Location Swinegate/Church Street
Grid reference SE 60354 51964 (point)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire



York Archaeological Trust





Watching brief at the junction of Swinegate and Church Street demonstrated that previous utility work had removed all medieval deposits. The compact cobbles of a road surface were observed, likely associated with intervallum rod around the interior of the fortress defences. In the earliest surfaces of this road was the cut for a Roman drain made of two semicircular tile 10-15cm in diameter. This was aligend towards Swinegate. A second phase of work monitored repairs further along Swinegate outsuide the Elim church, but the top most 1.50m were removed without record. This had truncated the top of a Roman wall by c0.60m. The wall was first identified in the north-east corner of the trench and extended for 0.80m before turning 90 degrees into the eastern section. Limestone rubble had accumulated against the face of the wall which was excavated below which was a clay layer that overlay a mortar and opus signium surface extending 0.75m across the trench, into which was a tile drain running parallel to Swinegate. in the south-west corner of the trench appeared a 0.19m ‘block’ of mortar on top of two large red sandstone blocks. These blocks, and the mortar, were not keyed into the main wall. As the trench was levelled several more sandstone blocks appeared. These did have mortar on the occasional surface but they were not bonded to each other and it seems that they were rubble placed against the wall during demolition/backfilling. The modern sewer had been dug under the wall and not tunnelled through it. The final phase of work, a further 9m to the north-west along Swinegate, exposed nearly 3m below the present street level, underneath modern deposits, layers of mortar, tile/brick, limestone and opus signinum rubble, interpreted as a levelling/demolition context. This contained several pilae, large flat tiles, 0.22m square and 0.06m deep, bonded to each other. One pilae did still exist in situ in the north west corner of the trench however, bedded onto a tile. It Is probable that all the pilae were originally aligned on these tiles which were bonded to a opus slgninum floor surface. This surface had a thin coating of soot, interpreted as the remains of flue gases which passed under the original raised floor surface, supported by the pilae. The opus signinum floor was bedded on 0.25m of loose cobbles and gravel, covering another opus signinum floor which was neither fully exposed nor excavated to its full depth Derived from Marwood, R. 1990. 'Sorry about the smell…an enduring chronicle' in Interim Vol.15 No.3 pp.20-26. SYO2575

Sources/Archives (2)

  • --- Excavation archive: YAT. 1991. YAT SMALL SITES ARCHIVE.
  • --- Serial: York Archaeological Trust. 1990. Sorry About The Smell But. . . an enduring chronicle. 15/3.

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Parent/preceding Site Events/Activities (1)

  • Swinegate sewer (repair 2) (Ref: 1990-91.20)

Child/subsequent Site Events/Activities (1)

  • SWINEGATE SEWER REPAIR 2 (Ref: 1990.20)

Record last edited

Nov 11 2020 10:53PM


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