2003:1936 - Railway Square, Waterford, Waterford

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Waterford Site name: Railway Square, Waterford

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 9:5 Licence number: 03E0013

Author: Colm Moloney, Headland Archaeology Ltd, Unit 4b, Europa Enterprise Park, Midleton, Co. Cork.

Site type: Possible medieval ditch, post-medieval industrial activity

ITM: E 660637m, N 611903m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.255493, -7.111847

An assessment took place on a site proposed for development at Railway Square, Waterford. The investigation was carried out to inform a planning application for a mixed-use development. This area, bordering the walls of the medieval city, was considered to be of good archaeological potential. The work involved desk-based study, testing and a historic building survey. The desk study produced no evidence for the presence of archaeology within the proposed development site prior to the post-medieval period. It was noted, however, that previous excavations adjacent to the site had identified a fosse/ditch outside the city wall at Manor Street. It was also noted that the Mendicity Institute had stood on the site of Mendicity Lane until the middle of the 19th century.

Eight trenches were excavated. The results indicated that the area was originally part of the river, which was wider until the construction of the railway. The river appears to have been partially filled and canalised during the first half of the 19th century in order to accommodate the railway buildings. Massive foundations, interpreted as belonging to train sheds and station buildings, were identified during the investigation. Adjacent to the watch tower on the medieval wall, odorous peat deposits were identified at a depth of 1.3m, a possible indication of the location of the edge of the river or part of the backfill of the fosse. The city wall was recorded by measured drawing and photography in order to provide information relating to the visual amenity of the site and assist with determining what impact the development would have on the upstanding archaeology in the environs of the site.