Micklegate Excavations Are Well Under Way!

In partnership with Oculis Construction Consultants Limited and Micklegate Developments Limited, our team have been unearthing Micklegate’s past since November 2022 and we are delighted with what we’ve found so far!

Hidden within the city walls, our Micklegate site is located on the south side of the River Ouse and approximately 1.1km south-west of York Minster. This particular area of York resides within the Roman civilian settlement (also known as “colonia”), which would have been a hub of activity from the late 1st century AD onwards. Located on the opposite side of the River Ouse was the legionary fortress, Eboracum, founded in AD71 by the Ninth Legion. The main Roman road from Tadcaster to the legionary fortress also ran through the colonia in the Micklegate area.

During the Anglo-Scandinavian and medieval periods, Micklegate was one of the major thoroughfares into York, and led to the only bridge over the River Ouse. In later centuries residents would have been witness to the construction of the 11th century Holy Trinity Priory, the precinct of which our site would have been within. Holy Trinity Priory continued in use until the Dissolution in 1538, although the parishioners were able to continue worshipping in the nave, which became the parish church still present on Micklegate today.

Our team led exploratory excavations in the area back in 2019 and discovered the demolition of a Roman building. This particular structure was of note, as it may contain possible evidence on how the property was heated; a hypocaust system. One of the oldest structures we found in 2019 was a late 1st century – early 2nd century Roman oven, which could have been used for a range of activities such as domestic, industrial or crafting.

Below is a series of personal possessions that were excavated on our Micklegate site, which we believe would have been important to someone at one point in time.

Throughout our excavation we will continue to peel back the layers of decades gone by, all the way from Roman times to modern day. What is buried beneath Micklegate? We’re about to find out!

Follow us on our journey and keep up to date on our findings through our blog, who knows what we’ll find next…