Archaeologists discover remains of ancient church in York city centre

By Sarah Jackson | 16 September 2013

An ancient church has been unearthed beneath King’s Square in York by the local council’s archaeology team.

Archaeologists examine remains of a church found in York.
Archaeologists in York say an ancient church could lead to more historic treasures© Courtesy of City of York Council
The discovery was made during the first stage of works intended to transform the square as part of Reinvigorate York, which aims to rejuvenate the city's centre.

The remains have revealed the foundations of a Victorian and possibly medieval church. On-Site Archaeology has been appointed by the City of York Council to carry out an archaeological "watching brief", required by the Diocese of York throughout the project to assess the significance of any archaeology discovered.

“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,"says John Oxley, the council's archaeologist.

“This is very exciting. Opportunities, however brief, to look at these vanished churches in York are very rare.”

The dig will be added to the schedule of the second phase of building works at the site, currently planned for March.

Councillor Dave Merrett, the Cabinet Member of Transport, Planning and Sustainability, said the team would aim to cause minimal disruption for retailers in the build-up to Christmas.

“We have to treasure this and encourage important digs like this that could unearth any number of important archaeological finds," he added.

An investigation is currently underway to determine whether there is any need for the team to carry out further and more detailed excavations.

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Follow Sarah Jackson on Twitter @SazzyJackson.

Latest comment: >Make a comment
That is a pretty cool thing. I would want to go see that.
Tom |
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