Dublin
1998:191
ST CATHERINE'S CHURCH, THOMAS STREET, DUBLIN
Urban medieval
O147339
98E0236
St Catherine's was a parish church in medieval Dublin, and the original building is thought to have occupied much the same site on Tomas Street as the present church, which dates to c. 1707. It is a fine example of a galleried church, a type common in Dublin from the late 17th century. The main facade, which survives intact, is of granite. In the interior the timber-fronted gallery survives relatively intact. It consists of superimposed Doric columns that hold the continuous galley above. There are also the remains of an organ. The church was substantially renovated in the recent past but was later badly vandalised, with many of the timber fittings removed. In the crypt at the east end of the church there are up to nine lead-lined coffins, some highly decorated. The remains include those of the Earl and Countess of Meath, Lord and Lady Brabazon.

Archaeological monitoring of excavations, which formed part of refurbishment works at the church, was carried out between February and July 1998. The excavations consisted of a general reduction of ground level in the nave and in an annexe at the south-east corner of the church, the excavation of a pit in the centre of the nave to facilitate the construction of a new baptismal font, and the excavation of a trench for drainage pipes at the rear of the church.

Archaeological deposits were recorded in the pit in the centre of the nave. These indicated that there was considerable infilling of soils and rubble before or during the construction of the church. Large dumps of disarticulated human bones recorded in some of these layers suggest that a number of earlier human graves, probably associated with the medieval church, were disturbed during the construction of the church. However, there was no evidence of in situ medieval deposits or any human burials in any of the excavated areas.
Tim Coughlan, c/o Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd, 2 Killiney View, Albert Road Lower, Glenageary, Co. Dublin.





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