Helen Kehoe is a freelance archaeologist, based in Stoneybatter, Dublin 7, who specialises in private sector pre-development archaeological assessments and resolution of medieval and post-medieval sites.
Pim Street dates from 1813 and was named after John Pim, a merchant of Pim & Goodbody. The site revealed the remains of a stone and red-brick culvert along the Forbes Lane/Pim Street frontage. Cartographic evidence suggested that the culvert formed part of the 19th-century reservoir known as the ‘Liberty Basin’, built on the site in the 1820s, then owned by W. Brabazon, the Earl of Meath. After protracted negotiations between the various statutory bodies of the day and the Earl of Meath, the Liberty Basin was built in 1820–21 to supply water, via fountains to the Liberties area, which had to date lacked a clean and abundant source as enjoyed by other parts of the city under the control of the Corporation.
At least three quarters of the Liberty Basin built in 1820 was revealed during excavation. The north-east quadrant of the basin is probably still intact under the adjoining property, which has a warehouse built over it. The remains uncovered were in good condition and mostly intact, with only some earlier removal and intervention. The original 10-inch cast-iron pipe inlet, which allowed water to enter the basin from the Grand Canal watercourse, was found. This south-west corner had been heavily reconfigured in later times, and so it was difficult to ascertain precisely the exact water flow path from the pipe inlet.
It would appear that the water may have entered into the channel between the two stone curtain walls filling the basin; the sloping red-brick finish on the culverts indicated the water level of the basin. As the amount of water received from the canal source was controlled and not continuous, the culvert probably acted as a holding area for water in the event of shortages, and this culvert was controlled by the granite tank-head located at the south-east corner of the basin. This tank-head had sluice-gated outlets from the culvert, and into the basin. Cast-iron pipes on its south section functioned as possible outlets (in the event of water over-supply) to the Poddle River, which flowed past the basin at this corner. There was no paved floor to the basin.
The basin was eventually decommissioned and used by the then adjacent Jameson Distillery to store and sell spent grain from their brewing process. A stone warehouse for industrial use was eventually built over the basin. Three sections of the basin are to remain on view within the new development at ground level. The remaining basin structure is intact under the new build.
Archival History ↴
Transferred by Helen Kehoe to Dublin City Archives in Apr 2010 and Jan 2014.
Immediate Source Acquisition ↴
Content & Structure
Scope & Content: Helen Kehoe ↴
This collection contains records from a site at 7 Pim Street, Dublin 8, excavation licence number 06E0882, by archaeologist Helen Kehoe. Includes: notes, administrative material, reports, plans, photographs and digital records.
Appraisal Destruction ↴
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. Researchers wishing to publish will be obliged to write to Helen Kehoe for permission to do so.
1 box plus digital records
Material Language Script
Database of Irish excavations, www.excavations.ie.
Descriptive Control Area
ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottawa: International Council on Archives, 2000
Date of Descriptions