2004:0430 - GOVERNOR'S RESIDENCE, DOWN COUNTY MUSEUM, ENGLISH STREET, DOWNPATRICK, Down

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Down Site name: GOVERNOR'S RESIDENCE, DOWN COUNTY MUSEUM, ENGLISH STREET, DOWNPATRICK

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: AE/04/174

Author: Stefanie McMullen, Archaeological Development Services Ltd, Westlink Enterprise Centre, 30-50 Distillery Street, Belfast BT12 5BJ.

Site type: Listed building

ITM: E 748320m, N 844602m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.328552, -5.719604

Archaeological works were carried out in relation primarily to the installation of a lift shaft as part of the refurbishment of the Governor’s Residence at Down County Museum, Downpatrick. The site is on the western outskirts of Downpatrick, c. 250m northwest of Cathedral Hill and c. 350m south of the Mound of Down. The Governor’s Residence, a listed building (18/20/08), was built in 1789-1796.

The trench required to accommodate the lift shaft measured 3m by 3m and was located in the corner, against the south-west and south-east-aligned internal stone-and-mortar walls of the building. Deposits uncovered provided evidence of contemporary and later building phases relating to the existing building. These deposits were structural, of which the earliest uncovered was the remains of a stone-and-mortar wall contemporary with the standing building. This wall indicates the existence of a small room within this building measuring 2.74m in width, with a possible doorway providing a north-west/south-east access. The length of this room could not be determined, as the remains of the wall exceeded the limits of the excavation trench. Remains of the later addition of a service channel/probable ventilation shaft constructed of red brick were also uncovered.

The required depth of the trench was 1.8m, but subsoil was reached at a higher level, at a depth of 0.8m from the current floor surface level. Subsoil consisted of very compact, hard light-grey clay with occasional sub-angular stones (measuring 50-200mm in size).