EYO4931 - High Ousegate




Location High Ousegate
Grid reference Centred SE 6034 5169 (14m by 14m)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire



Not recorded.





Construction work observed and recorded by the York architect George Benson at 25,26, 27 High Ousegate which’commenced in September, 1902, and was completed by the end of January, 1903’ and which he reported’ in the 1903 Annual Report of the Yorkshire Philosophical, Society. Benson records structural features and lists the type of finds which were found during work. This list almost certainly includes some of those finds which found their way to the museum in Hull and comprised numerous antler and bone pieces, many ornamented, in one case carved into an animal’s head, another depicting a human head. He reports ‘several horn [?antler] combs, with backs and ends shaped, had ornamental designs formed by lines. A few horn [?antler or bone] pocket knife hafts were found, also a razorlike haft with incised lines at end and in centre’. He refers to whetstones with pierced ends and, most interestingly, to a hone with a ‘lead end also pierced’. Some of the finds Benson describes not surprisingly have not survived, since without conservation they would soon deteriorate. The finds from High Ousegate included Roman as well as medieval and post-medieval material, and several activities had taken place on the site at different times. Benson records that ‘when digging was general [across the site?] as much as 20 stones of bones and horns were gathered in one day, 12 stones on other days'. and elsewhere he notes that ‘Two barrow loads of thin copper 6 inches by 1 inch were found. Clearly only a fraction of what was recovered has survived. Seventy years later there was another opportunity to carry out observations at this site when, in 1974, a lift shaft was put into the Habitat shop which currently occupies the site. This work gave an opportunity to review Benson’s conclusions and, on the basis of the recent discoveries at 16-22 Coppergate, to propose that the structures Benson saw were not tan pits but basemented buildings such as were recovered from the late 10th and early 11th century levels there. This then explains the marked similarity between the Coppergate and the High Ousegate assemblages (INTERIM 1995). Parent record for deposit model point.

Sources/Archives (2)

  • --- Bibliographic reference: RCHME. 1962. Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of York, Volume 1 Eboracum. 1. 59.
  • --- Serial: YAT. 1995. INTERIM 20. 1-4. 20/1.

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Child/subsequent Site Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Sep 17 2021 11:58AM


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