CASTLES, CITY WALLS AND MORE, Excavating the streets of Cork City

Urban Tales 2006 RTE interview in a curragh on the River Lee with Bob Vance

following the exposure of the culverts during excavation, a crew including Catryn Power followed the route of the culverts in Cork City, another Venice of the north

THE QUEEN’S CASTLE, HOPEWELL CASTLE, PARADISE CASTLE, NORTH GATE BRIDGE, WOODEN BOARDWALKS,

MEDIEVAL CITY WALLS,      MEDIEVAL WOODEN QUAY, MASONRY QUAY WALLS, WOODEN STRUCTURES,

DRAINAGE, CULVERTS, BRIDGES, TANNING PITS, MILLS, STONE HOUSES, MEDIEVAL BARREL, STREET PAVING

KYLE STREET, PATRICK STREET, LIBERTY STREET, NORTH MAIN STREET, TUCKEY STREET, NORTH MAIN STREET SOUTH MAIN STREET, ADELAIDE STREET, PAUL STREET,

LANEWAYS.

19th century brick cellar, adjacent to the Queen’s Castle

          Copy of cp 79   Copy of cp 37

A SMALL MEDEIVAL CULVERT/FRENCH DRAIN IN NORTH MAIN STREET.

Copy of cp 67

EXCAVATING THE CULVERT ON DAUNT SQUARE

DURING THE EXCAVATIONS MUCH WOOD USED IN QUAYS, BOARD WALKS, STRUCTURES, WAS EXPOSED AND DRAWN,

SUBSEQUENTLY REMOVED, A FEW DATED, BUT MOST STORED IN CONTAINERS FOR THEIR CONSERVATION IN CORK CITY

COUNCIL. WHEN SOUGHT BY THE AUTHOR, THEY HAD DISAPPEARED WITHOUT FURTHER EXAMINATION. PHOTOGRAPHS

OF THESE WILL BE POSTED HERE IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

Copy of cp 38

Copy of cp 70  

MEDIEVAL SURGERY IN A MAN HOSPITALISED IN A CORK CITY INFIRMERY OF A PRIORY

THE EXCAVATION OF QUEEN’S CASTLE AND CORK CITY WALLS , WITH THE WINDOWS FROM THE BUILDINGS REFLECTING ON THE STREET SURFACE OF CASTLE STREE DURING THE CORK MAIN DRAINAGE SCHEME

Copy of cp 28

Copy of cp 65

CONSERVATION OF THE CASTLE AND CITY WALLS,  BY COVERING IT IN

SANDBAGS, UNDER THE SURFACE AT CASTLE STREET

Copy of cp 85

THE SEWER PIPES AND OTHER SERVICES, WHICH CUT THROUGH THE MEDIEVAL QUEEN’S CASTLE,

DURING THE PROBABLY DURING THE SEWERAGE SCHEME OF THE 1940’S.

Copy of cp 29

Copy of cp 41

  169

MEDIEVAL LIFE IN CORK CITY, evident in a mural on Grattan Street in 1996

DAUNT SQUARE CULVERT, GOING UNDER THE BUILDINGS TO PARADISE PLACE.

DURING THE EXCAVATION LOCALS HAD TOLD US THAT THEY COULD TAKE A WALK UNDER THE STREET.

Copy of cp 03

084         Copy of Copy of 16 CULVERT ON PARADISE PLACE

EXCAVATING HUMAN SKELETONS

Copy of cp 22

CULVERT AT SOUTH MAIN STREET

MEDIEVAL AND POST-MEDIEVAL  PHASES AT PARADISE CASTLE: 17TH CENTURY STREET PAVING AND TWO PHASES OF THE CASTLE

 Copy of cp 06                             Copy of cp 68      

Copy of cp 08                             Copy of cp01

Part of Queen’s Castle uncovered at junction of Cornmarket Street &  Castle Street, Cork City

