EYO4877 - Walmgate/Willow Street, York




Location Walmgate/Willow Street
Grid reference Centred SE 6102 5136 (47m by 66m)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire



York Archaeological Trust





WATCHING BRIEF/ Excavation Contractors levelled the Willow Street area just inside Walmgate Bar, prior to its redevelopment , removed part of the medieval ramparts . Here it is possible to record the build-up of the ramparts with its tip and turf lines (samples of these were taken for pollen analysis) and later retaining walls. Furthermore, those sections nearest the Bar revealed that there was indeed early medieval material buried beneath the ramparts. Excavation of the contractors' trenches revealed a surprising amount of material indicating occupation. The area is known to have been fields for the grazing of animals as far back as we can trace its history, and yet as soon as the trenching began, a building and associated cobbled area, presumably of the 17th century, were revealed. Below these lay an even bigger surprise. A cobbled road, running NE-SW, associated with the late 13th and 14th century pottery, was uncovered. Together with this road , and at right angles to it, were the remains of a large stone hall with a central through-passage. A series of pits cut into this, apparently made when the former building was robbed of its stone, contained a large number of flate roof tiles, which would appear to be 14th century. York Archive Gazeteer Description: A section through the city rampart was examined by this excavation and the natural ground surface appeared to drop at least 2m between the city walls and the churchyard of St Peter-le-Willows. The excavators recorded a charcoal burial and several graves. However, on reassessment of the site archive these features have been interpreted as a charnel pit with the recovery of disarticulated human bone. A cobble surface, which was the medieval precursors to Long Close Lane/ Willow Street was also the likely boundary to the burials. The burials are almost certainly a part of the churchyard of St Peter-le-Willows which lay to the north of the medieval road. The remains of a building were interpreted as part of this church. A building fronting the medieval street front was also found along with several pits and a well. A post-medieval building and cobble surface indicate at least a partial blocking of the street during this period. A Victorian cellar was also encountered. NMR sources: Interim : bulletin of the York Archaeological Trust 1.2/1973/36-37 Medieval archaeology : journal of the Society for Medieval Archaeology Index to vols 1-5 (1957-61); 6-10 (1962-66); 11-15 (1967-71); 16-20(1972-76); 21-25 (1977-81); 26-30 (1982-86); 31-35 (1987-91); 36-40 (1992-1996) XVIII/1974/205 York Archaeological Trust annual report Library set lacks 18th report (1988/89) /1976/6 Yorkshire Philosophical Society : annual reports /1973/21 NMR: Excavations at Walmgate/Willow Street in 1973 located a stone 14th century hall and two post-Mediaeval streets.

Sources/Archives (5)

  • --- Microform: YAT microfiche archive 1973.8.
  • --- Serial: YAT Annual Report 1973.
  • --- Website: York Archaeological Trust. York Archive Gazeteer.
  • --- Serial: York Archaeological Trust. 1973. INTERIM 1. 1/2 pages 36/37.
  • --- Digital archive: NMR. 2019. NMR data.

Related Monuments/Buildings (3)

  • St-Peter-in-the-Willows (Monument)
  • Walmgate/Willow St medieval structures (Monument)
  • YORK CITY WALLS Rampart between Walmgate Bar and Fishergate Bar (Monument)

Child/subsequent Site Events/Activities (4)

  • Walmgate/Willow Street, York (Ref: 1973.8)
  • Walmgate/Willow Street, York (Ref: 1973.8)
  • Walmgate/Willow Street, York (Ref: 1973.8)
  • Walmgate/Willow Street, York (Ref: 1973.8)

Record last edited

Jun 24 2021 2:38PM


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