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An excavation at Evans’ Home, a Victorian period charitable home for poor and destitute servants, on Barrack Lane, Kilkenny City.

The project required excavation to different levels across the site, the securing of upstanding masonry walls and the safeguarding of buried services. The site was formerly part of the late medieval Augustinian Priory of St. John the Baptist, from the mid-thirteenth century until it’s dissolution in the mid-sixteenth century. Some parts of the original priory church still survive. The site was subsequently used as an infantry barracks in the eighteenth century, elements of which survive in the façade of Evans’ Home and the property walls.

Several medieval wall foundations and cobbled surfaces were identified. Elements of the medieval priory included a fragment of cloister wall, cobbled surfaces and ancillary structures. Radiocarbon dating of deposits associated with these structures indicated use during the thirteenth/ fourteenth centuries. One structures had large spreads of lime vitrified stones suggesting a lime kiln. A lime kiln at this location is recorded in historical documents.

The disarticulated remains of at least 6 adults and 3 juveniles were found among post-medieval reclamation/ demolition deposits. Medieval artefacts from the site included imported (French) and locally produced late medieval pottery, iron objects (knife, key and nail fragments), carved/ dressed stone, and roof and floor tiles. There was also a wide range of post medieval pottery, glass and clay pipe.

View of excavation area, showing Evan’s Home with the remains of St. John’s Priory to the rear.

Close up the late medieval structures.

Disarticulated bone from the site with evidence for tooth abscess.

Historical map excerpt showing “The Barracks” in the late eighteenth century