1990:065 - St Augustine Street/Merchants Road, Townparks, Galway, Galway

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Galway Site name: St Augustine Street/Merchants Road, Townparks, Galway

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number:

Author: Miriam Clyne, Templemartin, Craughwell, Co. Galway

Site type: Medieval town wall

ITM: E 529866m, N 725029m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.270956, -9.051436

The site, located at the south of the medieval town, measured 48m x 20.5m. The excavation of five weeks duration took place in June and July 1990, and was funded by the developer.

A section, 20.5m long, of the south curtain wall was revealed across the middle of the site. It was a double-wall feature built of mortared rubble limestone and granite masonry. The outer wall averaged 1.8m wide, and the extant height of the outer face ranged from 0.4m to 1.8m. The inner wall, c. 1m wide, was 1.3m to 2m in extant height. At the east boundary of the site, the town wall stood to a maximum height of 5.5m above ground level. It is likely that the outer wall was primary and the inner a later facing. Enclosure of the town commenced shortly after 1270, when the first murage grant was obtained. Between 1499 and 1504, the south curtain wall was rebuilt or repaired. The south curtain was not datable from the excavation but historical evidence would suggest two possibilities. Either the outer wall was constructed in the late 13th/early 14th century and the inner wall in the late 15th/early 16th century, or the outer wall dates to the late 15th/early 16th century and the inner is a later facing.

Cartographic evidence indicated that the Poor Clares’ Lane was located within the area of the site. No evidence was found in the excavation for this lane inside the town wall. Abutting the inner face of the south curtain, a layer up to 1.2m deep contained most of the earlier pottery. The pottery, mainly French, dating from the 14th to 16th centuries, consisted of seventy-three sherds with a maximum of fifty-four vessels. The stone structures, uncovered inside the town wall, date to the post-medieval period or later. These were the rear wall and foundation of a building which had fronted St Augustine Street and a second foundation, c. 1m to the south. In the fill between the foundations, ten potsherds of late 17th- and 18th-century date, consisting of local and imported wares, were found.

Outside the town wall, the stratified finds of pottery and glass date from the late 17th and 18th century. Three stone foundations were revealed abutting or close to the outer face of the south curtain. These were probably built in the late 18th or 19th century after Merchants Road was laid out.