Issued by City of York Council
City of York Council’s archaeological team has unearthed evidence of the medieval church on King’s Square.
The discovery was made following works, which started last week, to transform the square as part of the first phrase of Reinvigorate York.
It is hoped that the important discovery will not cause any delays to the scheme, as the time taken to carry out the archaeological dig will be added to the existing schedule in March, for the second phase of works.
Cllr Sonja Crisp, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: “The City of York is home to over 2,000 years of history and it’s what makes York so unique.
“We have to treasure this and encourage important digs like this that could unearth any number of important archaeological finds, and enable us to piece together more of York’s history and also build on its significant legacy.”
Cllr Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member of Transport, Planning and Sustainability said: “It’s rare that opportunities like this come around – so it’s important that we’re able to carry out this important archaeological dig and capture more of York’s history.
“However, we also understand just how important the build up to Christmas is for retailers and businesses, so we will complete as much as we can of this first phase ahead of St Nicholas Fayre, so the square can remain open for this important event.”
Phil Thomas, Church Buildings Officer for the Diocese of York, said, “We’re really excited to see what will emerge in the dig at King’s Square!
“We knew the medieval church was there, but this is a unique opportunity to discover so much more about it. The Church of England takes all matters concerning the history of churches very seriously, and the Diocese of York is working hand-in-hand with the City Council to ensure the best possible outcome for King’s Square and for York.”
John Oxley, City of York Council’s Archaeologist, said: “The current resurfacing works have revealed the foundations of the Victorian and possibly the medieval church. On-Site Archaeology has been appointed by City of York Council to carry out an archaeological ‘watching brief’ on the resurfacing works.
“Over the next couple of weeks the archaeologists will clean and record the remains of the church and remove any burials that might be affected by the resurfacing works.
“This is very exciting as opportunities, however brief, to look at these vanished churches in York are very rare.”
The Diocese of York requires City of York Council to carry out an Archaeological Watching Brief throughout this project to assess the significance of any archaeology should it be discovered.
The investigations will start next week and, if further evidence is found, could determine if there is a need for the team to carry out any more detailed further excavations.
For more information about Reinvigorate York please visit the council website.
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