Extensive archaeological excavations are being carried out in the grounds of Dublin Castle by the Office of Public Works (OPW) and to date they have uncovered over 100,000 artefacts from medieval times, including remains of Viking Dublin.
The excavations, which began in 1985, are taking place before a series of new buildings are built as part of a £2 million development plan in Dublin Castle. So far, they have revealed the history old Dublin and the road surface of that time, as well as the walls of the old Dublin Castle on which construction commenced in 1204 by order of King John.
Conleth Manning of the National Parks and Monuments Branch of the OPW is excavating at the Genealogical Office and in the area of the Powder Tower of Dublin Castle. He describes the parts of the medieval castle uncovered, as well as the moat, some of the city wall and portions of arches in the town walls.
We have found some artefacts going back to the 10th century when the Vikings settled in Dublin first... We have found some bone combs, what may be a saw and amber beads and other artefacts from that period.
The building of the new structures in Dublin Castle is due to commence in 1987 but the archaeological implications of the proposed development were considered from the very earliest stages of the project.
Our intention now is to consider adapting the plans towards causing the minimal disturbance to those finds.
An RTÉ News report by Vere Wynne Jones broadcast on 17 October 1986.