EYO11 - Ideal Laundry, Trinity Lane




Location Trinity Lane
Grid reference Centred SE 5995 5152 (61m by 52m) (2 map features)
Map sheet SE55SE
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire



York Archaeological Trust


Feb - 1991



Evaluation: 3 trenches and 2 boreholes. In February and March 1991, the York Archaeological Trust undertook three weeks of evaluative excavation on part of the former ldeal Laundry site, Trinity Lane, York. The work was carried out on behalf of London Ebor Developments PLC, in advance of a proposed office development. Two trenches were opened by machine, but after the removal of approximately 1.Om and 0.4m of modern deposits respectively, excavation was continued entirely by hand. Trench 1 measured 3m square, and was located at the south end of the site, the position of one of the proposed office blocks. This trench was to be excavated to the top of Roman deposits which were expected to extend to a maximum depth of 2.5m below the surface. However, this depth was exceeded, due to the presence of pits cutting both Roman and natural deposits and reached a maximum depth of 3.5m. Trench 2 was also 3m square. It was located at the northern end of the site, where the second proposed affice block was located. It was considered possible that medieval burials might be encountered in this trench and excavation was thus planned to cease when the top of the medieval levels was reached. During the excavation, an exploratory hole was dug into the cellar floor of Towers' Folly (a seventeenth-century building on the site) by Simons Engineering Ltd., and observed by the City Council's Principal Archaeologist. This was recorded (as Trench 3) by the York Archaeological Trust as part of the existing evaluation project. This site represents a most important resource for the understanding of the development of settlement in York. It is in an area of York that is of considerable archaeological potential, where there has been a great deal of destruction of archaeological deposits in the past, but relatively little controlled archaeological investigation. The post-medieval gardens would be of limited interest, although it should be noted that substantial garden features (notably a summer house towards the southern end of the site) might be encountered. Any development at the northen end of the site affecting the remains of post-medieval buildings along the Trinity Lane frontage, and rebuilding works affecting the major brick building (Towers' Folly), would necessitate appropriate investigation and recording. R similar situation is likely for the medieval period, although the remains of domestic and industrial activity in the area behind the street frontage would be of interest. Moreover, any medieval buildings which could survive on the street front and which would be disturbed by the proposed development would require archaeological investigation. In view of our incomplete understanding of even the basic character and extent of the Anglo-Scandinavian town, and Anglian settlement in particular, any evidence of such occupation is of particular importance. The complex late Roman deposits encountered during the evaluative excavations are of exceptional importance, as they are rarely encountered in York. Such remains would provide vital evidence of the transition from Roman to Anglian York. Should destruction of these deposits prove unavoidable, their most thorough archaeological excavation and recording would be necessary. The earlier Roman deposits would be of great interest archaeologically, as the nature of development of the Roman town is still a mystery. The likely presence of substantial masonry buildings might also obstruct deep foundations. Any Prehistoric settlement activity - so far unknown in York - evident on the site would also warrant appropriate archaeological excavation and recording. Apart from the importance of the sequence of deposits, other archaeological aspects have to be taken into account. The significance of the Trinity Lane frontage has already been discussed, but it might also be possible to determine the point at which the Roman street pattern was abandoned in favour of the street layout that essentially survives to this day, this would have implications for York as a whole. 10 Locating the boundaries of Holy Trinity Priory and any of the adjacent pre-Norman Conquest churches would be of great archaeological value; such boundaries, which may be major topographical features such a massive masonry walls or large banks and ditches, might affect any development. Should part or all of the site prove to be within the Priory, the presence of (possibly large masonry) buildings forming part of the Priory complex south of the church is possible. The presence of burials would necessitate appropriate excavation and recording under the Burial Act and its various amendments. In view of the proximity of two churches (and their attendant cemeteries), it is considered a distinct possibility that burials do occur on the site, most likely at the northern and ~outhern ends. Finally, the degree of preservation of certain of the organic remains on the site was found to be quite high, particularly in those deposits that ].ay closer to the water table. Consequently, any features cut into the natural sub-soil probably contain waterlogged deposits bearing well-preserved organic remains and environmental evidence

Sources/Archives (3)

  • --- Unpublished document: YAT. 1991. Ideal Laundry, Trinity Lane.
  • --- Unpublished document: YAT. 2015. SW of the Ouse.
  • --- Digital archive: NMR. 2019. NMR data.

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Child/subsequent Site Events/Activities (4)

  • Ideal Laundry, Trinity Lane: Trench 1 (Ref: 1991.5)
  • Ideal Laundry, Trinity Lane: Trench 2 (Ref: 1991.5)
  • Ideal Laundry, Trinity Lane: Trench 3 (Ref: 1991.5)
  • Ideal Laundry, Trinity Lane: Borehole 2 (Ref: 1991.5)

Record last edited

Feb 10 2021 3:34PM


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