Eachtra Journal

ISSN 2009-2237

Burials at the Hospital of the Assumption, Thurles, Co. Tipperary (04E0599)

March, 2010 · Written by: Eachtra Print This Page This entry is part 18 of 21 in the Issue 05

Archaeological Excavation Report


The development site is located in the townland of Gortataggart on the site of an existing hospital, to be demolished in three stages, and situated on the northwest outskirts of Thurles town next to the existing Thurles General Hospital. The site lies directly to the west of the Dublin to Cork railway line, which runs through Thurles town.
The archaeology excavated at The Hospital of the Assumption,Thurles, consisted of six graves. All of these were orientated in the Christian fashion, east-west, with the feet at the western end of the grave, and all but one of the grave cuts contained the remains of a wooden coffin. None of the graves (excavated or undisturbed) had any form of marker or headstone indicating their position in the cemetery. It seems unusual that care was taken to lay the recently deceased in to coffins but not to mark their location. We can only assume that any form of marker that existed has since been removed or decayed as it is highly unlikely that something as durable as stone would have been used for people of such poor means at this time of famine.
In total the remains of nine individuals were excavated from the six graves. This small sample indicates that for every two graves across the site there are the remains of three individuals. This gives us some idea of the high death rate that must have existed in the workhouse in the mid 19th century.

Author: Bruce Sutton

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Ex., Thurles Hospital, Thurles, Co Tipperary 04E0599

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