EYO846 - Shipton Street School




Location Shipton Street School
Grid reference SE 5998 5305 (point)
Map sheet SE55SE
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire
Civil Parish York, City of York, North Yorkshire



Field Archaeology Specialists


May - 2007



An archaeological desk-based assessment was undertaken by Field Archaeology Specialists (FAS) Ltd, of the site of Shipton Street School, York, on behalf of Knight Frank LLP, for Mr T. Reeve, Advent Developments. NMR Information: no additional description provided The assessment was carried out concurrently with a PPG15 Assessment of the school building, and aimed to characterise the development of the area from prehistory to the modern day, to assess the archaeological potential of the site, and to ascertain the likely impact of further development. The assessment identified very little evidence for prehistoric activity in the wider area, as is typical for York. During the Roman period, the Shipton Street site would have been situated between, and some distance from, two main areas of Roman funerary activity, focussed on the main thoroughfares from the Roman fortress. Burials have been encountered within 300m of the site, in addition to linear features, possibly indicting field boundaries, closer to the site, at depths of less than 1.0m below ground level. Early medieval activity is not well attested in the area, although the name‘Bootham’ is of Old English origin, deriving from bodum meaning ‘at the booths’, possibly referring to market stalls in the area; the fact that this was a largely open area is suggested by the find of a 9th century coin hoard. Into the medieval period, suburban development occurred along Bootham, portrayed in documentary sources as a mixture of small tenements and gardens. The Shipton Street area lies between this settlement and the rural township of Clifton, and as such is likely to have been situated in agricultural land, some of which would have been given over to arable, sufficient to support a mill that was situated on Burton Stone Lane (then Chapel Lane). Within the surrounding landscape, a hospital and associated chapel, dedicated to St Mary Magdalen, were situated at the end of Burton Stone (Chapel) Lane. This site also marked the extent of the liberty of York; the ‘Burton Stone’ represents a medieval stone that would have marked this boundary. Some distance to the east, in an area known to have been used for the Horsefair, a Carmelite Friary was established in the 13th century, later replaced by a hospital dedicated to St Mary. The character of the area would have remained much the same into the post-medieval period, with some damage to the Bootham suburb caused during the Siege of York. Cartographic sources, such as the plan of York by Jacob Richards (1685), show the continuation of the ribbon settlement along Bootham, as this became an increasingly fashionable area. Land to the rear of these properties, however, remained open fields. A turning point came in the early 19th century, when the estate of Clifton, with large quantities of land in the area, was sold off by Earl de Grey. The accompanying plan of lots, dating to 1836, shows the Shipton Street School site as open fields. The sale of this land paved the way for residential development in this area; terraced streets were constructed throughout the 19th and 20th century, to serve the increasing population of the city, and it was in the context of this growth that the school itself was constructed. Since its establishment in 1890, the site has remained in use as a school until closure in 2002.

Sources/Archives (2)

  • --- Unpublished document: FAS. 2007. Shipton Street School.
  • --- Digital archive: NMR. 2019. NMR data.

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)


Record last edited

Aug 14 2019 9:32AM


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