Phases 10–13: early 17th to late 20th century  
 
  Matrix Diagram

In Phase 10 a number of alterations were made to existing buildings (Buildings U, V and X). Further alterations were made to Buildings U and V in Phase 11 and the yard area was extended to the south. Within Phase 12 Building Z was constructed on the eastern side of the site and a number of modifications were made to existing buildings (Buildings U and V). Phase 13 saw the conversion of existing Buildings U and V into three tenements and the construction of a number of minor buildings in the backyard area.
 

 
 

Phase 10 (early to mid 17th century)

The original southern wall of Building U was demolished and a new one constructed further north, creating a shorter building. The northern room measured c.6.5 m long by c.5m wide and the southern room c.5m long by c.4m wide. The construction of this new wall reduced the length of Building U by c.3.5m. The new southern wall was constructed on a solid limestone foundation with a 16th to 18th century brick wall above (1612). Just to the south of the new wall a post-hole was inserted, perhaps to support a scaffold while the wall was under construction. Between Buildings U and V the large double chimney stack (constructed in Phase 9.8) was demolished, the ground levelled (1488) and two post-holes (1415 and 1453) inserted. These two post-holes indicate the position of a new north-east to south-west aligned partition wall between Buildings U and V. To the south-west, a brick, H-shaped, double chimney stack (1255) was built between the northern and southern rooms of Building U, re-using an architectural fragment. In the southern room only a tiny fragment of sandstone floor 2349 and an unusual brick-lined pit of unknown function (2326) were recovered.

Within Building V the southern side of the demolished double chimney stack was re-used as the foundation for a new north-west to south-east aligned brick wall (1363). On the eastern side of the building a new brick wall (2013) was inserted, to replace the earlier wall 2012 (see Phase 9.8). The new wall contained two bricks that originally came from a brick door or window archway dating from the 16th to the 18th century.

The area to the south of Building U was converted into a yard, which was levelled with a series of deposits (including 1332, 1345, 1352, 13851387, 1393, 1461, 1477, 1535 and 1552) that contained considerable metalworking material, probably redeposited from the earlier use of Building U. Food waste was a component of these desposits (see environmental report). Pottery recovered from these deposits was dated to the late 16th century. A series of post- and stake-holes (including 1402 and 1531) and levelling deposits (including 1483 and 1524) were also located to the south of Building U.

On the eastern side of the yard behind Building V, the path or surface (constructed in Phase 9.9) was repaired utilising metalworking waste including mould fragments from the casting of copper alloy vessels. This contained some possible painted wall plaster (see the artefacts report).

Building X, which was originally constructed in Phase 9.2 in the south-west corner of the excavation area, appears to have been rebuilt at this time. A new construction cut orientated north-east to south-west was filled with a limestone foundation (2688) and topped with a brick wall (2686). The bricks were recycled 14th or 15th century types. It was impossible to tell the dimensions of the rebuilt Building X, and no occupation deposits relating to its use were recovered.

Phase 11 (mid 17th to early 18th century)

To the south of Building V a massive construction cut (3330) was dug for the insertion of a limestone well shaft (1789). The shaft was constructed using re-used architectural fragments and the construction cut was backfilled with dumped material, some of which related to metalworking and was clearly residual. The environmental evidence from one of the backfills suggests the disposal of butchery waste.

To the north of the well shaft a limestone wall foundation (1236), orientated north-west to south-east, was constructed. This formed a new back wall for Building V, some 4m to the south of the original wall. This large extension to Building V doubled its size to c.9m long by c.8m wide. The extension measured c.8m long and between c.4m and 5m wide; it was L-shaped to fit in with the original structure.

Within the southern room of Building V, a construction cut (1344) for a chimney stack was dug. This was attached to the south side of the original back wall, and would have heated the southern room. Bedding deposits (including 1306) were laid for new floors within the building.

To the south of wall 1236, and surrounding the well shaft, a large number of levelling deposits (including 12771278, 12891290, 1299, 1313, 1316, 1333, 1343, 1392, 1409, 1456, 1565, 1647, 1729, 1800 and 1856) were laid down to raise and stabilise the ground surface. Most of these contained pottery of the 17th century, but two contained some 18th century pottery. The extent of the levelling deposits suggests a reorganisation of the yard area at this time, the new yard extending to the south of Buildings U and V to the southern limit of excavation over the areas where Buildings W and Y had stood. One of the levelling deposits contained two triangular glazed floor tiles.

