Location Land to the north of Leeman Road
Grid reference Centred SE 5904 5212 (496m by 112m)
Map sheet SE55SE
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire



Northern Archaeological Associates Ltd





This document presents the results of archaeological monitoring (a 'watching brief ') during redevelopment of an area of land to the north of Leeman Road, York, centred at SE 5915 5215. The re-development scheme comprised construction of the new Siemens Traincare I Facility - Trans-Pennine Express. This included a new maintenance and re-fuelling depot, I replacing an existing re-fuelling depot, together with rebuilding of the existing railway sidings. The development comprised an area 630m long and up to 60m wide previously I occupied by railway sidings lying between Leeman Road and the East Coast Main Line. The monitoring was undertaken by Northern Archaeological Associates (NAA) for Siemens I Transportation Systems and was carried out intermittently during 2006. 1 An initial desk-based assessment had identified the potential for the site to have been crossed I by a Roman road, and Roman burials had been recorded across the area during construction of the adjacent East Coast Main Line during the 1870s. In addition, there was the possibility I for remains relating to prehistoric activity, a medieval tile works and Civil War military 11 activity to be present within the site. Attempted modelling of the deposits across the site, using a combination of historic mapping and geotechnical data, suggested that un-truncated a archaeological remains could have survived construction of the original railway sidings across much of the site. 11 I Much of the re-development of the site was carried out in such a way as to avoid or limit significant disturbance to any archaeological deposits present. Across much of the area, 11 ground-disturbance was limited to removal, sorting and replacement of the upper 300mm of the existing ballast layer, and had no archaeological impact. All of the new structures were 111 erected upon 'stone' columns inserted using the Vibro Replacement method, which did not I produce any arisings and therefore afforded no opportunity for archaeological investigation. Comparison of construction levels for the development with existing ground levels and known 11 depths of made ground indicated that most parts of the scheme would have no sigruficant impact upon any in situ archaeological deposits. The main potential impact upon any a archaeological remains present was predicted to derive from drainage works. Intermittent I monitoring was therefore undertaken during excavation for the drainage scheme except where it could be shown that the works were occurring entirely within made ground. A O watching brief was also undertaken during clearance of the area for the new electricity substation and retaining wall. Other on-going works were examined to ensure that no 11 unanticipated archaeological remains were encountered within other areas of the site. I Recording was undertaken in five main areas across the full length of the site. Monitoring of O smaller excavations such as drainage pipe trenches between these locations gave similar results. At the extreme western end of the site, a pipe trench was excavated to a depth of 2m I entirely within a single deposit of mixed ash, grit and ballast, indicating substantial levellinga up of this area in the past for the railway sidings. 11 I I Further to the east, near the northern edge of the area, excavation of large trenches for construction of retention interceptor and attenuation storage tanks, and a long length of associated pipe trench, showed a consistent profile of 0.4m of ballast, grit and ash some 0.40m thick directly overlying clean natural deposits. A large excavation slightly further to the east near the southern edge of the area recorded some 1.0m of ballast, ash and grit directly overlying clean natural deposits. A further large excavation for construction of an attenuation storage tank at the eastern end of the site recorded 0.6m of 19th or 20th century deposits again directly overlying clean natural clay. An area cleared near the site entrance for a new electrical substation near the site entrance also produced a similar result. O The monitoring did not identify any evidence for surviving archaeological deposits within the area of the development, and no pre-modern artefacts were recovered. Across most of the area, varying quantities of ash and ballast make-up directly overlay clean natural deposits, suggesting that the entire area had been stripped of topsoil and the site levelled prior to construction of the sidings. In view of the known discoveries of Roman burials along the route of the main line across the northern edge of the site during the 1870s, it is quite likely O that further burials will have been present within the adjacent area of sidings. However, under these construction circumstances, such burials would have been easily identified and perhaps excavated without record during the later 19th century. Levelling of the site may have removed other burials and any evidence for the suggested Roman road across the site.

Sources/Archives (1)

  • --- Unpublished document: NAA. 2006. Siemans Traincare facility Leeman Road.

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Record last edited

Apr 7 2020 1:07PM


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