Published Thursday, 14th March 2019
Archaeological works that have been taking place on Stonebow are expected to be complete this week.
The investigation has been undertaken in partnership with York Archaeology Trust (YAT) as part of a £1.1million investment by City of York Council to make major improvements to Stonebow, Fossgate and Pavement in York’s city centre.
The works will improve the street’s appearance and character, create a more pedestrian-friendly environment and improve access for pedestrians and cyclists, which will attract more visitors to the area.
Ben Reeves, YAT’s project manager on the Stonebow site said, “York is famous for its archaeological remains and it is the rich organic preservation to be found at sites like this in the city centre that is so important in enabling us to understand and promote the city's heritage to the wider world.
“Our fieldwork team has been recovering evidence for buildings and property boundaries as well as artefacts and industrial materials. We have found horn and antler and have also recovered well-preserved leather and wooden objects due to the water-logged conditions.
“One of the yards appears to have been used for some kind of water-related processing, with a series of timber-lined pits and a well-preserved wooden drain made from planks. Over the coming days, weather permitting, we will finish removing the archaeological deposits down to the required depth.”
Tony Clarke, Head of Transport at City of York Council said, “We have been working closely with York Archaeological Trust throughout the Stonebow works. Concerns around what historical features may be under the road changed our plans into how we stripped the surface away, however their investigation has not caused any significant delays to the project.”
Stonebow, Fossgate and Pavement will remain closed until early April with further overnight closures to complete the surfacing to follow. Bus diversions remain in place until the roads reopen.
YAT has investigated a series of properties and back yards off ‘LeStainbogh’ later known as Stonebow Lane. This lost lane was demolished in the 1950s to make way for The Stonebow. Stonebow Lane, in the medieval period, was the site of a Masion Dieu hospital ‘which haythe bothe men and women in the same, and is of two paryshings’, and walls of the Carmelite Friary precinct found here by workmen in 1857. Unfortunately, this area was bulldozed in the 1950s without any investigation and much was lost without record.