2003:960 - MONASTEREVIN: Grove House, Kildare

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Kildare Site name: MONASTEREVIN: Grove House

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 02E1790

Author: Cóilín Ó Drisceoil, for V.J. Keeley Ltd.

Site type: House - 18th century

Period/Dating: Modern (AD 1750-AD 2000)

ITM: E 662637m, N 709931m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.136229, -7.063897

Monitoring of groundworks associated with the restoration of and alterations to the 18th-century Grove House was requested. An architectural and historical study by K. Bartels-Short (2000) noted that a number of structures had existed in the vicinity of the site since at least the second half of the 18th century.

A malthouse and distillery is recorded at this location since the early 18th century. A number of distillery buildings to the rear of Grove House are extant today. The distillery closed down in 1921 and Holmes’s Ironworks was established on part of the site. Grove House was converted into a nurses’ residence sometime after the late 1920s. It was also known as ‘St Teresa’s’ in recent times.

Monitoring took place on 4 February 2003 of the strip-foundation trenches for a boiler house measuring 8.4m by 3.8m situated to the rear of Grove House. Trenches 2–5 contained a broadly similar stratigraphic sequence: a deposit of ‘garden soil’ under a tarmac yard surface. No diagnostic artefacts were recovered from the garden soil to provide dating evidence, though the development area is shown as a long, narrow rear garden on the earliest maps of Monasterevin (1762 and Scalé’s map of 1773). Morphologically, the garden appears to be a burgage plot. It is not clear if a medieval settlement existed in Monasterevin at the same time as the Cistercian monastery, though it probably would have been located somewhere near the present centre of the town.

Trench 1 contained a barrel-vaulted culvert built partly of brick, but predominantly of stone and mortar. Given its morphology and position, it is likely to have been a sewer or wastewater culvert depositing waste into the River Barrow some 110m to the west. The brick in the culvert suggests a post-medieval date, though this may have been a rebuild. Barrel-vaulted culverts are unusual, though similar constructions have been found on numerous Irish sites, including in Kildare town by Hilary Opie (Excavations 1999, No. 387, 98E0574), at Canal Street, Naas, by Breandán Ó Ríordáin (Excavations 1995, No. 158, 95E0283) and in North and South Street, Naas, also by Breandán Ó Ríordáin (Excavations 1997, No. 285, 97E0151). Preservation in situ of the culvert was recommended and further excavation was undertaken by John Channing.

Bartlel, K. 2002 Architectural and archaeological assessment of Grove House, Moore Abbey, Monasterevin, Co. Kildare. Unpublished.

Tulla, Threecastles, Co. Kilkenny