years of prehistory. Over 240 are known in Co. Waterford and can be found on the website There are two other burnt mounds elsewhere in the parish, the first by the new sewage treatment plant in Monea and the second, similar to this, visible when the field is freshly ploughed, two fields east of the Holy Cross cemetery. 

If you are keen to read more on burnt mounds in Ireland the best book to get is The Archaeology of Prehistoric Burnt Mounds in Ireland by Alan Hawkes.