2007:238 - Former Huguenot Cemetery, Carey’s Lane, Cork, Cork

County: Cork Site name: Former Huguenot Cemetery, Carey’s Lane, Cork

Sites and Monuments Record No.: CO074–111 Licence number: 07E0508

Author: Avril Purcell, Sheila Lane & Associates, Deanrock Business Park, Togher, Cork.

Site type: Burial-ground

ITM: E 567422m, N 571953m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 51.898778, -8.473377

The former Huguenot cemetery in Cork city centre is to be redeveloped. Most of the site will form a garden of remembrance to Cork’s Huguenot community, with a small part of the north end being developed to accommodate a new stairway to an adjoining building. The area of the stairs will measure 2.6m by 8m and the garden of remembrance will measure 8m by 9m. The footprint of the stairs was tested by hand to formation level and all ground reduction for the garden of remembrance was carried out by hand. The site was previously a largely disused, overgrown yard with a single-storey extension to a building fronting French Church Street and a lean-to shed occupying parts of it. Both buildings were demolished under archaeological supervision.
A lead-lined coffin, oriented north–south, was found in situ but partially disturbed at the northern end of the site. This was retained in situ and in agreement with the NMS and NMI a concrete structure was built around and above the coffin to protect it. The corner of a possible second lead-lined coffin was revealed to the south of this. This was not further investigated, as it was below the required formation level and remains in situ.
The remains of what appears to be a burial crypt were identified at the centre of the north end of the site. This was not fully investigated, as it extended below the required formation level, but the exposed surviving portion of the structure suggested a stairway, 0.9m wide, to a small chamber measuring 2.2m by 1.85m. The stairway appears to have been closed by a large red sandstone slab, the shattered remains of which were apparent. The structure was of random rubble construction, with the interior brick-lined. The chamber was very disturbed and there was no evidence of in situ burials surviving, although the floor was not exposed.
The remains of what appears to be a chest tomb were also revealed. This was a brick-built structure measuring 1.75m by 1.1m and again was oriented north–south. It was open to the north. No evidence of in situ human remains was revealed within this structure.
A substantial horizontally set headstone was revealed below the single-storey extension during its demolition. Damage to the stone suggested efforts had been made to remove it before construction of the extension during the first half of the 20th century; however, these efforts were abandoned and the extension was built above it and concrete for the floor was poured directly on top of the stone. The stone appears to be in situ, is oriented north–south and is quite weathered. The lower portion of another headstone was also recovered which was clearly ex situ.
Substantial quantities of bone, both human and animal, were recovered and examination of this bone is ongoing. All of the human bone recovered was ex situ.