26 Henrietta Street, Wexford
Planning permission was granted for the redevelopment of a vacant site with a two-storey infill building. Monitoring of topsoil-stripping was required. Trial holes were opened to assess ground conditions and the monitoring of these took place.
Three pits were excavated by mechanical digger. The site stratigraphy was characterised by successive layers of fill. The uppermost c. 1m was comprised of 19th-century brick-and-mortar rubble. Only one pit was excavated to a depth greater than 1m and, in this, degraded organic material containing shells, twigs and animal bone was recorded at a depth of 1.5m. This was interpreted as the infill of domestic refuse in the old harbour area during medieval times. Layers of potential archaeological significance did not occur in the uppermost 1m; consequently, the least intrusive option was to build a reinforced raft foundation within these levels. The subsequent removal of soil to a depth of c. 1m throughout the site was monitored. No material of archaeological significance was recorded and the proposed development proceeded. The medieval strata remain undisturbed beneath the foundations.
Maurice F. Hurley, 312 Bruach na Laoi, Union Quay, Cork.
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