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Thursday 14 November 2019

Archaeologists dig in after ancient ruins found on Apollo site

The massive stone structure found on the former Apollo House site in Dublin
The massive stone structure found on the former Apollo House site in Dublin

The remains of a massive stone building and other archaeological items have been discovered on the site where Apollo House once stood on Poolbeg Street.

The old offices were demolished earlier this year for redevelopment, and a team of archaeologists is now working on the site before any new building commences.

These photographs show a very large stone building once stood on the site.

Wooden beams have also been discovered and the archaeologists have started work on several smaller test pits on the site.

The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht confirmed a licence for archaeological excavations was granted as part of the future planning conditions for the site.

"A chapel built in 1710 was previously located within the site.

"A report on the excavations will be submitted to the department when the investigations have been completed," said a spokesman.

A lot of redevelopment work in Dublin city can only go ahead once an assessment of any historic features has been made.

The developer must first bring a team of professionals on-site to carry out the work and document any findings.

A spokeswoman for Dublin City Council confirmed there is an archaeology condition on the planning permission for the old Apollo site.

"This provides for an archaeological appraisal of, and the preservation, recording and/or protection of archaeological materials or features which may exist there," she said.

One of the pits on the site
One of the pits on the site

"The archaeological appraisal and the monitoring of all site development works is undertaken by an archaeologist retained by the developer.

"It is our understanding the archaeological works on the site are at a relatively early stage."

Thickness

After the demolition of Apollo House and the clearing of the site, concrete piles were constructed deep in the ground all around the perimeter.

Only when they were in place could the ground be excavated, and it was during this phase that old features emerged.

The thickness of the walls of the structure, and their length, indicate that the building which once stood on the site was very large.

Archaeologists carefully excavate the site
Archaeologists carefully excavate the site

Part of it may also be under the now vacant former Department of Health offices adjacent to the site.

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