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 archaeological excavation at this site was undertaken between 26 February 2003 and 28 March 2003. The archaeological excavation and programme of monitoring were carried out for Interactive Project Management on behalf of Shelbourne Developments Ltd., as a condition of the planning permission issued for the development by Dublin City Council (Planning Reference 1527/02). This development involved the refurbishment and re-organisation of the existing buildings at 14-18 Aston Quay. An archaeological assessment was carried out in advance of construction works which established that substantial undisturbed deposits of land reclamation soils survived at the section of the basement corresponding to No. 18 Aston Quay, as well as possible structural remains. Following on from the excavation, ground works at the site were the subject of a programme of archaeological monitoring. The archaeological excavation identified three phases of activity at the site.
The earliest phase of activity was associated with land reclamation deposits. A comparison of the evidence from the excavation with cartographic and historical sources indicates a maximum date range of c.1660-c.1728 for this phase. The second phase of activity at the site was associated with structural remains predating the extant building. Historical sources indicate that the present No. 18 was originally divided into three plots. These divisions appear to correspond to the structural walls recorded during the excavation. Phase II appears to date to the period c.1728-c.1830.
The final phase of activity was associated with the construction of the extant building and the subsequent refurbishments and alterations to that structure. The three plots associated with Phase II would appear to have been amalgamated c.1830, with the construction of No.18. During the course of the 19th century the various plots within the block were acquired by McBirney, Collins and Co., beginning with No.'s 16-17, and the buildings were amalgamated. This culminated in 1899 with the total restructuring of the entire block to create the present building.
The history of Aston Quay begins in the early 17th century. From c.1600 onwards there was a major drive for land reclamation along the edge of the river Liffey, north and south. In 1600, the banks of the river Liffey, east of the medieval town, approximated their original natural line. However, by 1700 the channel of the Liffey had been narrowed east at least as far as John Rogerson's quay to its approximate modern extent. Though Aston Quay proper is first illustrated on Brooking's map of 1728, it is possible to identify the quay wall on earlier maps.
Archival History ↴
Transferred by Margaret Gowen and Co. Ltd. To Dublin City Archives, 20 October
Immediate Source Acquisition ↴
Content & Structure
Scope & Content: Margaret Gowen and Company ↴
This collection contains archaeological excavation records from the site 14-18 Aston Quay, by Teresa Bolger. Includes administrative material, conservation
records, reports, photographs and plans.
Appraisal Destruction ↴
Collection processed and box lists created by Paul Brett. 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.
1 Box, 1 Outsize Folder
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.