1990:077 - Prior's Orchard, St John's Ward, Kilkenny, Kilkenny

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Kilkenny Site name: Prior's Orchard, St John's Ward, Kilkenny

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

Author: Heather A. King, Skidoo, Ballyboughal, Co. Dublin.

Site type: Urban-post medieval

ITM: E 650740m, N 656143m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.654107, -7.250079

This excavation was carried out in advance of the proposed development of a dwelling house on a site behind the house frontage of No. 6 John’s Quay. It lies outside the line of the medieval town defences between the ruins of St John’s Abbey and the River Nore in an area known as Prior’s Orchard. The site consists of a walled concrete yard. Roque’s map of 1758 indicates that the area was open ground during the 18th century and the name ‘Prior’s Orchard’, if original, suggests that the site functioned as an orchard in the Middle Ages.

Three cuttings were opened and excavated to natural. No medieval structures or material were uncovered. The absence of any sherds of medieval pottery and the presence of a small amount of 17th- and 18th-century pottery immediately above the natural surface indicates that the site was open ground down to the end of the Middle ages. There was no evidence for in situ occupation of 17th-century date and the remaining material on the site consisted of refuse derived from elsewhere. It would appear that it was only in the mid 17th and 18th centuries that there was any activity in this area of Kilkenny.

No further excavation was required. Publication in forthcoming Old Kilkenny Review.