Wednesday 14 October 2009

Wood Quay Viking wall goes on view

AN UNDERGROUND section of Dublin’s 900-year-old Hiberno Viking city wall has been put on public view for the first time at the Civic Offices at Wood Quay.

The wall was discovered during excavations of the site in the late 1970s and early 1980s in preparation for the construction of the new Dublin Corporation, now Dublin City Council, buildings.

There was significant protest over the construction of the large-scale office complex on the site of a known Viking settlement, with former president Mary Robinson among those who campaigned against the development.

The wall was at the time earmarked for demolition and storage off site, but in the end it was left in situ in the building’s basement in an area used until recently for motorbike and bicycle storage.

Measuring just under 20 metres in length and 4.3 metres in height, the section of wall is now visible through a glass viewing platform, with each stone bearing the identifying number painted on when it had been due for demolition.

“The condition of the wall now is largely as it was when excavated. Nothing has been done to prettify the wall for public view and the numbering on it is part of its story over the last 30 years,” city heritage office Charles Duggan said.

The wall is part of the new Wood Quay Venue at the civic offices which houses a conference and events space and a new permanent exhibition on the development of the city.

The My City exhibition, which opens today, allows the public to view plans for the city through videos and interactive touch-screen maps. There is a webcam where people can record their ideas for the city or their views on plans, or the exhibition itself. Admission is free.

City planning officer Dick Gleeson said the exhibition “takes consultation to a completely new level”.

Irish Times

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