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 excavation of the site under the licence 03E0654 was carried out for Spencer Dock Development Company Ltd. Monitoring and excavation were carried out on the site of Building C, Spencer Dock, between January and September of 2004. Three principal phases of activity were uncovered. Monitoring on the site of a northern block (RSTUV) was also carried out. To date (2004), 19th-century foundation remains have been uncovered. Phase 1 was Late Mesolithic and relates to fishing and other activity carried out when the Liffey estuary occupied the south of the site. The remains of wooden fish traps, stake rows and miscellaneous pieces of worked wood were preserved in the waterlogged silts. A semicircular wicker structure or fish trap comprised stakes and a series of smaller upright rods, around which rushes had been woven. A radiocarbon date of 6090-5840 cal. BC was returned for this feature. Along the shoreline to the southwest of the fish trap was a deposit of horizontally set roundwoods, radiocarbon dated to 6070-5890 cal. BC. In the south of the site was a row of 36 stakes aligned northeast/southwest; a date of 5920-5720 cal BC was obtained for one of these stakes. Along the western shoreline, to the north of the western stakes, were the remains of a wicker basket type structure and a group of stakes, dated to 5990-5750 cal. BC. On the west of the site were two rows of rods and stakes, a horizontal panel of wicker (dated to 6100-5970 cal. BC) and a fragmentary wicker fence. The fish traps were constructed mainly but not exclusively of hazel and were in a good state of preservation.
Phase 2 was the reclamation of land from the estuary and its floodwaters. Artefacts recovered from these reclamation deposits have been dated to the 18th and 19th centuries. The third phase was the development of the reclaimed land. From the later 18th up to the 20th century a series of structural remains were founded on the reclamation deposits and the site was drained by a series of brick culverts cut into these deposits. In the south of the site, were the remains of a circular masonry structure. Its location roughly corresponds with the windmill at North Wall Quay, which burned down late in 1810. The western wall of a warehouse was uncovered, partly overlying, and post-dating, the windmill wall. To the north, west and south of the windmill structure were a series of 19th- and 20th-century walls and basement floors. A series of five arched vaults was uncovered along the street front and extending under the road. These vaults were filled in and remain in situ.
Archival History ↴
Transferred by Margaret Gowen and Co. Ltd. To Dublin City Archives, 25 September 2009
Immediate Source Acquisition ↴
Content & Structure
Scope & Content: Margaret Gowen and Company ↴
This collection contains archaeological excavation records from the site Spencer Dock, Dublin 1, by Melanie McQuade. Includes notebooks, feature sheets, timber sheets, wooden stake sheets, registers, reports, administrative material,floppy discs, plans, drawings and photographs.
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.
2 boxes, 1 outsize folder
Material Language Script
Characteristics Tech Req
Floppy disc drive 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.