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Day 2 – Good day sunshine

The crews in Cutting B(eatles for Sale ) and Cutting A(bbey Road) were eager to return to the dig this morning, with features already starting to emerge yesterday. Craig, Laura and Matt did a fine job defining the limits of the vitrifed brick pit which was planned, photographed and partially excavated. Peter and Shauna caused a sensation in the morning with the discovery of our first sherd of French medieval pottery. The foundations of a wall, which was indicated in the geophysical survey, are being carefully uncovered in Cutting A(bbey Road) by Penny and Billy. Alan, Sadhbh and Tom are patiently uncovering a tumble of large stones from a demolished building of uncertain date. At lunch time we ‘googled’ it up with a volleyball tournament – definitely room for improvement. We had many distinguished visitors including Anne Mc Cullen and her daughter Ruth with her children Anelia and Oliver from the States. Ciaran Mc Donnell called in and Conor Brady, who has kindly let us borrow his sieves, visited with student volunteers Alan and Shauna, two of his DKIT students.

Volleyball at lunch. Eat your heart out Google (photo: Laura Jaervelae).

Hard work in Cutting B(eatles for Sale).

To the right (north) is the stone and brick filled pit. To the left is the northern edge of the laneway.

Tom and Alan working on the tumble of large stones in Cutting A(bbey Road).

Ruth and Anne McCullen practising their excavation technique.

Lunch break on Day 2.

Lennon shows visitor Ciaran McDonnell the small sherd of Saintonge Ware.


The small sherd of Saintonge Ware.

Let the games begin!

This morning John Mc Cullen cut the ceremonial sod at Beaubec on a beautiful summers day in the company of his family. And so the games begin! Great to see some of the old crew and new faces including little Wes our mascot dog. Once the health and safety guidelines were signed off we were able to start taking off the sod from two cuttings A (Abbey Road) and B (Beatles For Sale), which was completed by lunchtime. We are coming down on a very stony layer, which is the surface of a post medieval avenue and is producing lots of post-medieval pottery. There was great excitement in Cutting B when Tom found a Victorian penny (1901). In the afternoon Craig, Laura and Shauna started to uncover an intriguing, drain-like feature with some vitrified bricks. These are probably clinker bricks produced when wet clay bricks are exposed to excessive heat during the firing process, forming a shiny dark coloured coating. These usually date from the early  20th century.  Locals Barney and Andy were the first of our welcome visitors

Also, thanks to Billy Sines, we now have a ‘Twitter handle’. Our handle is @BeaubecE (

John McCullen gave a brief speech about Beaubec before turning the first sod.

Full attention for the opening ceremonies. John’s son Colm (second from left) also welcomed us to the field.

John turns the first sod!

As Mao used to say ‘put down the luggage and start the machinery’.

Peter Lacey (right) displays our first find. A small sherd of blackware. Craig Downie looks on with pride.

Tomás Ó hOistín shows Dermot (John McCullen's son) his new discovery: a Victoria penny from1901.

Tomás Ó hOistín shows Dermot (John McCullen’s son) his new discovery: a Victoria penny from 1901.

Laura, Shauna and Craig in cutting B(eatles for sale)

The sods in cutting B(eatles for sale) were stripped away before lunch!

Brendan Walsh is a graduate of the School of History and Geography, DCU. He proudly sports the DCU shirt while helping out in cutting A(bbey Road). Be true to your school Brendan.

This lovely dog lives besides a beautiful cottage on the grounds of Beamore house where site environmentalist, Penny Johnston, is staying.

Jo L

Joanna Leigh on the site marking out the features identified in her geophysical survey.

Welcome to Beaubec Excavations Blog

Beaubec is the site of a medieval monastic farm associated with the French Cistercian foundation of De Bello Becco (Beaubec) Normandy. Beaubec is located in the townland of Bey More, south of Drogheda in county Meath. This excavation is funded through a generous grant from the FBD Trust and administered through the Kilsharvan Community Council. We are grateful to the landowner, John McCullen, for permission to excavate at this site. The excavation begins on July 1.

Volunteers and visitors are welcome. Contact

Beaubec is ideally located to throw light on the involvement of the Cistercians in commercial development and international maritime trade in the Boyne valley during the medieval period.It lies 5km south of the medieval walled town and port of Drogheda within the medieval Liberty of Meath. A stream runs by the site on a north-east axis to join the river Boyne at Mornington. This area was at the centre of major land grants of  Anglo-Norman sub-infeudation and near Duleek which was the caput of one of De Lacy’s seignorial manors. It lay at the mouth of the River Boyne which was an important means of transport between the interior of Meath and the town of Drogheda at the river’s lowest bridging point. Drogheda became one of the principal ports of medieval Ireland through which the agricultural and manufactured produce of Ireland, was exported. The main aims of the Beaubec project is to firstly, uncover the structural remains and layout of the thirteenth century Cistercian foundation of De Bello Becco (Beaubec) Normandy at Bey More, Co. Meath; secondly, retrieve material evidence for external contacts in the form of imports such as for example Normandy Ware and thirdly, identify the kind of agricultural produce on their monastic grange, which they were exporting and the types of goods imported into the Irish house.