North County Leader

Your No.1 Local Newspaper

Headstone Discovered At Aldi Site

AldiThe memorial stone in memory of Robert Russell, which was discovered during excavation of the site for the new Aldi supermarket on Seatown Road, Swords

The discovery of what looked to be a grave at the site of the new Aldi store at Seatown Road in Swords, may well prove to be a stumbling block to the completion of the project on time.
The memorial structure, which may well turn out to be a headstone was discovered by workmen as they excavated the site. The stone is in memory of Robert Russell and is dated 1627 and is located in the centre of where the car park is to be sited. The area around the memorial stone has been condoned off, as work continues on the rest of the site.
Local resident, Joe Bishop, who lives in nearby St Colmcille’s estate contacted the County Leader about the discovery, and having researched the Russell family heritage, he found out that they were old English settlers, who claimed their origins in Ireland went back to the Anglo-Norman conquest. Although visible in the records from the 1200s, the Russell family didn’t have a large land base. Their main seat was Seatown, situated in present day Malahide. Mr Bishop’s research also revealed that the Russell family engaged in cross-channel trade and had significant wealth by the early 1600s, proof of which is that by 1627, the date on the memorial stone, they completed the building of Drynam House, a substantial manor house built in Jacobean style.
The County Leader contacted Aldi for a comment and a spokesperson said: “Aldi can confirm a prayer stone was discovered during excavation work at the site of its planned Seatown Road, Swords store. Following discussions with the parish council, the prayer stone will be moved to a new location within the grounds of the nearby parochial house.”