Monument record MYO2010 - York Railway Station Roman Cemetery

Summary

A large 2nd-4th century AD Roman cemetery, consisting of inhumations and cremations, was destroyed when York's railway station was built in the 1840s. In terms of present-day topography the main area may be defined more accurately as including Station Road S.W. of the Cholera Burial Ground, the railway lines immediately S.W. of Queen Street bridge as far as the Railway Museum, the Railway Station, the Royal Station Hotel and part of its garden, the approach lines N. of the main line as far as the engine shed and Scarborough Bridge and the lines between the Railway Station on the E. and Cinder Lane on the W. Burials also occur within the mediaeval walls, but none has been found in the low-lying land between the Cholera Burial Ground and the river.

Location

Grid reference Centred SE 59564 51789 (368m by 589m)
Map sheet SE55SE
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire

Map

Type and Period (2)

Full Description

The Railway Station Cemetery: The construction of the railway buildings and their approaches radically altered the topography of the area, obscuring the basic physical structure and removing the landmarks to which discoveries were related. The O.S. maps of 1853, which mark many obliterated features, can, however, be used to establish the position of landmarks mentioned in accounts contemporary with the discoveries. The cemetery occupied a ridged spur, about 50 ft. above O.D., running from S. to N. between the Ouse and Holgate Beck and ending in Cuckoo Hill, the cause of the Ouse meander S. of Acomb Landing.

The material from the cemetery is almost all derived from the railway works of 1839–41, 1845, and 1870–7. The cemetery is defined by James Raine as extending in width from the river to the old railway lines, now the goods line between the Waggon Works and the Carriage Works, and in length the greater part of a mile from the City Wall. But graves have been discovered beyond this distance. In terms of present-day topography the main area may be defined more accurately as including Station Road S.W. of the Cholera Burial Ground, the railway lines immediately S.W. of Queen Street bridge as far as the Railway Museum, the Railway Station, the Royal Station Hotel and part of its garden, the approach lines N. of the main line as far as the engine shed and Scarborough Bridge and the lines between the Railway Station on the E. and Cinder Lane on the W. Burials also occur within the mediaeval walls, but none has been found in the low-lying land between the Cholera Burial Ground and the river. See http://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/york/vol1/pp67-110#p108

NMR information:

[SE 596 518] Roman Burial Ground [GS] (site of) (1)

A very extensive Roman cemetery containing both cremations and inhumations, dating from at least the 2nd century and well into the 4th century, was destroyed during the construction of the railwaystations of c.1840 and c.1875 [Sited from map - See AO/LP/62/159](2)

1 Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) OS 1:1250 1962
2 The City of York. Volume 1: Eboracum: Roman York: Addendum 76-92 fig and map Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, England