http://www.excavations.ie
1996:045. North Main Street/Castle Street, Cork
Urban medieval and post-medieval
1997:037. NORTH MAIN STREET/CASTLE STREET/ ADELAIDE STREET/LIBERTY STREET/DAUNT SQUARE/PARADISE PLACE, CORK
Urban medieval and post-medieval
1997:054. DOLPHIN SQUARE, YOUGHAL
Urban
1998:062. ADELAIDE STREET/KYLE STREET/LIBERTY STREET/NORTH MAIN STREET/PAUL STREET/SOUTH MAIN STREET, CORK
Urban medieval/post-medieval
1998:065. BLACKPOOL, CORK
Industrial
1999:090. BLACKPOOL BYPASS, CORK
Urban industrial
1999:092. CHRISTCHURCH LANE/HANOVER STREET/KIFT’S LANE/LITTLE CROSS STREET/ST AUGUSTINE STREET/ST PATRICK’S STREET/EMMET PLACE/TUCKEY STREET, CORK
Urban medieval and post-medieval
1999:098. SAINT MARY’S OF THE ISLE, CORK
Urban Medieval/industrial

Cork
1996:045
North Main Street/Castle Street, Cork
Urban   medieval and post-medieval
W670720
96E157
Cork Corporation and its Historic Centre Action Plan provided funding to   redevelop the drainage system in North Main Street, Castle Street, Kyle   Street and Adelaide Street during May to October 1996. The trenches proposed   for the new sewerage scheme and for other services were monitored to record   archaeological stratigraphy.In Castle Street part of the remains of the medieval tower of the Queen’s   Castle was found. This was at the east of the street, at the southern part of   the east entrance to the medieval walled port. Parts of the medieval defence   walls were evident immediately to the north of the castle. Portions of the   medieval quay wall were also uncovered in this street; these represent the   wall at the north of the channel which runs under Castle Street and which   divided the North Island and the South Island of Cork City. The walls of   eighteenth/nineteenth-century buildings, including those of two cellars, were   also uncovered.The northern part of North Main Street from the junction with Kyle Street was   excavated. The stratigraphy throughout this portion of the street was   similar: several strata of medieval road-metalling and street surfaces,   sometimes associated with organic debris. These layers were dated to the   thirteenth/fourteenth centuries by the ceramic finds, which included   Redcliffe ware, Saintonge and Cork local wares. Other finds included leather   and faunal remains. Remains of the medieval drainage system were also seen   under some of the medieval street surfaces.Near the junction of both Kyle Street and Adelaide Street with North Main   Street a single wall was uncovered. Each wall ran in a north/south direction.   These walls may be the remains of buildings which fronted these streets prior   to the street-widening scheme in the nineteenth century.
Catryn Power, for Cork Corporation. Cork  
1997:037
NORTH MAIN STREET/CASTLE STREET/ ADELAIDE STREET/LIBERTY STREET/DAUNT   SQUARE/PARADISE PLACE, CORK
Urban   medieval and post-medieval
W670720
96E157
Excavation for the Cork Main Drainage Scheme resumed in January 1997 and   continued until November 1997. The scheme will recommence in February 1998.   Trenches were excavated for sewage pipes and other services within the   archaeological zone of the medieval city.Two portions of the circular tower of the medieval Queen’s Castle were   discovered in 1996 (Excavations 1996, 12) and in 1997 a third portion was   uncovered. The medieval quay wall was seen in three locations at the southern   end of North Main Street for a total length of c. 12m. A corner of a   limestone structure dating to the medieval period was located on Paradise   Place; its exposed length measured 1.1m from north to south and its height   was exposed for 0.5m. It is in the vicinity of the site of the medieval   Paradise Castle.In North Main Street parts of a possible raft foundation for a wooden road   were excavated which were dendrochronologically dated to the 12th century.   These timbers may have originated from structures in the South Island of the   city, where earlier settlement took place, or they may represent a   12th-century suburb on the North Island. Alongside this medieval road lay   probable fronts of timber houses which were also dated to the 12th century.Part of the west wall of a tower-house fronting the old street was found at   the southern end of North Main Street. It was tentatively dated to the   15th/16th century. It was exposed for a length of 4.5m from north to south   and its height survived for 1.5m. This limestone wall has a footing and also   overlies an earlier wall constructed of sandstone and limestone; the latter   was exposed for a length of 9m from north to south and for a height of 1.36m.   The wall of the tower-house was associated with a limestone-paved road   surface, a cambered kerb used as a drain, and a footpath. Immediately to the   north of these remains lay two other lengths of contemporary stone walls of   buildings fronting the street for a distance of 4.5m from north to south;   these had associated stone drains. Further south of the tower-house another   section of street frontage, built of stone, measured 0.85m in length from   north to south, 0.85m in width and 1.3m in height.A double-arched culvert, 10m in width, dating from the 18th/19th century was   recorded in Liberty Street; it lay in an east-west direction extending from   Liberty Street under the buildings on Paradise Place to Daunt Square. This is   the line of the original channel which divided the north and south islands of   the city in medieval times.
Catryn Power, for Cork Corporation, City Hall, Cork. Cork
1998:062
ADELAIDE STREET/KYLE STREET/LIBERTY STREET/NORTH MAIN STREET/PAUL STREET/SOUTH MAIN STREET, CORK
Urban   medieval/post-medieval
W670720
96E0157
Excavation for the Cork Main Drainage Scheme took place within the   archaeological zone of the medieval city from February until October 1998.The medieval city walls were observed in three streets. Two portions were   evident at the western end ofAdelaide   Street, one at the eastern end of Kyle Street and one at North Main Street.   At North Main Street (the North Gate) a second wall, 4m thick and battered,   was built against its south face. These walls were associated with horizontal   timber beams and braces dating to the medieval period. Street metalling   extended south from the city wall.A 17th-century wooden barrel used as a cistern was recorded on Adelaide   Street. It was stave built and bound by wooden hoops.Medieval paving made of flat green sandstone and limestone was exposed for a   length of 3.92m on Kyle Street. This was suggestive of the presence of a   house. Six fragments of moulded Dundry stone, dating to the 13th/14th   centuries, were found on Kyle Street. These originally came from at least one   arch, possibly a church window.

