Broadstone Harbour, a glimpse of 19th century life
The site of Broadstone harbour was excavated by Rubicon on behalf of TII, as part of the Luas Cross City Main Infrastructure Civil and Track Works. Broadstone was an important crossing point along the River Bradogue, one of the main northern tributaries of the River Liffey. Broadstone harbour, built on a branch of the Royal Canal, was constructed c.1796-1806. The site had to be drained and levelled, and the River Bradogue had to be culverted. Once the harbour and canal were dug, they were made watertight by lining the base and sides with puddle clay and subsequently lining the sides with granite blocks to create hard edge moorings and tow paths. A rich artefact assemblage was retrieved from the base of the site-levelling deposits, perhaps representing the last stages of preparation activity prior to the formal platforming of the site. The artefacts retrieved from these base layers include over 4,300 sherds of pottery and over 200 leather artefacts.
Following recommendations from several specialists, a representative selection of each artefact type was photographed while artefacts of notable value to the archaeological record were illustrated. The graphics team at Rubicon is proficient in traditional artefact illustration techniques and standards. The chance to illustrate leather artefacts, preserved in the anaerobic conditions of the harbour deposits was a particular highlight on this project.