1991:076 - The Random Inn, Poplar Square, Naas, Kildare

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Kildare Site name: The Random Inn, Poplar Square, Naas

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

Author: DL. Swan, 746 Howth Road, Dublin 5.

Site type: Urban

ITM: E 689632m, N 719530m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.218609, -6.657887

The site is located directly behind the premises known as the Random Inn, south of the Dublin to Naas roadway at the point where it broadens out to form Poplar Square. The property within which the site occurs fronts on to the street, and stretches back, roughly along an east-west line for upwards of 40m, where it is bounded by a substantial wall, which once formed the back wall of a hand-ball alley.

A recent study had suggested that the line of the enclosing walls or earthen banks, which may have formed the medieval defences of Naas, might have passed through the property concerned. Thus when an application was made to the local Planning Authority, involving alterations and extensions to the existing structures, archaeological monitoring of trenching was imposed as a condition of the granting of planning permission.

In the area investigated there is little likelihood of there ever having been activity of any archaeological significance, prior to the construction of the premises now being extended and renovated. The absence of occupational evidence, artefacts or debris of any kind from either the foundation trench or the sewer trench, strongly suggests that these were the first such activities here.

However, a cursory examination of the back wall which bounds the site to the east showed that incorporated into the brick construction, there is a considerable number of large blocks of regularly-shaped and dressed limestone, some laid in courses, others more or less randomly positioned. These must originally have come from a late medieval or post-medieval structure of some significance. Many of these stone blocks have a punched or hammered dressing similar to that found on certain of the exposed structural stones of St David’s Church in the centre of the town, a short distance away. It is highly probable that this church incorporates at least some fragments of an earlier church on the site of which it now stands.