A number of 2788 artefacts were discovered in excavations of the main street in Buttevant, North County Cork, Ireland. The reconstruction works of the street were delayed due to the scale of the archaeological discoveries.
The discoveries include a suspected northern gate tower and associated town wall opposite the convent, building foundations and layers of cobbled street surfaces. In addition, archaeologists also uncovered animal bones, pottery, tiles, bone combs, numerous coins, buttons, buckles, pins and clay wig curlers. Among the finds were gold posy ring inscribed with the date of 1713.
Buttevant was a defensive walled town in medieval times. Historians believe it was originally built around 1208 by William de Barry. The town was initially populated by craftspeople, artisans, and other suppliers around a site to the north of the castle and church. According to the archaeologists the formal town pattern was designed in the 1230s, but only fully completed in the late 1250s or early 1260s. In 1317 a grant was released to the town to enclose it with walls, although it is not known to what extent, if any, the town was walled prior to that.
The town was sacked in 1569 and more devastatingly in 1691. It remained in a state of stagnation through much of the 18th century, and it was not until the actions of John Anderson, who acquired Buttevant Castle from Richard Barry, and later his son, James Caleb Anderson, that the fortunes of the town were revived.
(after Irish Examiner)