Archaeologists in York appeal for memories of 1940s buildings at medieval Guildhall

By Ben Miller | 17 June 2014

Archaeologists are pursuing the history of a set of 20th century hutments built at an important medieval landmark in York

A photo of an archaeologist in high visibility clothing standing in a partly demolished site
York Guildhall has welcomed numerous royal visits since the 15th century© York Past and Present Photographic Group
A riverside site with 13th century origins, York’s Guildhall was an Augustinian Friary when Richard III stayed there and attended a feast in 1483, and is expected to be turned into a media and arts centre under plans approved by councillors in mid-2013.

The focus for AOC Archaeology, who will dig close to the medieval grounds, is on its old timber buildings known as the hutments, thought to have been built sometime at some point between 1938 and 1962.

“We particularly would like to hear from anyone that may have any memories or photographs of the site from around the 1940s,” says Michael Pollington, describing the team as “excited” to be planning a “unique” and “important” excavation.

“Perhaps they worked in the building, or nearby, or remember the area during the war.”

Sonja Crisp, of the council, says the hall by the Ouse is a key area of the city.

“Residents and visitors could really help us unearth any number of important memories about the historic Guildhall,” she believes.

“It will pave way for the dig later this year which will provide us with a significant insight into York’s 2,000 year-old history.”

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