Two substantial structural walls on Liberty Street are probably medieval; one   was 12m long and 1m wide, while the

second had a footing. Lanes and houses   were excavated on Liberty Street; these are depicted on John Rocque’s map of

1773. They were associated with North Devon Sgraffito wares, as well as a   Cromwellian penny token from Clonmel.

Excavations on Paul Street exposed   walls of the original 18th-century buildings fronting the street.

A length of 3.26m of medieval street surface, laid on a foundation of small   stones, was exposed on South Main Street.

It ran in a north-south direction   and was composed of flat red sandstone and limestone. Also on South Main   Street

two medieval timber structures were exposed. One of these is probably   part of a fence or house. It consists of a row

of wattling and a parallel row   of upright timber planks associated with organic packing. The second   structure

consists of horizontal timbers associated with a row of posts. This   may be the base of a boardwalk that is contiguous

with an existing alleyway.   An 18th/19th-century culvert built of red sandstone, running north-south, was   recorded

for the full length of trenching on South Main Street; 1.45m of its   width was evident, while its height was recorded for

2.3m.
Catryn Power, for Cork Corporation, City Hall, Cork.

 

 

Cork  1998:065
BLACKPOOL, CORK
Industrial
W1675007300
97E0457
Phase III of this road project involved the construction of a culvert   from the Glen Road to Brewery Corner. The route of the culvert passes through   sites dating to the 18th/19th centuries, such as Green’s Distillery, a   tannery at Corkeran’s Quay, a mill at Assumption Road, Hewitt’s Watercourse   Distillery (now an industrial estate), Dunn’s Tannery and Water’s Mill.   Before construction a complete architectural and industrial archaeological survey   of sites on the route of the bypass was carried out.

