Kilkenny Archaeological Society has welcomed the findings of an independent assessment of the Vicar Street houses in the centre of Kilkenny city, slated for demolition for the Central Access Scheme (CAS).
The society said that the independent archaeological evaluation took place on April 30 and confirmed that a medieval structure and substantial below-ground archaeological remains are present on the site.
Cóilín Ó Drisceoil of Kilkenny Archaeological Society welcomed the outcome of the independent assessment and the local authority’s decision to reverse their proposal to demolish the medieval building at No.22 Vicar street.
“I wish to thank the county manager Mr. Joe Crockett for facilitating the independent study that confirmed the existence of this important medieval structure on the site. Specifically, this is the gable of a building with a fine cut-stone window and chimney flue that dates to c.1600, around the same age as the famous Rothe House on Parliament street, Kilkenny. Buildings of this vintage are extremely rare in Ireland and it would have been a huge mistake if it had been removed for the Central Access Scheme,” he said.
The country’s leading authority on medieval Kilkenny, John Bradley said: “Whilst I am very pleased that the medieval gable will be retained I remain to be convinced that it can be properly protected and presented on the side of a very busy new road, the Central Access Scheme. Given what we now know about the archaeology of 21-22 Vicar street the case for the protection of the entire site, not just the gable, as a national monument is greatly strengthened. These new revelations afford an opportunity to put a halt to construction of the Central Access Scheme and proceed instead with the ring road.”