Craft, Industry and Everyday Life: Finds from Medieval York


list of authors
P. J. Ottaway
Nicola S. H. Rogers
list of contributors
G. D. Gaunt
T. Horsley
M. E. Hutchinson
J. Jones
J. G. McDonnell
C. Mortimer
E. Paterson
S. Rees Jones
D. Starley
R. Tyson
P. Walton Rogers
K. Wiemer
Is Part Of
The Archaeology of York [Series]
The Small Finds [Volume]
Council for British Archaeology for York Archaeological Trust
Date Copyrighted
Date Available
Digitally available on 16 June 2023
This report is the definitive publication of some 6,000 objects made in a wide range of materials, but including a substantial number of iron and nonferrous metals. They come from contexts dated, for the most part, to between c.1066 and 1600, excavated at four major and a few minor sites in the medieval city. The major sites are 16–22 Coppergate (medieval tenements), Bedern Foundry (bronze-working workshop), Bedern (College of the Vicars Choral of York Minster) and 46–54 Fishergate (Gilbertine Priory).

A brief description of the sites from which the objects were recovered is followed by a discussion of conservation techniques. The main body of the report is divided into two parts: ‘Craft and Industry’ and ‘Everyday Life’. The first part describes tools and implements, including those used in metalworking, leatherworking and textile manufacture, and the debris from craft activity. In respect of the latter there is a report on the analysis of non-ferrous metalworking waste at the Bedern Foundry and College sites, which supplements data presented in AY 10/3. In addition, there is a full report on the metallurgy of seventeen iron knives to set alongside analyses of Anglian (AY 17/9) and Anglo-Scandinavian (AY 17/6) specimens from York

The second part of the fascicule, ‘Everyday Life’, presents a wide range of objects, many of which were used on the sites where they were found. They provide a vivid insight into aspects of life as it was experienced in medieval York and include items of personal dress and clothing, jewellery, glass and other vessels, equipment for horse and rider, and a substantial assemblage of objects which illustrate the character of buildings and their fittings and furnishings.

The concluding discussion evaluates the assemblage as a whole in terms of the character of the activity and occupation on the principal sites, and summarises the evidence it has revealed for the economy and society of the medieval city. There is also a review of medieval finds from York in the context of comparable medieval assemblages from England, which is followed by remarks on the future direction of finds research.
Rights Holder
York Archaeological Trust
CC BY 4.0
Portable Document Format (PDF)
Is Format Of
Paper publication
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