Construction work uncovered the remains of the 18th-century corn- and   flour-mill at Assumption Road and a row of 19th-century houses demolished in   this century at Farrancleary Place. Following demolition of buildings   associated with the distillery, the foundations of a steam mill and the   structure of a chimney were recorded.

A group of five wooden tanning pits of plank-and-post construction was   uncovered and excavated. The pits measured c. 1m2, and the surviving depth   was 0.4m-0.6m. The pits were filled with clay, stones, grit, red brick and   red earthenware. At the base of one pit was a layer of oily debris containing   animal hairs, scraps of leather and some scraps of metal. A Georgian   halfpenny coin, dating from between 1769 and 1805, was found in the silty   clay in which the pits were set.

A layer of residue from the tanning process was recorded at the site of   Dunn’s Tannery. This contained compacted oak chips and bark and possibly   minerals that were used in the tanning process.

The sill-beam and other timbers of a sluice-gate were found in situ at the   outlet of a culverted channel on the north side of the Back Watercourse below   Hewitt’s Watercourse Distillery. Tenoned upright and horizontal timbers were   fixed into, or laid on top of, the beam. A row of holes bored into the   horizontal timbers may indicate the presence of a grating. This site is   probably of late 18th-/early 19th-century date.
Catryn   Power, Cork Corporation, City Hall, Cork.

 

Cork   1999:090
BLACKPOOL BYPASS, CORK
Urban   industrial
16700 07300
97E0457
Archaeological monitoring of the Blackpool Bypass was completed in March   1999. In early 1999 the foundations of a substantial limestone, sandstone and   red brick building with an industrial stack were recorded in the former   Hewitt’s Watercourse Distillery. The building was marked as ‘steam mills’ on   the Ordnance Survey 5-inch map of 1869; however, it was identified as ‘the   entrance to a multi-storey grain store and kiln drying complex’ in the   industrial archaeology survey carried out as part of this development. On the   evidence of the roof construction of a surviving part of the building, it was   dated to the late 18th century.

The construction features of the main stack at Hewitt’s Distillery (a   landmark in the Blackpool Valley) were recorded and found to be comparable to   other industrial stacks in the British Isles. The base of the stack measured   5.5m north-south by 5.2m and was built in the first part of the 19th century,   while the upper levels were built in the 1870s. The stack was 28.9m high. The   lower (and earlier) levels of the outer shell were of mortar-bonded, coursed   red sandstone rubble, and the upper levels were constructed of brick. The   outer shell was strengthened by the insertion of bars of cast iron within the   masonry. The inside of the stack was lined with a layer of large   Staffordshire firebricks. The average size of the firebricks was 0.46m by   0.28m by 0.14m. The firebricks in turn enclosed an unmortared, central,   circular flue of wedge-shaped yellow bricks laid on their beds. The   manufacturer of these bricks was J. & M. Craig, Kilmarnock. ‘The original   purpose of the stack was to create a draught for the boiler furnaces and to   disperse the fumes created by this process. At the lower   levels of the stack two flues were recorded.

Samples from two of the tanning pits excavated in 1998 were analysed by Meriel McClatchie (Archaeological Services Unit, UCC) for   archaeobotanical remains. Both samples contained plant material preserved as   a result of waterlogging. A range of plant species was present in the   samples, providing evidence for foodstuffs and the surrounding environment.   The samples also contained a wide range of other material, including   coprolites, textile fragments, animal hair, mosses, insect remains and   charred and waterlogged wood fragments. The plant material in the samples   probably reflects the background environment around the pits. The weed seeds   present are commonly found in medieval assemblages from Dublin and Waterford   from contexts associated with disturbed and waste ground. The samples did not   contain plant material, such as bark, that can be directly associated with   the tanning process, but leather fragments and animal hair were recovered.
Catryn  Power, for Cork Corporation, City Hall, Cork.

