The museum-cum-grocery store features “several significant archaeological finds” throughout the store that have stood on the site as far back as the 11th century, including a sunken-floored structure, a staircase from a lavish theatre and arches from a terrace of four houses.
The store represents a €3 million investment and has brought 24 new jobs to the Dublin city centre locality where the company has three other stores.
Dublin LGFA star Sinéad Goldrick officially opened the store and welcomed the display of the archaeological remains: “It is incredible to see such a commercial appreciation for the archaeological environment in the preservation and display of the archaeological finds – what a wonderful way to keep our local history alive.
“The store is a very welcomed addition to the locality and I am very much looking forward to the smell of freshly baked breads and pastries from the store’s bakery each day.”
The oldest of the historical remains on display is a sunken-floored structure built around AD 1070 which was found during the excavations at the Scape student accommodation development in the area.
The small sunken building was built by "Hiberno-Norse" Dubliners and used in a variety of ways, likely as a space for storage or craft activities. It has survived due to its sunken nature while the community of houses, outbuildings and plots that once surrounded it has now disappeared.
Also on display in the store is a staircase from the Aungier Street Theatre which stood on the site in the 18th century.
The lavish New Theatre Royal opened in 1733 in “what was then Dublin’s most fashionable suburb” at the corner of Longford St and Aungier St, however, it closed just 13 years later due to bad acoustics.
A terrace of four houses was built following the demolition of the Theatre Royal, with reconstructed brick arch and door cases from these houses on Longford Street now on display in the store.
Originally townhouses for a wealthy elite, these houses became tenement lodging for Dublin’s poor from the 19th century until their demolition in the 1950s.
Substantial foundations of the lost medieval parish church of St Peter on the Hill were also uncovered during excavations for the building, with a large lime kiln excavated and radiocarbon dated to between 1028 and 1155, and roof tiles and decorated floor tiles also recovered.
To mark the opening of the new store, Lidl welcomed representatives from the Simon Community and ALONE to accept a donation of €500 each to support their work for the homeless and elderly people living alone in the Dublin City area.