The initial works of this scheme involved the excavation of a workhouse graveyard associated with the former Downpatrick workhouse and fever hospital. The graveyard was in use from the 1840s/1850s until it reached capacity and a second graveyard was created to the north of the site. The excavation is being conducted in two phases, with the first phase revealing the remains of 260 individuals.
Gahan and Long identified the remains of a probable Early Medieval rath site during pre-construction testing of the new Olar Valley residential development on the outskirts of Ballyclare. Raths, also known as forts’, ‘forths’ and ring-forts, are the field monuments most commonly found in the Irish countryside. The area of the potential monument was topsoil stripped to reveal a roughly circular enclosure with an approximate diameter of 30m which was then fully excavated and recorded. Pottery recovered from the excavation confirmed that the site dated to the Early Medival period (500-1100AD)
One pit from the site produced a collection of flint tools. Expert analysis of these identified them to date to the Late Mesolithic period, approximately 8000 years ago!
Gahan and Long have been the archaeological consultant for the restoration of the 19th century Star Fort at Ebrington Barracks. As well as overseeing the restoration of the historic fort wall, excavation works have lead to the discovery of numerous former buildings, lost sections of the wall and some very large artefacts.
The construction of a new warehouse at the famous Bushmills Distillery led to the discovery of a substantial 9th century souterrain. The souterrain consisted of a long, narrow passage, containing numerous obstacles and side passages, which opened up into a large main chamber.