Related Archives/Objects from NMR data

Object Number Object Title

AA71/05332 GOLD RING SET WITH RUBY FOUND ON SKELETON IN RE-USED(?) COFFIN OF FLAVIUS BELLATOR NEAR SCARBOROUGH BRIDGE
AA71/05333 DUCKS - ENAMELLED PLATE BROOCHES FOUND 1874 ON THE OLD SCARBOROUGH LINE CUTTING (CINDER LANE)
AA71/05336A FOUND 1874 S. EAST OF NEW RAILWAY STATION.INSCR.83/R.I.B.672
AA71/05344 FOUND 1872 ON THE OLD CRICKET GROUND,N.W. OF NEW RAILWAY STATION.(INSCR.71) R.I.B.682
AA71/05350 FOUND 1874 SOUTH EAST OF NEW RAILWAY STATION.(INSCR.83) R.I.B.672
AA71/05351 FOUND 1839 AT THE ARCH THROUGH THE CITY WALL FOR THE OLD RAILWAY STATION.(SE 5969 5162) (INSCR.85)
AA71/05363 BOLSTER - ONE OF NINE FRAGMENTS (INSCR.131A) FOUND 1878 IN THE GARDEN OF THE ROYAL STATION HOTEL
AA71/05365 FOUND 1875 WHILE BUILDING NEW RAILWAY STATION.INSCRIBED `TOT' INSCR.141
AA71/05368 BONE SLIP INSCRIBED `DOMINE VICTOR/VINCAS FELIX' FOUND 1873 IN A COFFIN ON RAILWAY WORKS SITE (INSCR.149)
BB73/01883 BONE PIN AND POLISHER FOUND IN BUILDING (48) WEST OF NEW
BB73/04799 MOTTO BEAKER (151C) INSCRIBED `DA MI'(HI).FOUND 1874 (H.34B)
BB73/04800 MOTTO BEAKER (151C) INSCRIBED `DA MI'(HI).FOUND 1874 (H.34B)
BB73/04807 COLOURLESS TAPERING BEAKER (H.G.127) OF 3RD/4TH CENT. FOUND 1873-4 ON THE RAILWAY CEMETERY SITE.CF PL.66
BB73/04810 ONE OF A PAIR OF NECKED BOTTLES (3RD/4TH CENT.) FOUND ON RAILWAY CEMETERY SITE (H.G.146.3) CF PL.67 CTR R,FIG.90
BB73/04811 GLASS DROPPER (H.G.104) FOUND ON RAILWAY CEMETERY SITE. THOUGHT ROMAN,NOW BELIEVED 17TH CENT.`WALDGLAS'
BB73/04812 EARTHENWARE FEEDING BOTTLE (H.1049) FOUND AT THE STATION CEMETERY SITE.?SUBSEQUENTLY RE-INTERPRETED AS LAMP FILLER
BB73/04813 WHITBY JET PENDANT FOUND 1890 TO NORTH OF NEW RAILWAY STATION (H320.1)
CC73/01589 SAMIAN MOULD (H.22) FOUND ON NEW RAILWAY STATION SITE
CC73/01590 BONE PIN AND POLISHER FOUND IN BUILDING (48) WEST OF NEW RAILWAY STATION (SE 595 517)
CC73/01599 COMB AND BONE PIN OR POLISHER FROM BATEMAN COLLECTION,SHEFM (J93.605,640,659,662.FOUND 1845-6 NEAR S.ARCH THROUGH MD WALL
CC73/01600 TILED TOMB FOUND 1840 DURING BUILDING OF NORTH MIDLAND LINE, SOUTH WEST OF STATION
CC73/01601 IVORY PINS (ONE WITH EYE) H.106 FOUND 1840 WITH GRAVE GROUP IN STONE COFFIN OUTSIDE `BARWALLS'.SEE ALSO CC73/1783
CC73/01602 IVORY PARASOL RIBS PROBABLY FOUND WITH COFFIN 1874 AT ROYAL STATION HOTEL.SEE ARCH J/CIII/1946
CC73/01603 GLASS BOTTLE (H.103),JET AND BONE BANGLES/ANKLETS FOUND 1874 DURING RAILWAY WORKS
CC73/01604 BRONZE CASKET MOUNTS FOUND 1874 AT ROYAL STATION HOTEL CF P.82B
CC73/01605 BRONZE GRAVE GROUP (MIRROR HANDLE,RINGS,DRESS FASTENERS,PLATE BROOCHES,OBJECT OF TWISTED WIRE) FOUND 1874 AT STATION HOTEL
CC73/01606 IVORY FAN HANDLES FOUND IN ONE OF TWO COFFINS ON ROYAL STATION HOTEL SITE,1874
CC73/01607 LEAD COFFIN CONTAINING BURIAL OF ROMAN LADY (GIRL) WITH AUBURN HAIR CF FIG.64
CC73/01608 DETAIL OF LEAD COFFIN CONTAINING BURIAL OF ROMAN GIRL WITH AUBURN HAIR (CF FIG.64)
CC73/01611 HAIR OF ROMAN LADY FROM BURIAL OF ROMAN GIRL WITH AUBURN HAIR FOUND 1875
CC73/01612 BRICK TILE TOMB FOUND DURING RAILWAY WORKS.REBUILT IN YORYM
