Margaret Gowen and Co. Ltd., Rath House, Ferndale Road, Rathmichael, Co. Dublin, is a professional archaeological company founded in the early 1980s. The company has carried out a number of archaeological excavations and development-led investigations arising from the requirements of development control and planning process, in line with legal provisions of the Planning and Development Acts (2000) and the National Monuments Acts (1930-2004) and Amendments Acts. The St. Mary's Church Collection is one of many site archives that have been generated through these development-led excavations.
St Mary’s Church (a protected structure) is a late 17th-century galleried church. The church was, most recently, a retail unit. Many of the original fixtures and fittings still survive. The excavations took place in advance of the church's redevelopment and conversion into a licensed premises, including the underpinning of the walls and the insertion of a basement level. The excavation was carried out for Gilroy McMahon, architects. The site is bounded by Mary Street to the north, Wolfe Tone Park to the south, Stafford Street to the west, and Jervis Street to the east.
The first archaeological assessment of the site took place in May 1998 and a number of human skeletal remains were identified in 6 underground crypts. An excavation was carried out in September to record and remove these remains. A second assessment was carried out in December 1998 to the south of the church, in the area between the church and Wolfe Tone Park (originally the graveyard associated with the church). This assessment also uncovered a number of human remains. A second excavation was carried out from 10 May-18 June 1999 to record and remove the identified human skeletal remains in two areas at the south side of the church, to facilitate the construction of fire escapes at crypt/basement level.
A total of 25 full skeletons and 7 partial skeletons were identified and removed during the course of the excavation, and the excavation confirmed that the graveyard of the church originally extended right up against the south wall of the church. The excavation produced evidence that the construction of the stepped entrances to the 4 underground crypts may not have been contemporary with the construction of the main structure of the church, but may have been built during a period of restoration to the original structure. The small chamber containing 8 skeletons in lead coffins between the entrance to Crypt 4 and the Jervis Street boundary was also not contemporary with the original church and probably later in date than the crypt entrance. A large quantity of broken and disarticulated bone was recovered from all areas of excavation and at all levels. The monitoring and excavation of the basement and underpinning of the walls revealed evidence of former heating systems. A large stone was also located beneath the floor of the nave. This appears to predate the church.
Archival History ↴
Transferred by Margaret Gowen and Co. Ltd. To Dublin City Archives, 16 October 2009
Immediate Source Acquisition ↴
Content & Structure
Scope & Content: Margaret Gowen and Company ↴
This collection contains archaeological excavation records from the site St.Mary’s Church, Mary Street, Dublin 2. Includes reports, licenses, notebooks, feature sheets, correspondence, administrative material, registers, research,photo archive, plans, photographs, and slides.
Appraisal Destruction ↴
Collection processed and box lists created by Niamh Collins. Arranged according to document type.
Conditions of Access & Use
Available to view by public who apply for research card in Dublin City Library and Archive Reading Room, 138-144 Pearse street, Dublin 2.
Conditions Governing Reproduction
The terms of the Copyright and Related Acts (2000) allows DCLA to provide photocopies of material for research purposes only. Publication by written permission from Margaret Gowen and Company only
5 boxes, 1 outsize folder
Material Language Script
Characteristics Tech Req
Slide viewer required
Box list available on DCAA Database in Dublin City Library and Archive Reading Room.
Archive Web Link →
Descriptive Control Area
ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description, 2nd ed. Ottawa: International Council on Archives, 2000.