Eachtra Journal

ISSN 2009-2237

Medieval rubbish pits, post-medieval walls and four linear features at 26 Patrick Street, Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny

June, 2012 · Written by: Eachtra Print This Page This entry is part 2 of 7 in the Issue 14

Archaeological Excavation Report

Medieval rubbish pits, post-medieval walls and four linear features

The buildings to the rear of 26 Patrick St. were demolished. The area of the extension to the rear to the hotel measured 20m by 13m.  The area of excavation was bounded by a stone wall to the south, by a building site to the north and west and by the Georgian building, 26 Patrick St., due for refurbishment to the east.

Occupation evidence dating to the 13th century and later post medieval activity associated with the demolished extension to 26 Patrick St. was excavated. The medieval activity was recorded at the western side of the site. Post-medieval construction, associated with the red brick foundations of the extension to the rear of the Georgian building which fronts onto Patrick St., had truncated medieval activity at the eastern end. The destroyed earlier medieval activity is evidenced by the occurrence of both medieval and post-medieval pottery in the same strata.

The pits at the west of the excavation trench were medieval in date and are likely to have served as rubbish dumps. The artefactual material, plant remains and the faunal remains recovered from the various fills would support this hypothesis. There was no evidence that they were used for industrial practises. They are located in the area of the medieval house burgage plots. No evidence of medieval structures was recorded. It is likely to exist under the foundations of the existing house structures on Patrick Street.

The pottery assemblage from the site was examined by C. McCutcheon. The assemblage is typical of domestic occupation ware. Over 82% of the medieval pottery from the site consisted of Kilkenny-type ware and a further 8.6% was Leinster cooking ware and almost 7% Kilkenny-type cooking ware. Two sherds of non-native pottery were recovered. A sherds of Saintonge from pit C3 and a sherd of Ham Green B from C18 which had both medieval and post-medieval pottery. The absence of Ham Green is surprising as this consisted of the largest group of medieval pottery from Waterford where it was recovered from 12th and 13th century contexts (Hurley et al 1997, 293-4).

Leinster Ware was the most widespread medieval pottery type in Leinster, and was in widespread usage by the 13th century, though the date at which it came into use is not known. At Waterford it was most commonly found in 13th and 14th century contexts in the form of cooking pots (ibid. 327). The Kilkenny and Kilkenny-type wares indicate local pottery production. Saintonge ware, jugs and cooking pots, represents the wealthier tastes. At Waterford it consisted of the largest group of continental pottery on the site (ibid. 308). This ware, from the south-west of France, dates to the 13th and 14th centuries.  The bone assemblage from the site was examined by M. McCarthy. The plant remains were examined by A. Brewer.

Author: Jacinta Kiely

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