EYO6855 - 7 Minster Yard




Location 7 Minster Yard
Grid reference SE 6041 5213 (point)
Map sheet SE65SW
Civil Parish York, City of York, North Yorkshire



Rydale Archaeology Service Ltd





Report from a watching brief at 7 Minster Yard, a Grade II listed building, during conversion from a residential property to a school. Trench 1 had a cobble surface with a brick drain thought to be associated with stables. Sturctural evidence was recorded associated with the timber framed building consisting of a single line of east-west aligned bricks and a more substantial stone footing and post pad. This incorporated reused ashlar and architectural fragments (c.12th century) derived from the Minster. Other deposits included accumulations of dark soils and at the limit of excavation a tile drain. The west side of the room had service trenches for sewer pipes set in concrete that destroyed the archaeology. Trench 2 recorded a dark soil and patches of white mortar. There were no clear traces of medieval floors or other activity. Trench 3 had a cobble surface and brick gully similar to that in Trench 1. Stuctural evidence consisting of a stone wall was recorded that incorporated reused masonry and architectural fragments (c.12th century) that added new information to the design of the choir. A mortared area on the south side of the wall may have represented the base for a floor. On the north side was a dark deposit and a quantity of green glazed pottery was recovered from an area of darker sol that may have been a pit or dump at the limit of excavation. Trench 4 identified a cobble surface below which was a sequence of dark soils which overlay another cobbbled surface. The deepest excavation was at the western end and exposed the sleeper wall for the timber framed structure constructed from worn ashlar and architectural fragments of c.12th century. The upper part was also seen in the east end of the trench. Trench 4 also involved work to underpin the boundary wall through the excavation of meter wide pits and undermining the wall. This work recorded at the west end of the boundary wall a brick drain that predated the construction of Deangate. At the east end a stone block floor abutting wall foundations that extended under the boundary wall and indicated the corner of a building and was also recorded in Trench 6. Trench 5 was the largest area observed froming the raft of the new extension. Trench 6 was associated with this work consisting of trenches for new services. This work exposed brick and cobble surfaces disturbed by modern drainage. A rubble wall foundation was recorded that incorporated reused architectural fragments (c.12th century) and a spread of mortar that might relate to the YAT excavation (EYO5238). There was evidence for extensive dark soils comparable to those seen elsewher eon the site. An extensive stone foundaiton aligned east west was recorded and a section of brick walling and was heavily disturbed by modern drainage. In the excavation for new serviices a section of rubble foundation was recorded which incorporated architectural fragments (c.12th century). Trench 7 was disturbed by modern services and Trench 8 identified no archaeology. Trench 9 consisted of three narrow trenches and exposed more of the foundations of a brick wall observed in Trench 4 and indicacted it was constructed on a stone footing. Holes excavated for a metal fence were excavated and identifed further evidence for brick walls likely related to those observed in the main watching brief. The architectural fragments incorporated into the foundations indicate the timber framed structure was built after 1400. Work on the interior of the building which included the removal of walls a chimney stack and the lifting of floor boards produced evidence for the timber frame structure incorporated into the later brick building. This evidence was used to propose the original timber structure was two-storeys with mid rail beams and studs aligned top and bottom standing on a sleeper wall composed of mortared rubblestone and recycled moulded stones. It seems likely that the upper course of stone carrying the timber sill beam had been removed when the timbers were replaced by brickwork or in the case of the west wall the later flooring had been laid down. The building may have been similar to the rear range of 51 Goodramgate. It is suggested the timber frame dates between 1400-1600, with the pottery from the excations suggesting a 15th century date as the most likely.

Sources/Archives (2)

  • --- Unpublished document: Ryedale Archaeology Services Ltd. 2017. A Watching Brief at 7 Minster Yard during construction work to turn the house into a school building.
  • --- Digital archive: NMR. 2019. NMR data.

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

  • 7 Minster Yard (Building)

Record last edited

May 20 2020 12:28PM


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