From the middle ages to the middle aisle
Published on 9th May 2022
I only heard about this the other day. The remains of an 11th century house are clearly visible beneath a glass section of the floor of the Lidl on Aungier Street.
An ancient Hiberno-Norse structure is viewable through glass floor panels. The clear panes of plexiglass reveal an archaeological site, complete with the sunken remains of an 11th-century home. The Hiberno-Norse people were descendants of Vikings living in Ireland: they were a mixture of Scandinavian and Gaelic heritage.
The glass flooring is part of a joint preservation effort by German grocery chain Lidl, the city of Dublin and the Irish Archaeological Consultancy (IAC). One of the unique displays is sandwiched between shelves of home goods, while the other is situated near the checkout counters.
The building is unlikely to have been a home given its small size but was probably a space used for storage or craft activities. It survived because it was sunken, unlike the surrounding community of houses, outbuildings and plots that have now disappeared. The Lidl also features the remains of 18th century Aungier Theatre staircase and Longford Street Arches, which can be viewed in different areas of the store.
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