Cork 1999:092
CHRISTCHURCH LANE/HANOVER STREET/KIFT’S LANE/LITTLE CROSS STREET/ST AUGUSTINE   STREET/ST PATRICK’S STREET/EMMET PLACE/TUCKEY STREET, CORK
Urban medieval and post-medieval
W670720
96E0157
Archaeological monitoring of the Cork Main Drainage Scheme has been   ongoing since May 1996. The streets monitored in 1999 that are within the   medieval core of the city were St Augustine Street, Christchurch Lane,   Hanover Street, Kift’s Lane, Little Cross Street and Tuckey Street. Also   monitored were Emmet Place and St Patrick’s Street, which were developed when   Cork expanded beyond the confines of the city wall from the 17th century   onward. The trenches for the modern services were on average 1-1.5m wide,   with a maximum depth of 2.3m.Christchurch Lane
A limestone wall interpreted as part of Hopewell Castle (a tower on the   medieval city wall) was discovered in Christchurch Lane. The line of this   wall was curved. It was exposed for a length of 4.35m and a height of 1m. The   wall corresponds with the ‘site of Hopewell Castle’ as marked on Ordnance   Survey maps. Sherds of imported Minety-type and Ham Green B ware, as well as   Cork-type ware from a sealed layer abutting the north face of this wall,   substantiate a medieval date for its construction.Hanover Street
Part of the western circuit of the medieval city wall was uncovered in   Hanover Street. This limestone wall was orientated in a north-west/south-east   direction and was exposed for a maximum length of 1.1m at its east (inner)   face. The wall was 2.3m wide and was cut by a drain that was probably   contemporary. The east face of the wall was constructed of at least eight   courses of regular limestones and was 0.8m high. A 17th/18th-century drain   obscured the west face of the wall.Organic medieval layers in Hanover Street contained worked leather, Ham Green   B ware and Saintonge green-glazed ware. These deposits occurred directly   inside the city wall and also at the east end of the street, where they were   associated with the scant remains of masonry and wooden structures. The   deposits at the east end of the street were at levels that may correspond   with excavations carried out by Rose Cleary in 1996 (Excavations 1996, 11,   96E0128) on the southern side of the street, near the junction with South   Main Street.A post-medieval wooden barrel was found cut into a medieval organic deposit   directly inside the city wall. The barrel, which may have been used as a   cistern and ultimately as a refuse pit, contained organic material including   pieces of wood, lumps of mortar and brick, and a sherd of North Devon   gravel-tempered ware. The bottom of the barrel was lined with powdered   limestone/calcite. Plant fragments in the barrel have been identified as oat   grains, which suggests that it had been used to carry cereal before it became   a cistern.Kift’s Lane
A 19th-century brick culvert was recorded in the western part of this lane.Little Cross Street
A medieval wall, orientated north-south, was exposed at the junction of   Little Cross Street and Washington Street. The wall had a base batter, and   its construction consisted of a face of coursed limestone and sandstone   rubble with a clay-bonded rubble core. The minimum thickness of the wall was   0.5m, and it survived to a minimum height of 1.2m. The wall may have been   part of a building, such as a house, on this street.St Augustine Street
A portion of the medieval city wall, 1.13m long, was exposed in St Augustine   Street. It follows the line of the city wall excavated in 1992   in Nos 81-83 Grand Parade. The   wall uncovered in this season’s excavation was on a north-south axis and was   constructed of roughly squared limestones. It was 2.18m wide, and the exposed   east face was 1.8m high. The wall had a rubble core of which the exposed   upper surface was bonded with a coarse mortar. There was no evidence of   bonding material on the east face. The west face of the wall was not exposed.St Patrick’s Street and Emmet Place
Archaeological stratigraphy in St Patrick’s Street and Emmet Place consisted   of layers of 18th- and 19th-century rubble that were used to reclaim the   waterways that once ran along the course of these streets. Contemporary   culverts were also recorded.Tuckey Street
Vestiges of at least one or two medieval structures were uncovered in Tuckey   Street. These remains included at least one possible sill-beam house   (represented by three beams) associated with deposits of organic refuse   containing wood, shells, worked leather and pottery. Silts from episodes of   flooding from the River Lee were distributed between the organic layers. A   row of collapsed wattling was associated with a line of posts and stakes at   the same level as the sill-beam house. To the north of this wattling were   remnants of a floor surface consisting of fine gravel with patches of   pinkish-grey clay associated with silty, organic material.A second line of posts was also uncovered within the medieval layers. These   posts were in two parallel lines running for over 4m and ranged from 0.03m to   0.09m in diameter; their length was not fully exposed. They were part of a   house wall or a fence and were associated with collapsed wattling. All of   these features are probably related and may represent the remains of at least   one wooden house and associated fencing. Similar findings were made at nearby   Christchurch, where excavations were carried out in the 1970s.These wooden remains were all within organic layers and were probably   contemporary, or were constructed within a short time frame. The pottery   accompanying these deposits included Ham Green A and B, Redcliffe, Minety and   Saintonge wares dating from the 12th-14th centuries. The medieval archaeology   was present in the eastern part of Tuckey Street near the junction with the   medieval main street.A medieval roadway was seen above some organic levels in Tuckey Street. This   road consisted of a layer of sandstone paving stones and an underlying foundation   layer of stone rubble. This stone surface extended for 25m. The existence of   the road indicated that the trenches for the services followed the east-west   line of a medieval lane.The city wall did not survive in the trenches excavated in Tuckey Street   because the building of culverts in the 18th and 19th centuries had destroyed   it.A stone-lined pit dating to the post-medieval period contained gravel, red   brick, mortar, animal bones, clay, silt, ash, charcoal and large amounts of   post-medieval pottery, including an almost complete North Devon   gravel-tempered ware pitcher. This stone-lined pit may have been used as a   rubbish dump for a house on Tuckey Street. Other post-medieval features   included a street surface (directly above the medieval road) and a wall of a   dwelling with a wooden pile foundation.

