EYO137 - Sewer Repair Adjacent To 59 Low Petergate




Location Low Petergate
Grid reference SE 6034 5206 (point)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire



York Archaeological Trust


Apr - 1997



One of a series of watching briefs carried out in March and April 1997 on the refurbishment of a sewer in Low Petergate. The reason for the watching brief was because Low Petergate lies within the known precinct of the Roman Legionary fortress.and is thought to lie over the surface of the main thoroughfare or Via Principalis of the fort. What the watching brief did uncover was good evidence for the layout of the Roman fort as predicted by earlier work. In all six trenches were excavated but only five were observed archaeologically due to dangerous working conditions in one of the trenches.The results of the watching brief showed significant evidence for the Roman period and brought to light changes in the activity of the fort during its lifespan. The changes in the nature of occupation was seen by the fact that there was evidence for periods of abandonment, or at least of drop in the intensity of occupation, evidenced by an accumulation of silty deposits only to be followed by periods of rebuilding or resurfacing thought to indicative of an increase in activity. Overlying the latest phase of resurfacing of the road was a significant accumulation of dark silty materials associated with agricultural activity and this trend only appears to change in the later 11th century and may be associated with the building of this date which was found during excavations carried out by Wenham on the site of the former Fox Inn. No evidence for the street was recovered, however it was thought that the highly organic nature of the deposits overlaying the silty deposits, as described above, was thought to be possible evidence for the street level contemporaneous with that of the 11th - 12th century building. While the location of the via principalis and the stone wall in Trench 5 simply add detail to a fortress plan which is already well understood in outline, the evidence for the late Roman period is very striking; Apparently there was a period during which the via principalis was abandoned and silt accumulated on its surface. Subsequently, as late as the second half of the 4th century, the street was recreated in a form not previously observed on any Roman street at York, by re-using demolition debris. The evidence for the demolition of fortress buildings during the Roman period itself, rather than, as is often assumed, in the Anglo- Scandinavian era, is also strongly indicated in Trench 5, and supports that from the recently published excavation at 9 Blake Street (Archaeology of York 3/4) (INTERIM 1997). Additional NMR source: Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies inc. consolidated index for volumes 1-25 (1970-1994) Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies 385-7 29/1998

Sources/Archives (3)

  • --- Unpublished document: YAT. 1997. Sewer Repair Adjacent To 59 Low Petergate.
  • --- Digital archive: NMR. 2019. NMR data.
  • --- Serial: YAT. 1997/98. INTERIM 22. 1-4. 22/3.

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

  • Legionary Fortress (Eboracum) (Monument)

Child/subsequent Site Events/Activities (5)

  • Sewer Repair Adjacent To 70 Low Petergate (Ref: YORYM:1997.45)
  • Sewer Repair Adjacent To 72 Low Petergate (Ref: YORYM:1997.54)
  • Sewer Repair Adjacent To 81 Low Petergate (Ref: YORYM: 1997.44)
  • Sewer Repair Adjacent To 93 Low Petergate (Ref: YORYM: 1997.46)
  • Sewer Repair Adjacent To 97 Low Petergate (Ref: YORYM: 1997.47)

Record last edited

Sep 20 2021 11:49AM


Your feedback is welcome; if you can provide any new information about this record, please contact the City Archaeologist.