Within the lift shaft the earliest deposits revealed the presence of an alley to the
west of a timber building, Building A.
The alley was defined by two stake and wattle
fence alignments (38363845 and 38573867),
c.0.80m apart and running at almost 90 degrees
back from the Walmgate street frontage. Organic deposits built up within the alley and
in the area to the west of it. Stake and
wattle alignment (38463856) may relate to an
earlier version of the alley. Building A measured over 2.6m long and over 1.3m wide,
being defined by the easternmost stake and wattle alignment and a series of floors
and occupation deposits, some of which were organic. Unfortunately
the building and its floor deposits produced no dating evidence, but as it was sealed
completely by later Building B which was dated to the late 10th or early 11th century,
it suggests that a mid to late 10th century date for Building A is not unreasonable.
Building A was then demolished, the alley cleared, and a number of levelling deposits
laid down before the construction of a new building, Building B, which covered the
entire base of the lift shaft (2.6m x 2.6m). Two timber uprights
may have supported the
roof or acted as a partition within Building B. One of the floor deposits within the
building was analysed for environmental evidence,
and the results suggested that the
building was being used for the processing of wool and domestic occupation. A
spindle whorl (SF01330) from a floor deposit within the building supports this interpretation.
In addition leather off-cuts (see the artefacts report)
were recovered which may suggest
that the building was also being used for leatherworking.
Pottery from several floor deposits
dates this building to the late 10th or early 11th century.
In Area Q, close to the Walmgate street frontage, the earliest deposits suggest
levelling before the construction of a building, Building C, the function and date of
which were unknown. The size of the building is also unknown as it extends beyond the limits of
excavation. Building C was soon demolished and a series of industrial deposits
consisting of hearths and hearth rake-off materials were laid down. A hearth use
deposit within this sequence produced a smithing hearth bottom, suggesting that
metalworking was being undertaken.
Following the industrial activity, several buildings were erected within Area Q. These
consisted of two adjacent buildings, Buildings D and E, which measured over 2.75m
and 5.7m wide respectively. This implies that at least two separate properties existed
at this time. Building D consisted of clay
levelling (4197) and a linear slot (4190),
aligned north-south, which contained five vertical posts
(including 4168, and 41924194).
A backfill deposit which surrounded posts 4168 and
4169 and filled slot
4190 was dated by pottery to the late 10th or early 11th century.
Building E consisted
of an east-north-east to west-south-west
alignment of wooden stakes and posts (4187 and 41984200).
These were interpreted as an
internal partition within the building rather than a major load-bearing wall. A post-pad
(4171), post-hole and post (42024203) were
also associated with Building E on stratigraphic
grounds. There was no evidence from either building to suggest their function but their
orientation suggests an alignment further north-east than the present street. Both buildings were then demolished and the
area sealed by a further sequence of dumps, hearths and hearth rake-off deposits, some of
which contained hammerscale. This was interpreted as a second sequence of industrial activities.
These deposits were the only ones within the phase to contain
tile and also contained pottery of the late 10th or early 11th century.
Excavations in 1999 during a Time Team Live TV programme revealed two
Anglo-Scandinavian post-and-wattle walls in the westernmost trench. On examination these belonged
to adjacent buildings facing Walmgate. In the eastern trench Anglo-Scandinavian deposits were
encountered, but no structures were located. Small stratified Anglo-Scandinavian
and medieval groups of pottery and artefacts were recovered as well as well-preserved ecofacts from the
waterlogged Anglo-Scandinavian deposits.
Floor surface in Building A
Bone spindle whorl SF01330
Building D (in the foreground)