2004:0576 - ALTO VETRO, GRAND CANAL DOCK, PEARSE STREET, DUBLIN, Dublin

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Dublin Site name: ALTO VETRO, GRAND CANAL DOCK, PEARSE STREET, DUBLIN

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 04E0887

Author: Emer Dennehy, Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd, 27 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

Site type: No archaeological significance

ITM: E 717283m, N 733891m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.342237, -6.238739

The proposed development site of Alto Vetro is situated on the junction of Grand Canal Street and Pearse Street, on the western quay of Grand Canal Dock. The site measures 8.5m east-west by 20m and is situated outside the zone of archaeological potential for Dublin city. Analysis of cartographic sources illustrates that this land was within the flood-plains of the River Liffey in 1673. This land was reclaimed by 1729 due to works associated with the construction of the South Wall on the River Liffey and the land was divided into agricultural lots known as the South Lots. This lots area is clearly illustrated on Rocque's map of 1756. The construction of the Grand Canal commenced in 1775. The Grand Canal Docks were opened in 1796 and the area became the focus of large-scale industrial activity. However, the site of the proposed development remained undisturbed until the 1930s, when a dwelling house was constructed on it.

Due to the confined nature of the site combined with the potential for undermining the quay wall, the testing was restricted to the excavation of a central trench, which measured 15.7m in length by 1.6m. The trench was excavated to a maximum attainable depth of 2.5m and was stopped at this level for health and safety reasons. The stratigraphy was composed of 0.2m of rubble and tarmac associated with the remains of the demolished house: 0.2m of yellow gravel and cobbles and a 2.1m deposit of mid-yellow/brown loosely compact gravel fill. The stratigraphy identified appears to be a backfill layer associated with the construction of the quay wall in the 18th century. No artefacts or stratigraphy of an archaeological nature were identified.