2003:1809 - Liberty Square, Thurles, Tipperary

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Tipperary Site name: Liberty Square, Thurles

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 02E1841

Author: Florence M. Hurley, 8 Marina Park, Victoria Road, Cork, for Mary Henry Archaeological Services Ltd.

Site type: Urban post-medieval

ITM: E 612687m, N 658688m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.679205, -7.812384

This site lies at the eastern end of Liberty Square, Thurles. The River Suir lies to the east, while across the road to the south is the tower-house known as the East Gate. Testing of the site was carried out in early 2003 revealing a series of walls in the central part of the site along with two other walls close to the southern boundary. Two possible cobbled surfaces were also found, in the centre and northern part of the site. No datable material was found.

It was subsequently requested that the walls be completely uncovered to determine if they might be medieval or whether any medieval deposits were present on-site. The proximity of the tower-house and the fact that its northern wall contains the springing for an arch also prompted the additional investigation. This work was carried out over a three-day period. A machine was used to remove modern overburden, with the remainder of the work being carried out by hand.

The earliest wall uncovered ran north-south across the centre of the site and had two short walls abutting its western face. A cobbled surface lay under the short walls but did not run under the north-south wall. A dark-grey sandy silt lay on top of the cobbles. This produced a bronze stick-pin, a Dublin trade token of 1794 and two sherds of pottery, one post-medieval, the other a very worn piece of local medieval ware. Part of a limestone mullion came from the rubble infill above the walls.

No medieval deposits were found. An examination of cartographic sources suggests that the walls belong to a narrow building of early or mid-18th-century date occupying a similar footprint to that which previously stood on the site.