Medieval Metalworking and Urban Life at St Andrewgate, York

Item

list of authors
Rhona Finlayson
Is Part Of
The Archaeology of York [Series]
The Medieval Walled City North-East of the Ouse [Volume]
volume
10
issue
07
Publisher
York Archaeological Trust
Date Copyrighted
2004
Date Available
Digitally available on 3 November 2023
Abstract
This fascicule reports on an archaeological evaluation in the early 1990s and a full excavation in 1995 at a site bounded by St Andrewgate and Spen Lane. Roman and Anglo-Scandinavian deposits were encountered by deep piling trenches but these levels were not reached during the main excavation. Deposits and structures characteristic of the urban environment of York from the mid 12th century to the postmedieval period were found to have survived on the site. The practice of both ferrous and non-ferrous metalworking dominated the archaeological evidence from this site, which was adjacent to the medieval Bedern foundry, although it was not until the mid 19th century that the two areas were linked by the street called The Bedern. It is suggested that the products made by non-ferrous metalworkers at St Andrewgate were similar to those manufactured at Bedern foundry. Most of the evidence of ferrous working represented secondary iron smithing. More limited evidence of textile working, tanning, pelt preparation, and bone and antler working was also encountered. The report focuses mainly on metalworking, however, examining its historical background and archaeological context within York.

Evidence was found indicating that medieval St Andrewgate was much narrower than the modern street and a small portion of buildings fronting onto the street were recorded. The closely stratified sequence of deposits demonstrated a complex development, with several phases of rebuilding and alteration. It was possible to construct a detailed picture of intensive use of the area, although the narrow strip format of the main excavation meant that it was not possible to recover the full extent of building plans. Metalworking workshops were active from the 14th century to the early 16th century and were either located at the rear of buildings, with domestic occupation on the street front, or extended forward to 'shop' fronts, with domestic quarters located in an upper storey. Plentiful evidence was also found relating to the use of the backland area to the rear of the buildings. Small structures sometimes occupied this area, and boundary fences were recorded. Dumping and pit digging also took place at the rear of the site and provided evidence of waste derived from domestic habitation and craft working in the vicinity.
Rights Holder
York Archaeological Trust
Rights
CC BY 4.0
Format
Portable Document Format (PDF)
Is Format Of
Paper publication
Identifier
GB2837-PUB-AY-10-7
oclcnum
55014700
isbn10
1874454302
isbn13
9781874454304
Type
Text
Language
English
page start
881
page end
972
number of pages
92

Position: 204 (18 views)