1990:078 - Pennyfeather Lane/Pudding Lane, St Mary's/St Patrick's Ward, Kilkenny, Kilkenny

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Kilkenny Site name: Pennyfeather Lane/Pudding Lane, St Mary's/St Patrick's Ward, Kilkenny

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

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

Site type: Medieval and post medieval urban

ITM: E 650240m, N 655844m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.651458, -7.257512

This excavation was carried out in advance of planning permission being sought for a shopping complex on a large block of land between Pudding Lane, on the east, Pennyfeather Lane, on the north, New St., on the west, and a long property boundary on the south which links the remains of the town wall with the rear of the house frontages on Patrick St. The core area of the site consisted of the offices, loading yard and storage facilities of Mahon and McPhillips who funded the excavation. The site lay partly within the town wall but also extended beyond it to the west. This suggested that medieval remains were likely to be found on the east, especially near the Pudding Lane frontage and that the line of the town wall and ditch might be located. The oldest evidence of the site’s former appearance is to be found on Roque’s map of Kilkenny, published in 1758. This shows that most of the proposed development site was then open ground with the exception of an area fronting onto Pudding Lane.

Eighteen cuttings were opened in a staggered pattern across the site in order to ascertain the archaeological potential of the area. There was considerable disturbance on the Pudding Lane frontage but immediately to the rear there was evidence of an Anglo-Norman occupation level in association with features penetrating the sub-soil, although no structures were found. In the area between the town wall and the rear of the Pudding Lane properties no evidence was found for pre-1700 deposits and it would appear that the area was extensively used as gardens in the 18th and 19th centuries. Foundations of the town wall were uncovered and it would appear that at this point on the site they are 17th century in date. The most interesting aspect of the investigation was the discovery of the town ditch. This appears to have been first dug in the 13th/14th centuries when it was 5.5m wide at the mouth and penetrated the subsoil to a depth of 1.6m, while in the 17th century, when it was recut, it measured 5m in width and 1.3m in depth.

Further excavation was recommended but it now seems likely that this development will not take place.

Publication forthcoming in Old Kilkenny Review.