Archaeologists may have found remains of medieval church in King's Square excavations

York Press: Archaeologists at work in King’s Square, where it is hoped they have found part of Holy Trinity Church, which stood on the site in the 13th century Archaeologists at work in King’s Square, where it is hoped they have found part of Holy Trinity Church, which stood on the site in the 13th century

ARCHAEOLOGISTS who may have found the remains of a medieval church in York city centre will carry out further investigations next week to determine whether more detailed excavations are necessary.

The King’s Square discovery was unearthed by City of York Council’s archaeological team following a dig which started last week as part of Reinvigorate York.

They believe the remains could be part of Holy Trinity church, first mentioned in 1268, but as it was demolished in 1861 and replaced by a Victorian church, it is difficult to tell which building the bricks belong to.

Archaeologists say the walls are in good condition and they believe the Victorian church was built on the foundations of the medieval building.

There have been concerns about the effect of the dig on retailers, but Coun Sonja Crisp said there was “no indication” of any added delays as a result of the findings. Time used up while carrying out the archaeologists’ dig will be added to the second phase of the works in March, avoiding the need for the current work to extend into the crucial Christmas period for retailers.

The Diocese of York requires the council to carry out an Archaeological Watching Brief and investigations will start next week to determine whether there is a need for more detailed excavations.

Marie Howell, owner of Harlequin’s cafe which overlooks the square, said: “It’s very exciting. We didn’t know what it was going to be like or what was going to happen. It’s fantastic to be able to look out on to the church and we’ve got the best seat in the house for it.”

John Oxley, the council’s archaeologist, said: “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 This is very exciting as opportunities, however brief, to look at these vanished churches in York are very rare.”

Coun Dave Merrett said: “It’s rare that opportunities like this come around – so it’s important we’re able to carry out this important archaeological dig and capture more of York’s history. We also understand just how important the build up to Christmas is for retailers and businesses, so we will complete as much as we can of this first phase ahead of St Nicholas Fayre, so the square can remain open for this important event.”

Comments (3)

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9:58am Sat 14 Sep 13

Grumpy Old Man says...

Although this was Holy Trinity, it was known in York for many centuries as 'Christ Church'. It seems likely that occurred in the 15th century to distinguish it from Holy Trinity, Goodramgate - literally a stone's throw away - which was opened around the same time as the Minster was completed. PS: It wasn't lost at any time. The Press used to have pictures of the Victorian church in its library and the Medieval church underneath it was well known to historians since the time of Francis Drake (the historian not the salty sea dog)
Although this was Holy Trinity, it was known in York for many centuries as 'Christ Church'. It seems likely that occurred in the 15th century to distinguish it from Holy Trinity, Goodramgate - literally a stone's throw away - which was opened around the same time as the Minster was completed. PS: It wasn't lost at any time. The Press used to have pictures of the Victorian church in its library and the Medieval church underneath it was well known to historians since the time of Francis Drake (the historian not the salty sea dog) Grumpy Old Man

1:12pm Sat 14 Sep 13

muckybutt says...

Shame they dont abandon the plans to resurface the square, I would have thought if the remains were left on display then that would bring more tourists thus benefiting the shops in the square.
Shame they dont abandon the plans to resurface the square, I would have thought if the remains were left on display then that would bring more tourists thus benefiting the shops in the square. muckybutt

10:29am Sun 15 Sep 13

PinzaC55 says...

muckybutt wrote:
Shame they dont abandon the plans to resurface the square, I would have thought if the remains were left on display then that would bring more tourists thus benefiting the shops in the square.
Why would anyone travel to see the foundations of an old church? Every building in York probably has the remains of an earlier building underneath it - should we leave it an empty site every time something is demolished?
[quote][p][bold]muckybutt[/bold] wrote: Shame they dont abandon the plans to resurface the square, I would have thought if the remains were left on display then that would bring more tourists thus benefiting the shops in the square.[/p][/quote]Why would anyone travel to see the foundations of an old church? Every building in York probably has the remains of an earlier building underneath it - should we leave it an empty site every time something is demolished? PinzaC55

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