2003:1940 - Stephen, Waterford

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Waterford Site name: Stephen

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 9:5 Licence number: 03E0054

Author: Orla Scully, 7 Bayview, Tramore, Co. Waterford.

Site type: Monitoring

ITM: E 660502m, N 612317m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.259232, -7.113755

The project involved the building of a temporary classroom for St Stephen's School. The site lies within the walled city, close to the site of St Patrick's Gate, below the brow of the hill of Ballybricken, a former market square immediately outside the walled city. The rear of the school incorporates the city wall and is the site of the very fine mural tower known as the Half Moon Tower, or alternatively the Semi-Lunar Tower.

In recent times the site was a garden area in the monastery. Prior to that, it was the back yard area of a row of tenement houses fronting onto Usher's Arch. The buildings probably date to the 1800s, when the area that was formerly a garden was developed as residential. The area was cleared in 1907 by the De La Salle brothers. Excavations for foundations covered an area of 10m by 10m. The only structural element observed was a wall at the northern limit of excavation. This was built predominantly of stone but contained an element of brick in the fabric. The wall may have been a boundary wall for the property fronting onto Patrick Street. The construction of the new classroom did not remove this wall, or any other structures. It is, however, noteworthy that the deposits are substantial and that the base of the excavation showed further deposits of soil, undisturbed by the excavations. The deepest point of the foundations was 1.8m. The area is of potential interest. The level to which the ground was disturbed consisted of demolition rubble attributable to the clearance of the site in the early 20th century.