2003:1025 - PARIS TEXAS, ST MARY’S LANE/91–93 HIGH STREET, KILKENNY, Kilkenny

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Kilkenny Site name: PARIS TEXAS, ST MARY’S LANE/91–93 HIGH STREET, KILKENNY

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E1856

Author: Sinéad Phelan, Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd, 2 Killiney View, Albert Road Lower, Glenageary, Co. Dublin.

Site type: Medieval graveyard

ITM: E 650950m, N 656293m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.655435, -7.246953

An assessment was carried out at the Paris Texas Bar & Restaurant, 91–93 High Street/St Mary’s Lane, Kilkenny. The proposed development involves the demolition of the existing structures and the erection of a five-storey mixed retail and residential development, with a basement carpark. The basement will encompass the northern section of the development area to facilitate kitchen stores and bar stores. The development site measures c. 50m2.
Remains found at the site are directly associated with activity surrounding St Mary’s cemetery in the 12th and 13th centuries. The wall exposed in Trenches 1 and 3 is possibly the original boundary wall of the medieval cemetery at St Mary’s.
In excavations carried out in the vicinity of the proposed development site in 2000 by Ken Hanley (Excavations 2000, 550, 00E0712) and in 2003 by Ian Doyle (No. 1024 above, 03E0572), the remains of 49 individuals were identified during pipe-laying c. 10m north of, and 11 individuals were excavated c. 80m north-west from, the burial identified during this programme of testing. This indicates that the medieval cemetery at St Mary’s extends at least 15m beyond the existing 17th-century boundary wall. Although phases of construction works from the 21st century have disturbed the medieval levels, the north-western section is likely to yield significant material associated with the cemetery.
The full extent of archaeological material was not established, as access was not possible into areas of the proposed development due to the existing bar and restaurant business. Although modern disturbances (laying of services, etc.) have truncated archaeological remains, this assessment has identified significant medieval activity, including the remains of one individual. With the close proximity to St Mary’s cemetery and information from previous excavations, it is highly probable that numerous burials still remain in situ below present ground level, to the west of the medieval wall exposed in Trench 3. Excavation in advance of construction was recommended.