Project: 40,000 sq ft retail store on Barronstrand Street in Waterford
Contract Value: €7.5m
Handover Date: 23rd November 2009
Archaeological heritage - Archaeological investigations in 2009 ahead of building the new Penneys store revealed upstanding and sub-surface remains of the 13th century city wall. Below the clay were the waterlogged remains of wooden houses, built outside the wall of the Viking city. The wall was fully supported and protected in the temporary state during demolition, then restored under licence, and permenantly supported on completion. The wall is now on full display within the retail store behind a glass screen with historic maps engraved on the glass showing the location of this piece of wall in the medieval city.
Ancient human remains of approximately 40 persons were discovered under the floor slab of the building; these were comprehensively assessed by project archaeologists in accordance with department of the environment and local heritage requirements. This involved carefully exposing, mapping and photographing prior to removal, followed by tagging and recording, then issuing for specialist testing to determine, age, sex, and potential of any trauma or disease.
Architectural heritage - The project was bounded by numerous buildings of significant historic value such as St. Marys Cathedral to the north of the site and Blackfriars Abbey to the south. A temporary works design was put in place with agreement of neighbours, church, and local authorities to protect old walls and buildings during construction.
The archaeological work necessitated some redesign of pile size and location, which was all sucessfully managed.