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 Tram Street/Phoenix Street Collection is one of many site archives that has been generated through these development-led excavations.
Two adjacent excavations were undertaken along Line A of the proposed LUAS. The excavated areas were located along two strips of ground on either side of Bow Lane. The area to the east, between Bow Lane and Church Street (Tram Street), and the area to the west of Bow Lane, which ran parallel to Phoenix Street North and was separated from it by a late 19th-century concrete wall. The work was undertaken between 2 April and 15 June 2001. The excavation identified 5 phases of activity over the Tram Street site.
Phase I related to post-medieval reclamation work and was characterised by the presence of large dumps of river gravels and garden soils. Phase II related to the late 17th- and early 18th-century domestic occupation of the site, with walled gardens backing on to the metalled laneway transecting the site. Phase III included the further consolidation of the laneway and the early industrialisation of the area. Phase IV was characterised by the upper levels of solidified foundry waste, which covered most of the site. Phase V was mostly associated with 20th-century disturbance, which took the form of massive concrete foundations. Successive layers of post-medieval dumping were recorded on the Phoenix Street site. The whole area had been built upon by the 1840s and the foundations of these and earlier buildings were recorded. Two stone-lined well shafts were recorded, one with its capillary pump surviving. It is likely that the northern side of Hammond Lane was formally built upon during Phase I, with associated garden plots extending northwards to the rear. By 1728, the whole area had been built up to the quays and the laneway had developed to service the rear of the Hammond Lane plots. A cellar return excavated in Phase II is undoubtedly part of the large building depicted by John Rocque (1756) on the southern corner of Bow Lane and the unnamed laneway running across the site. A decorated plate was recovered from the cellar fill dating from 1748. The well in the yard to the rear is typical of similar structures recorded elsewhere in the city. It is likely that it went out of use as piped water was introduced to the area towards the middle of the 18th century. The close corroboration between the dating of the material recovered from the backfill of the cellar and the introduction of piped water to the area, would indicate that the building occupying the Bow Lane plot may have been demolished as early as the 1750s or 1760s. An adolescent male skeleton was recovered approximately 22m south of the present precinct wall of St Michan’s Church and graveyard, This was an isolated burial, dating from the middle of the 18th century. The structures and deposits associated with the Phase III occupation of the site date from the period just before the area became industrialised. The activity recorded to the rear of the Bow Lane property, the backfilling of the well and the demolition of the early 18th century building point to the future shape of the area, which was to become increasingly less residential and more industrial. The deposits recorded on Phoenix Street suggested that the area had been an open dumping ground until the mid 18th century. The finds recorded from the earliest levels excavated suggest a mid 17th century date and include imported pottery and fragments of clay pipe and fine glassware. This particular location has been used for dumping since at least 1468, when this end of Hammond Lane was officially designated for this purpose by the city assembly (Gilbert 1889–1944, I, 329).
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 Tram Street/Phoenix Street, Dublin 7, by Franc Myles. Includes: registers, finds sheets, feature sheets, context sheets, pottery sheets, catalogues, notebooks, research, notes, reports, administrative material, 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
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.
3 boxes, 1 outsize folder
Material Language Script
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.