2003:1931 - John Street, Grady, Waterford

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Waterford Site name: John Street, Grady

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 9:5(18) Licence number: 01E0323

Author: Dave Pollock, Knockrower Road, Stradbally, Co. Waterford.

Site type: Urban medieval

ITM: E 659453m, N 612019m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.256667, -7.129167

In February 2003 an L-shaped trench was cut along the route of a proposed drain, where construction was expected to disturb archaeological levels. Although the excavation did not cut down onto subsoil at any point, there is no indication of activity here pre-dating the construction of the late medieval city walls. The ground appears to have been low-lying and marshy prior to building the city defences, with a mill perched beside John's River, on the site of the bastion.

The earliest structures within the city wall are represented by three clay-bonded walls encountered in the trench, part of the tannery fronting John Street. The tannery appears to have started operation during the 16th century.

During groundworks a good deal of late medieval walling was exposed (but not damaged) beside John Street. No further bridge arches were found (the surviving two spans appear to be the full medieval quota), but a low-level culvert may still be concealed below the exposed depth.

An examination of the junction between bridge wall, city wall and gate tower has suggested a change to the perceived construction sequence. The gate tower and outer wall (as far as the bastion) appear to have been built together, ahead of the inner wall and bridge. The bastion front remains a relatively late feature (but no later than the 16th century).