CC73/01613 FOUND 1848 ON THE SITE OF THE NEW RAILWAY STATION (5958 5159) RECONSTRUCTED IN YORYM
CC73/01614 GRAVE GROUP FOUND 1890 ON THE NEW RAILWAY STATION SITE - JET PENDANT,BRONZE BRACELETS,JET BEADS.CF PL.68
CC73/01615 GRAVE GROUP FOUND 1874 AT NEW RAILWAY STATION SITE IN BRONZE MOUNTED CASKET.JET BANGLES,GLASS PHIALS CF FIG.88
CC73/01616 BRONZE CASKET MOUNTINGS FOUND 1874 DURING RAILWAY WORKS H.324.7,8,10,11,13 - 15 CF FIG.65
CC73/01617 GRAVE GROUP COMPRISING BRONZE WIRE NECKLACE,TWO PLATE BROOCHES IN FORM OF DUCKS FOUND 1874 DURING RAILWAY WORKS (SCARBOROUGH LINE) CF PL.34
CC73/01618 BRONZE BROOCHES - COCK (2),HORSE,EAGLE
CC73/01619 FOUND 1874.`DA MI'(HI) CUP,URN AND HEXAGONAL GLASS BOTTLE (H.34C) OF 1ST/2ND CENT. FOUND DURING RAILWAY WORKS
CC73/01620 MOTTO BEAKER (H.154) INSCRIBED (151F) `VIVATIS' FOUND 1873
CC73/01621 CASTOR WARE BEAKER `HUNT CUP' FOUND DURING RAILWAY WORKS 5.5" HIGH.(H.163)
CC73/01622 EARTHENWARE VASE (7.75" HIGH) IN STYLE OF GLASS VASE.(H.168) FOUND DURING RAILWAY WORKS
CC73/01643 GYPSUM BURIAL FOUND 1848 S.EAST OF NEW RAILWAY STATION SITE (SE 5958 5159) SEE PP 84A,108B
CC73/01661 FINIAL FOUND TO NORTH WEST OF NEW RAILWAY STATION.(INSCR.133G) SHOWN WITH PHALLUS MASONRY BLOCKS (INSCR.18A/B/C)
CC73/01662 FASHIONED IN GRITSTONE - NOT ILLUSTRATED IN VOL.(INSCR.133G)
CC73/01671 TERRACOTTA PLAQUE (28) FOUND 1878 DURING CONSTRUCTION OF NEW RAILWAY STATION (SE 595 515)
CC73/01674 DEDICATED TO `GENIO LOCI'.FOUND 1874/5 AT NORTH END OF NEW RAILWAY STATION.INSCR.34 (CF FIG.81) R.I.B.646
CC73/01675 FRAGMENT FOUND CO-OP OFFICES,RAILWAY ST.1909.DEDICATED TO `GENIO EBORACI'.(INSCR.35) R.I.B.657
CC73/01686 FOUND 1874 ON STATION APPROACH NEAR ARCHWAY THROUGH CITY WALL (FRAGS 45) AT SE 598 518 APPROX.
CC73/01701 FOUND IN TWO PARTS AT ALL SAINTS' CHURCH,NORTH ST.(INSCR.76) R.I.B.695
CC73/01703 FOUND 1875 AT THE NORTH WALL OF THE NEW RAILWAY STATION . R.I.B.681 (INSCR.79)
CC73/01721 FOUND 1872 NEAR SCARBOROUGH BRIDGE.(SE 5965 5200).INSCR.105 CF FIG.86 R.I.B.674
CC73/01722 FOUND 1877 AT SCARBOROUGH BRIDGE.(INSCR.106) R.I.B.687
CC73/01723 FOUND 1877 20 YDS N.W. OF INSCR.105 (NR SCARBOROUGH BRIDGE) INSCR.106.(CF PL.57) R.I.B.687
CC73/01729 FOUND NEAR SCARBOROUGH BRIDGE (1875) OR NEW RAILWAY STATION (1873) INSCR.111
CC73/01734 HEAD FOUND 1874 AT THE ROYAL STATION HOTEL.(INSCR.118)
CC73/01740 LION FOUND 1873 DURING RAILWAY WORKS (INSCR.123A)
CC73/01746 RELIEF OF HORSE AND DOG FOUND 1839 BUILT INTO BUTTRESS OF CITY WALL (N.ARCH ACROSS RAILWAY AT OLD STATION) INSCR.129
CC73/01753 MAN WITH TRIDENT (CAPITAL) FOUND NEAR ROYAL STATION HOTEL 1874 INSCR.134
CC73/01757 FOUND 1876,TO NORTH WEST OF RAILWAY WORKS.(INSCR.137) CF PL.60
CC73/01759 GOLD,INSCRIBED IN COPTIC/HEBREW FOUND 1839/40 NEAR ARCHWAY THROUGH CITY WALL FOR OLD STATION.(INSCR.139) R.I.B.706
CC73/01762 LEAD URN FOUND 1875 ON THE NEW RAILWAY STATION SITE
CC73/01763 SLATE TABLET INSCRIBED `CANDIDUS' FOUND 1868 IN A GRAVE NEAR SCARBOROUGH BRIDGE. PROB. FOR MIXING OINTMENTS. INSCR.146
CC73/01764 MOTTO BEAKER (151C) INSCRIBED `DA MI'(HI).FOUND 1874 IN ASSOC. WITH LATE 3RD CENT COOKING POT/CREMATION
