2012:411 - St Mel’s Cathedral Restoration Project, Longford, Longford

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Longford Site name: St Mel’s Cathedral Restoration Project, Longford

Sites and Monuments Record No.: LF013-026 Licence number: 11E0412

Author: Judith Carroll

Site type: Post-medieval cathedral

ITM: E 0m, N 0m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees):
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St Mel’s Cathedral is situated on the south-east of Longford town (LF013-026) at a juncture of roads, including the main Dublin road as it turns into Longford. The cathedral, a protected structure, was built between 1840 and 1893 and is a large neoclassical structure with a nave reached through a portico accessed by steps. The cathedral was built on the grounds of an earlier Catholic church (extant throughout the 19th century and probably earlier) and occupies a space which was once the grounds of that church.
Monitoring was carried out in St Mel’s Cathedral from 2011. The cathedral was very badly damaged in the fire of Christmas Day 2009 and now requires extensive rebuilding of its interior, which will include substantial groundworks. Test pits were monitored in 2011 (Excavations 2011, No. 418) while this year, ground reduction and pits for columns were monitored in the interior of the cathedral and a crane pit was monitored on the exterior. Post-medieval pottery dated between the 18th and early 19th century came to light during the digging of the pits. Otherwise, no finds or features of archaeological significance came to light in 2012. The monitoring this year was carried out between 2 October and 18 December 2012.

St Mel’s Cathedral, Longford.

Judith Carroll & Company Ltd, Consultant Archaeologists, 11 Anglesea Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.