Jul 03 2008

Medieval Church Street

Published by at 10:46 pm under News

jameson-distillery-dublin-2006-fixed-img_0042.jpg Many of you will be familiar with the Church Street area of Dublin through its close proximity to Smithfield, Manor Street and Stoneybatter. Some of you probably lived in the area or close to it before moving into Cabra West. One piece of historic interest that stands out in Church Street is of course Saint Michan’s Church. Some of you may have taken the time to visit the burial vaults underneath the old church. I paid it a visit a couple of years back and found it fascinating. In more recent times the area right next to the church was closed off and work commenced on the foundations for a new building. With the demolition of the old building on this site the people passing up and down Church Street were able to get a rare view of Jameson’s Brewery. I managed to get a couple of good photographs of it. Anyway the point of this article is to tell you that archaeologists were brought in to check out the area where the foundations were being dug and they discovered the remains of two medieval buildings.  These buildings were originally located on the corner of  Church Street and May Lane. One of them was a granary where barley, oats and broad beans were stored. The other appears to have been used in the nineteenth century as a clay pipe factory. The two buildings showed signs of being burned to the ground. Archaeologists also unearthed a seventeenth century graveyard and evidence of a rosary bead factory and hat manufacturers. In 1498 this area of land was acquired by the Barnwall family who came to Ireland on the heels of our good old pal Strongbow. From the evidenced unearthed by the archaeologists it seems that the Church Street of five hundred ago was not too different to the Church Street we knew as kids. If anyone is interested they can read more about this archaeological dig in the Archaeology Ireland magazine winter 2007 edition…MC

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