EYO17 - 14 Skeldergate, Scottish Heritable




Location 14 Skeldergate
Grid reference Centred SE 6018 5155 (10m by 0m) (2 map features)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire



York Archaeological Trust


Jul - 1991



York Archaeological Trust undertook six weeks of evaluative excavation at 14 Skeldergate, York (NGR SE 60175157) during July and August 1991. The work was undertaken on behalf of The Scottish Heritable Trust and followed a specification issued by John Oxley, York City Councils Principal Archaeologist. Nine boreholes were observed and three trenches were excavated to determine the nature of the surviving archaeological stratigraphy. A series of six boreholes was located along the edge of the site adjacent to Queen's Staith Road to establish a profile across the site at right angles to the River Ouse. Three other boreholes were observed as they were drilled, one close to each of the three hand excavated trenches. The trenches each measured 3m x 3m. Trench One was dug to 5m Above Ordnance Datum with the intention of examining the archaeological sequence in detail to the level to which it would be destroyed by the proposed development. Trenches Two and Three were excavated to establish the height to which medieval deposits were preserved. Modern deposits appear to be confined to within lm of the surface over much of the site, and to a maximum of 2.0m within a restricted area. Thus anly the post-medieval depasits have been truncated. From between the Skeldergate street frontage to a point close to the river some 5-7m of well preserved, well stratified, almost entirely waterlogged archaeological deposits survive. The evaluation demonstrated that the deposits were likely to have all the merits usually associated with those from waterfront sites. The sampled areas in the evaluation excavation indicated structural remains from approximately 8.l0m AOD, which provide evidence of the preservation of medieval Skeldergate properties and of riverside buildings. The deposits demonstrated the potential to provide archaeological data of the highest quality in revealing a complete sequence of activity in an area which appears to have been utilised domestically and industrially from Roman times onwards. Ceramic and environmental data recovered in the evaluation exercise have likewise been shown to be of the highest quality. The site offers an undisturbed record of the development of both the Skeldergate frontage and the riverside from Roman to late medieval times. It is the likelihood of a complete sequence of well stratified waterlogged deposits covering all periods which make this site of such potential archaeological value, since it has the capacity to answer a number of questions which are of prime importance in the understanding of the development of the city of York. These questions relate to the changing position of the river crossing and waterfront development, particularly in the Roman, Anglian and Anglo Scandinavian periods. Developments in the waterfront and usage of the land in this area of prime importance during the medieval period could also be illuminated by excavation of this site. The evaluation has shown deposits af such clear archaeological importance and quality that their loss either through truncation or from wholesale removal would represent a major diminishing of the archaeological heritage. Such is their integrity and research value for the city that even the prospect of intrusion by foundation with the concomitant unknown danger of damage to the remains through variation in the water table must be a cause for concern. Every effort should be made to ensure the total preservation of these deposits they must merit further extensive excavation if they are to be destroyed by development. RCHME microfilm PRN 3656. NMR sourecs: Virtual Catalogue Entry to support E.I. Migration 1991/Report on an Archaeological Evaluation at 14 Skeldergate, York. York Archaeological Trust annual report 23 /1991-92

Sources/Archives (2)

  • --- Unpublished document: YAT. 1991. 14 Skeldergate, Scottish Heritable.
  • --- Digital archive: NMR. 2019. NMR data.

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

  • Eboracum (Roman York) (Monument)

Child/subsequent Site Events/Activities (9)

  • 14 Skeldergate, Scottish Heritable: Trench 1 (Ref: 1991.14)
  • 14 Skeldergate, Scottish Heritable: Trench 2 (Ref: 1991.14)
  • 14 Skeldergate, Scottish Heritable: Trench 3 (Ref: 1991.14)
  • 14 Skeldergate, Scottish Heritable: Borehole 4 (Ref: 1991.14)
  • 14 Skeldergate, Scottish Heritable: Borehole 5 (Ref: 1991.14)
  • 14 Skeldergate, Scottish Heritable: Borehole 6 (Ref: 1991.14)
  • 14 Skeldergate, Scottish Heritable: Borehole 7 (Ref: 1991.14)
  • 14 Skeldergate, Scottish Heritable: Borehole 8 (Ref: 1991.14)
  • 14 Skeldergate, Scottish Heritable: Borehole 9 (Ref: 1991.14)

Record last edited

Jun 9 2020 3:26PM


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