We’ve been digging in the third courtyard now for over a week, as we prepare to construct a new kitchen in that area. A local firm, Kilkenny Archaeology, has been in during the cold and rain but it’s all proving worth it.  Late last week, they uncovered a 17th century wall going from north west to south east directly outside the back door of the third house. We never knew of its existence before, and it might possibly indicate a separate yard area within the third courtyard. Speculation is that the Rothe family used it to separate themselves from the servants!  Thinking of an Upstairs Downstairs scenario there.

Then this week, the archaeologists went further down and uncovered a waste pit from c. 14th/15th century. This would have been when the Cistercian monks lived on the site, so well before John Rothe even got his hands on it!  The pit was connected to a chute known as a garde-robe which served as a toilet within the house. We have found animal bone remains, medieval roof tiles and very specially what looks like a belt buckle!  It’s in terrific condition, and is made of iron. How that ended up in thewaste pit we can only imagine.