2003:2050 - 117 Main Street South, Wexford, Wexford

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Wexford Site name: 117 Main Street South, Wexford

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 02E0963

Author: Cóilín Ó Drisceoil, Tulla, Threecastles, Co. Kilkenny.

Site type: Urban medieval

ITM: E 704878m, N 621681m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.336697, -6.461013

Testing in February 2003 formed a component of an assessment of a proposed restaurant and accommodation development to the rear of the ‘Emerald Gardens’ Chinese restaurant. The site lay 60m inside the medieval town walls on the edge of the original waterside where the Bishopswater Stream and the estuary met to form a deep pool. This became the focus for the Norse settlement of Wexford.

Most of the ground to the east of South Main Street was being reclaimed from an early date in the town’s history and the dumped midden and rubble deposits that have been recorded in various excavations in the east of the town (Excavations 1995, No. 287; 1996, No. 406; 2000, No. 1072) are testament to this.

Three trenches were excavated manually within the development area. Within the trenches the stratigraphy was broadly similar: 0.6m-deep deposits of red-brick rubble and dark clay of 18th-century date overlay a dark 0.5m-deep silt deposit, which is interpreted as a buried intertidal mud intermixed with dumped midden material. One sherd of locally produced medieval cooking ware was recovered from it. Underlying it was a substratum of hard greyish-brown sand and cobbles.