Archaeologists believe a dock and harbour at Ushers's Quay Dublin was used by a Norman wine merchant.

The small Norman harbour was discovered 25 feet below ground level on the south side of the River Liffey at Usher's Quay in Dublin city centre.

The discovery was made on the site of the old Provincial Hotel less than half a mile from Wood Quay.

A team of excavators found a gap deliberately left between the old north west city wall and then discovered a well preserved wooden dock inside an internal harbour with a water gate closing off the entrance.

It is thought that the dock, which was built entirely of wood, may have been used by a Norman wine merchant. Archaeologists suggest that it was possibly a private enterprise meaning that a commercial deal may have been in place between merchants and those governing old Dublin city. The excavators say that they have also found the remains of a boat on the site.

President Mary Robinson visited Usher’s Quay where she was shown around the site. President Robinson said that it was wonderful that this discovery happened during Dublin’s reign as the European City of Culture. She also pays tribute to the developers who have enabled this new find for the city.

It teaches us more about the early Dublin.

Archaeologists now want to raise and preserve this Norman harbour, a project which is estimated will cost around £20,000.

An RTÉ report broadcast on 14 May 1991. The reporter is Bob Powell.