62–68 Low Petergate, York

Principal Author: Ben Reeves

Excavating a hearth
General site view Rear elevation of buildings

The discoveries at 62-68 Low Petergate, one of the most significant excavations to occur in York in recent years, are of considerable value for research into urban life and industry in medieval York.

Medieval and post-medieval buildings and industrial structures were found in the four tenements excavated at the rear of the properties. A complex sequence of medieval workshop buildings dating from the 13th-15th centuries was uncovered. Within them were hearths, furnaces, and other features related to the metal working industry. Pits were found outside the workshops that contained domestic and industrial waste discarded by those who lived and worked in the tenements on Low Petergate. In addition to the evidence for metal working there was evidence from pit fills of leather and horn working, including a number of well-preserved, highly decorated leather knife sheaths.

The large quantity of outstanding finds and environmental samples recovered provides valuable insight into the domestic lives of the people living and working amongst these industries.

The medieval deposits were overlain by post-medieval building foundations and associated culverts, yards and paths. There are scarce opportunities to excavate post-medieval buildings within the City centre, so the excavation at 62-68 Low Petergate has additional significance due to the continuity between the medieval and post-medieval archaeology.

© 2006 York Archaeological Trust