1,000 years of Cork his­tory un­earthed

Irish Examiner - County - - Front page - Sean O’Rior­dan

His­tory buffs are in for a treat to­mor­row night with a spe­cial lec­ture fo­cus­ing on 1,000 years of Cork his­tory dis­cov­ered un­der the for­mer Beamish & Craw­ford brew­ery site.

The free lec­ture, open to the pub­lic, will take place this Wed­nes­day at the Craw­ford Art Gallery, Em­met Place, Cork, start­ing at 8pm.

Ar­chae­ol­o­gists Mau­rice Hurley and Alan Hawkes will out­line the re­cent ex­ca­va­tions at South Main Street, the site of a pro­posed events cen­tre.

Those present will be able to view images of one of the first churches in me­dieval Cork, and the tools and dec­o­ra­tive items used by the then early set­tle­ment dwellers from 1070 up to the city’s de­vel­op­ment through the 19th cen­tury.

The event is be­ing or­gan­ised by the Cork His­tor­i­cal Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal So­ci­ety as part of its win­ter lec­ture pro­gramme.

Af­ter the ex­cite­ment cre­ated by last year’s images of an 11th cen­tury Vik­ing sword, the ar­chae­ol­o­gists will also pro­vide re­ports of the full ex­ca­va­tion of the for­mer brew­ery.

Some of the many ex­cit­ing ar­chae­o­log­i­cal find­ings will be pre­sented by for­mer Cork city ar­chae­ol­o­gist Mau­rice Hurley and his col­league Alan Hawkes.

Among the key dis­cov­er­ies has been a se­quence of street­fronting houses just off Cork’s South Main Street, which show there was a for­malised ur­ban lay­out to the early city by 1070.

The lec­ture will ex­plain the sig­nif­i­cance of Cork’s Hiberno-Norse past, through projects al­ready be­ing de­vel­oped by other sig­nif­i­cant ex­ca­va­tions in the area over the last 15 years.

Fur­ther key find­ings to be out­lined will re­late to the dis­cov­ery of a 13th-cen­tury struc­ture, be­lieved to have been St Laurence’s Church. This was a Nor­man-built chapel that may have stood on the site of a pri­vate chapel used by the last ruler in Cork be­fore the 12th­cen­tury in­vaders who reweaver’s placed the Hiberno-Norse peo­ple de­scended from our Vik­ing con­querors.

The ex­ca­va­tions also un­earthed a wealth of arte­facts that will prove ex­tremely valu­able in ex­pand­ing knowl­edge of early-to-late me­dieval life in Cork.

The work­ings of the city’s short-lived glass in­dus­try in the late 18th and early 19th cen­turies will also be bet­ter un­der­stood as a re­sult of the ar­chae­o­log­i­cal re­search to be out­lined by the guest speak­ers.

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