2003:1045 - LADY’S WELL STREET, THOMASTOWN, Kilkenny

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Kilkenny Site name: LADY’S WELL STREET, THOMASTOWN

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 28:40 Licence number: 03E1411

Author: Tony Cummins, for Sheila Lane & Associates, AE House, Monahan Road, Cork.

Site type: 19th-century tannery

ITM: E 658258m, N 642135m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.527457, -7.141435

Testing was carried out at the site of a proposed apartment development at the former site of a 19th-century tannery complex, which contains a brick chimney and the ruined walls of a fire-damaged building. The northern boundary wall is of randomly coursed limestone and sandstone construction and measures c. 7m in height. This follows the probable line of the medieval town wall, but there is no visible trace of that feature. The proposed development will have no impact on any of these structures. At the commencement of excavations, the northern end of the yard was cleared of a large mound of building rubble, which will be incorporated into the apartment buildings. This rubble material was inspected and was found to consist of roughly cut limestone blocks; there were no identifiable architectural fragments present.

Five test-trenches were opened. The modern overburden measured 0.2m deep and sealed a number of backfilled tannery steeping tanks. These were cut into the natural boulder clay and averaged 1.4m in length by 1m in depth. These were evenly spaced throughout the site, at an average distance of 0.2m apart, and their sides and bases were lined with thin planks. The fills of the tanks contained modern inclusions, such as wires and electrical fuses. The foundations of the northern boundary wall measured 1.6m in depth and were constructed with a mortar-bonded random rubble of limestone and sandstone. The boulder clay abutted these foundations and there was no trace of a foundation trench on the exposed southern side of the wall. A thin, dark-grey, sandy deposit was uncovered at the base of the wall, 1.6m below modern ground level, and a fragment of a clay-pipe stem was recovered from this deposit. There was no trace of the medieval town wall or any other archaeological features or finds.