Catryn   Power, Cork Corporation, City Hall, Cork

Cork  1999:098
SAINT MARY’S OF THE ISLE, CORK
Urban medieval/industrial
167000 071500
99E0353
Excavation of trenches for the laying of sewer pipes for the Cork Main Drainage Scheme was monitored by archaeologists from Cork Corporation. The work took place in the grounds of the Mercy convent of Saint Mary’s of the Isle. The site is adjacent to a Dominican priory excavated in 1993.

Part of a garden wall, which was 1m high, was excavated; it was discovered that its original purpose was as an 18th/19th-century quay wall on the south bank of a tributary of the River Lee. It was excavated to a height of 3m.

Eighteen walls and associated floorings, culverts and a drystone well were evident in the eastern part of the grounds. These were the remains of the 19th-century buildings of St Anne’s Adoption Society, which had been demolished during the 1970s. This orphanage was founded in 1853. Some of the walls uncovered abutted the quay wall, and these represent the washrooms of the orphanage, while the walls excavated immediately to the south-west are the remains of the dormitories and refectory.

To the south-west of these 19th-century buildings part of a medieval stone structure was discovered. Three substantial walls form the western portion of a room that had a mortared floor; its remaining internal dimensions were 1.15m from east to west and 2.3m from north to south. These walls were built on wooden foundation piles. One of these walls extended from the building for a further 9.47m to the west and may be part of a mill-race that carried water to or from a waterwheel via this channel. Maps dating to the medieval period depict a mill in this vicinity.

Catryn Power, Cork Corporation, City Hall, Cork.

© 2012-2014 Catryn Power All Rights Reserved

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