The rest of the deposits within the yard area are fragmentary and difficult to interpret. On the western side, just to the south of Building U, a post-hole (1450) was dug, perhaps replacing a Phase 10 post-hole (see above). It was rapidly removed and backfilled before a shallow pit (1448) was dug for the disposal of building debris and domestic waste. Both of these features contained pottery of the 17th century. To the east of these features a rubble footing (1904) was built, perhaps as an area of hardstanding within the yard. It was sealed by a levelling deposit which contained a piece of lead window came (SF00804) (see the artefacts report). On the west side of the well shaft a fragment of cobble surface (1615) was laid down. This may originally have been larger in extent, possibly surrounding the top of the well shaft. A mortar floor remnant (1675) and a possible post-pad (1670) were located to the west; both were rapidly sealed by a further levelling deposit. In the southern area of the yard a mortar mixing pit (1274) was dug, perhaps to provide mortar for the construction work on Building V.

On the eastern side of the excavation area a layer of trample (1645) accumulated as a result of construction work on Building V and the well shaft. A levelling layer (1536), which contained a copper alloy buckle (SF00701), sealed its western side. Two small pits (1528 and 1649) were dug to dispose of construction waste.

To the south-west of the pits several further levelling deposits were laid down before the construction of a new limestone wall (1521). This was fragmentary and difficult to interpret, but may be the south wall of an exterior privy.

Phase 12 (early 18th to early 19th century)

On the eastern side of the excavation area a clearance cut removed many of the earlier deposits close to the Walmgate street frontage. Building Z was then constructed, a new brick wall (1357) being built on its western side. The area close to the Walmgate street frontage contained a slightly sunken brick floor that was removed by machine at the start of the excavations. To the rear of the new building a small square pit (1446) was dug, for a small brick-lined privy (1433). Several tobacco pipe fragments including a decorated bowl (see the artefacts report) were recovered from the privy backfill.

A line of post-holes (including 1539, 3288 and 32903291) ran along the eastern side of wall 1357. These would have held posts to support the wall. To the west, within Building V, two large post-holes (1406 and 1493) were cut to support the upper floor of Building V (reached by stairs rising from stairbase 1837 which was constructed in Phase 9.8) while an alley was created. The alley measured c.1.3m wide and was carved out of the eastern side of Building V. Only a small fragment of the southern end of the alley surface (1506) was recovered. The posts were then removed and backfilled, the fills containing a fragment of peg tile with a toddler’s footprint on it, as well as residual metalworking material. On top of this backfill material a post-pad was inserted, perhaps to support a screen for the western side of the alley.

Adjacent to the northern side of wall 1236, within Building V, a linear trench was excavated. This was probably inserted to aid renovation work to the base of the wall, perhaps to replace a sill beam. The backfill material of this renovation trench contained pottery of the 18th or 19th century.

To the south of privy 1433 and privy wall 1521, behind Buildings V and Z, several levelling deposits (including 1467) were laid down. An environmental sample of charred material from levelling deposit 1467 was identified as oats and cereal chaff. The levelling deposits, which seemed to form a platform of clay, were then truncated by a post-hole and the construction cut for a wall base (1407). This probably formed part of an outbuilding behind Buildings V and Z.

On the western side of the excavation area, within Building U, a new hearth plate of sandstone and brick (1244) was inserted on the northern side of the H-shaped chimney stack 1255. To the south of Building U there was a levelling dump containing 18th century pottery.

Phase 13 (early 19th to the late 20th century)

Buildings U and V were re-organised into three tenements with the construction of a number of brick dividing walls (including 1206, 1230, 1323, 1337 and 1398), orientated north-east to south-west. Building U did not change dramatically in form, but Building V was split into two tenements, referred to as the east and west tenements. On either side of wall 1337, the foundations for two hearths (1234, 1311, 1367 and 1370) were inserted, suggesting that the wall supported a chimney stack. The hearths would have heated the northern rooms of the east and west tenements. Levelling and floor deposits built up within both of the tenements of Building V. These were fragmentary in nature due to later truncation.

