Evidence that Dublin's earliest Viking settlement at Dubh Linn (the black pool on the River Poddle) was a lot bigger than first thought, has just been uncovered.
At present, a garden inside Dublin Castle marks what was thought to make up most of the original Dubh Linn. However, an excavation, taking place on Ship St beside Dublin Castle has discovered it was nearly 400 metres wider extending to the present dig site and where St Michael le Pole church stood.
- the remains of one of the Dublin's oldest churches "St Michael le Pole" (6th century);
- a punishment burial (of a man with his hand and feet cut off - a medieval punishment for insulting a lord or king) outside the church cemetery ;
- walls from a medieval farm;
- the city's oldest police cells on Chancery Lane (built in 1830);
- 12th Century quarries (which provided the stone to build Dublin Castle and its walls).
Archaeologist Alan Hayden from University College Dublin says this discovery solves two questions that has puzzled historians
- why St Michael's Church referred to 'le pole' or the pool and
- how reports that the Vikings had up to 200 ships on the Dubh Linn.
The archaeological dig was undertaken as part of the One Le Pole Square project (a development planned for the site that will consist of a two-storey convention centre below six floors of office space and a new public square). The remains of the original St Michael le Pol church will be viewable to the public below a screen in this new square.
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