CC73/01765 MOTTO BEAKER (H.154) INSCRIBED (151F) `VIVATIS' FOUND 1873
CC73/01768 HEXAGONAL JUG (H.34C) OF THE 1ST/2ND CENT. FOUND 1874 AT THE RAILWAY CEMETERY.CF PL.67 BOT LEFT
CC73/01770B GLASS BEAKER (H.G.127) FOUND 1873-4 IN RAILWAY CEMETERY 3RD/4TH CENT.
CC73/01771 GLASS BOTTLE WITH DELPHINIFORM HANDLES (3RD/4TH CENT.) H.G.182 PROBABLY FOUND AT THE RAILWAY STATION CEMETERY 1872.CF FIG.89
CC73/01775 DROPPER FLASK OF 3RD/4TH CENT. FOUND AT THE RAILWAY CEMETERY CF PL.67 CTR
CC73/01781 UNGUENT BOTTLES (5) FOUND AT RAILWAY STATION CEMETERY INCL. H.G.36.1 (1ST/2ND CENT.)
CC73/01782 PIPETTE (H.G.118) FOUND DURING RAILWAY WORKS.CF P.140A
CC73/01783 JET ARTEFACTS FOUND 1840 IN A STONE COFFIN OUTSIDE `BARWALLS' DURING RAILWAY WORKS.SEE ALSO CC73/1601
CC73/01785 JET PINS FOUND 1874 DURING RAILWAY WORKS
CC73/01786 BONE PINS FOUND DURING RAILWAY WORKS
CC73/01787 PINS WITH PEARL/GOLD HEADS FOUND DURING RAILWAY WORKS
CC73/01788 PINS,WITH JET AND SILVER HEADS FOUND DURING RAILWAY WORKS
CC73/01789 JET PINS FOUND 1875 DURING RAILWAY WORKS
CC73/01792 JET ROUGH-OUT AND RING (NOT FOUND TOGETHER) FROM RAILWAY WORKS
CC73/01793 JET ROUGH-OUTS FOUND AT BUILDING (48) WEST OF NEW RAILWAY STATION SITE.CF P.142
CC73/01794 JET ROUGH-OUTS FOUND AT BUILDING (48) WEST OF NEW RAILWAY STATION SITE.CF P.142
P31857 ROMAN INSCRIBED COFFIN FOUND 1877 TO N. OF NEW RAILWAY STATION SITE.R.I.B.687
P32432 FOUND 1876,TO NORTH WEST OF RAILWAY WORKS.CF PL.60
P32433 MUSE OF TRAGEDY (PROVENANCE UNCERTAIN - POSS. NOT ROMAN) FOUND 1845 NEAR NORTH RAILWAY ARCH THROUGH CITY WALL
P32442 FOUND IN TWO PARTS AT ALL SAINTS' CHURCH,NORTH ST.(INSCR.76) CF PL.50 R.I.B.695
P32443 FOUND 1877 AT SCARBOROUGH BRIDGE.(INSCR.106) R.I.B.687 CF PL.57
P32444 MOTTO BEAKER (H.154) INSCRIBED (151F) `VIVATIS' FOUND 1873 CF PL.35


RCHME, 1962, Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of York, Volume 1 Eboracum, p76-92 (Bibliographic reference). SYO62.

2009, Migration and Diversity in Roman Britain (Article in Journal). SYO2176.

On-Site Archaeology, 2015, Royal York Hotel EVAL (Unpublished document). SYO1810.

York Archaeological Trust, 2017, York Station and Queen St Bridge DBA (Unpublished document). SYO2053.

NMR, 2019, NMR data (Digital archive). SYO2214.

York Archaeological Trust, 2021, York Station First Class Lounge (Unpublished document). SYO2628.

Sources/Archives (6)

  • --- Unpublished document: On-Site Archaeology. 2015. Royal York Hotel EVAL.
  • --- Unpublished document: York Archaeological Trust. 2017. York Station and Queen St Bridge DBA.
  • --- Article in Journal: 2009. Migration and Diversity in Roman Britain.
  • --- Digital archive: NMR. 2019. NMR data.
  • --- Unpublished document: York Archaeological Trust. 2021. York Station First Class Lounge.
  • --- Bibliographic reference: RCHME. 1962. Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of York, Volume 1 Eboracum. 1. p76-92.

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Record last edited

Feb 2 2022 1:17PM

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