In the eastern tenement a brick ash box (1233) was inserted in front of the hearth in the northern room. The L-shaped brick structure (initially built in Phase 9.8), situated in the south-eastern corner of this room, was re-used as a coal store. A new footing was inserted on its western side for an internal door. The footing re-used a rotary grindstone (SF00663) to hold a door post (see artefacts report). A second door may have given access to the coal bunker from the alley, but no evidence for this was recovered. The bedding layer for the new door footing contained pottery of the 19th century. In the southern room of the western tenement of Building V a brick structure (1205) was interpreted as the footings for a stairbase.

To the south of Building V a number of post-holes were inserted. These probably formed a fence line to the west of well 1789. The fence line appeared to form the southern side of a passage, c.1m wide on the southern side of Building V. The passage was short lived and the post-holes were backfilled with deposits containing 19th century pottery.

Superseding the fence line was a foundation trench for a limestone wall, orientated north-east to south-west. No other walls survive suggesting that this wall represented a division within the backyard. A mortar floor was laid down to the west of it. Only one block of the wall survived due to robbing.

Sealing the robbing trenches was a fragmentary brick floor. It was impossible to tell if this floor was part of a further structure to the west of well 1789 in the backyard area. A number of post-holes and other cuts then truncated the western side of the brick floor, signifying that it had gone out of use.

Levelling deposits were laid down to the west and south of well 1789. Several copper alloy pins and tubes as well as a lead alloy weight, a post-medieval marble and a slate pencil were recovered from these deposits. The animal bone assemblage from one of these deposits showed signs of butchery (see the environmental report). Residual metalworking waste was also retrieved from these deposits.

Above the levelling deposits to the south of well 1789 a brick-built coal shed (Building AB) was constructed. This had a brick floor, but as it was located in the corner of the excavation its overall dimensions could not be estimated. To the west of it a large area of the eastern part of the yard was sealed by a mortar floor. Two post-holes were cut into this floor. The post-holes rapidly went out of use, were backfilled and a new floor was laid down to the west of the building. The new floor was dated by pottery to the 19th century.

To the north of this another outbuilding (Building AC) was constructed. This consisted of a levelled area, a limestone rubble wall and an internal brick floor.

Several modern drains and service pipes truncated the site. After their insertion, backfill and levelling several internal changes were made to Buildings U and V. The southern portion of the western alley wall was rebuilt. Only the mortar bedding (1258) from this was recovered. The hearth plate (1248) in the southern room of the east tenement of Building V was replaced. Within the western tenement of Building V the wall between the northern and southern rooms appears to have been rebuilt (1356), using a strong modern grey cement, before the insertion of a quarry tile floor to the north of it. There was extensive evidence for the insertion of quarry tile floors in both Buildings U and V, some of which destroyed much of the late medieval and post-medieval sequences within these buildings.

Apart from a dump of hearth ash to the south of well 1789, the entire site appears to have been sealed by demolition deposits, which included dumped architectural fragments. Clearly all the buildings on site had been demolished by this stage. The eastern side of the site contained a cluster of post-holes of unknown function. A sequence of fence lines and dumps were recorded along the Walmgate street frontage and along the property division between Buildings V and Z. Finally, modern dumps sealed the whole of the excavation area.



Click to enlarge
South wall of Building U (1612)

Click to enlarge
Moulded brick from context 1612

Click to enlarge
Chimney stack 1255

Click to enlarge
Mould fragments from the yard surface repair (1610)

Click to enlarge
Well 1789 and its construction cut left of centre
Click to enlarge
Re-used window sill and mullion base from
well 1789

Click to enlarge
Buildings U and V under excavation

Click to enlarge
Glazed triangular floor tiles

Click to enlarge
Copper alloy buckle SF00701

Click to enlarge
Building Z and the alley are in the foreground

Click to enlarge
Tile from context 1492 with a toddler's footprint

Click to enlarge
Wall base 1407

Click to enlarge
Buildings U and V
in Phase 13


Click to enlarge
Rotary grindstone SF00663

Click to enlarge
Brick floor and wall identified as
outbuilding AC


Click to enlarge
Quarry tile floor (1201)

Click to enlarge
Reverse of quarry tile showing maker's stamp

Click to enlarge
View of the site before excavation
© Copyright York Archaeological Trust 2003