2003:2034 - St Catherine's Hall, South Street, New Ross, Wexford

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Wexford Site name: St Catherine's Hall, South Street, New Ross

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0153

Author: Daniel Noonan, The Archaeology Company, Birr Technology Centre, Mill Island, Birr, Co. Offaly.

Site type: 19th-century chapel of ease

ITM: E 672043m, N 627357m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.393006, -6.941500

St Catherine's Hall, South Street, New Ross, is sited on its own grounds, set back and elevated from the line of the streetscape. It bounds the late 18th-century Trinity Houses, which are to the south. The hall had been used as a school for Church of Ireland pupils and was previously St Catherine's Church, an early 19th-century 'chapel of ease'. The structure was completed in 1823 on a site provided by the Tottenham family, probably from land that formed part of the chantry lands of the former St Saviour's Chantry Chapel.

The redevelopment involves the consolidation of the structure, lowering of the interior ground level and construction of a disabled access ramp to the main entrance.

Testing of the exterior and interior of the building was carried out. Trenches 1 and 2 tested the location of the disabled access ramp. Both trenches produced the same sediment profile, showing levelling of the ground to the west of the former chapel to raise the level close to that of the interior. This levelling was on top of a substantial late 18th/early 19th-century soil horizon, which in turn was on top of natural.

Inside the building, Trenches 4 to 7 investigated the hall area, with all trenches quickly coming down onto bedrock. No features or finds of archaeological significance were uncovered in any of the trenches. Trenches 3 and 8 tested the potential of the living part of the structure, an area created when it was converted into a school. Natural subsoil was reached quickly. Again, no features or finds of archaeological significance were uncovered. Trenches 3, 4 and 6-8 contained linear masonry features of similar construction and size. These were probably the ground-beams or barges to support the original timber floor of the chapel prior to the insertion of the dividing wall.

It is probable that any archaeological features present on-site were removed during the construction works associated with St Catherine's Church.