Timbers from a Viking home found in Hungate dig

Gary Millward works on timbers forming part of the cellar of a Viking house found on the Hungate development.

Gary Millward working on timbers forming part of the celler of a Viking house found on the Hungate development.

Gary Millward working on timbers forming part of the celler of a Viking house. These timbers are believed to have come from a Viking longboat.

Peter Connelly who is leading the dig

Published in News by

THE remains of a Viking home have been discovered in York by archaeologists.

York Archaeological Trust archaeologists have exposed what they believe to be a timber-lined cellar of a two-storey house, during excavations at the site of the new Hungate development, which is being built near Stonebow.

The archaeologists say the home, which was uncovered about three metres below street level, would have been built in the mid to late tenth century. It appears that ships’ timbers used in the building’s construction – the first discovery of its kind in York.

Hungate excavations project director Peter Connelly said: “To find these timbers so well preserved is very exciting. Viking cellars were used in different ways by different people, much in the same way as cellars are used today. Craftspeople appear to have worked out of their cellars as well as using them for storage, with the living quarters on the floor above.”

The trust is carrying out the excavations in York over a five-year period on behalf of Hungate (York) Regeneration Ltd, a joint venture between Crosby Lend Lease, Evans Property Group and Land Securities, which are creating the new Hungate neighbourhood. The scheme will provide more than 700 new homes within York’s city walls, and will include offices, cafes, restaurants, neighbourhood shops, and community space.

The archaeologists started work on the main part of the site in spring last year and have revealed a wide range of archaeology, spanning back in time more than 1,000 years. Their finds include traces of Viking age life such as bone ice skates, fragments of combs and a rare small glass bead. York Archaeological Trust chief executive John Walker said there was a “very tight window of opportunity” for people to go and look at the remains of the building because the timbers would be removed from the site by the end of the month. “The priority now is to safely remove the timbers from the ground for conservation and further analysis by our wood technology expert,” he said. “The discovery of what appears to be part of a ship’s hull in this house construction will require further study in our labs. The timbers are positioned just below the water table, which is why they have been so well-preserved.”

Comments (9)

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3:59pm Thu 9 Oct 08

petethefeet says...

Let's hope that the scientists can pin-point the location from where the timbers came.
Let's hope that the scientists can pin-point the location from where the timbers came. petethefeet
  • Score: 0

5:07pm Thu 9 Oct 08

the butler says...

Any mention of them finding my silver spoon,probably tarnished by now! lost at my christening near or in Garden place?
thought I'd ask.
Any mention of them finding my silver spoon,probably tarnished by now! lost at my christening near or in Garden place? thought I'd ask. the butler
  • Score: 0

5:55pm Thu 9 Oct 08

terjormac says...

can a mortgage be got on this home
can a mortgage be got on this home terjormac
  • Score: 0

8:41pm Thu 9 Oct 08

Alucard says...

Why did the Romans and Vikings build their houses underground all the time?
Why did the Romans and Vikings build their houses underground all the time? Alucard
  • Score: 0

1:19am Fri 10 Oct 08

York1900 says...

Alucard wrote:
Why did the Romans and Vikings build their houses underground all the time?
The water table changes over time
[quote][p][bold]Alucard[/bold] wrote: Why did the Romans and Vikings build their houses underground all the time?[/p][/quote]The water table changes over time York1900
  • Score: 0

2:28am Fri 10 Oct 08

piston broke says...

IT COULD BE NOAHS ARK
IT COULD BE NOAHS ARK piston broke
  • Score: 0

7:02am Fri 10 Oct 08

Alucard says...

York1900 wrote:
Alucard wrote: Why did the Romans and Vikings build their houses underground all the time?
The water table changes over time
Can't believe anyone took this silly joke as a serious enquiry
[quote][p][bold]York1900[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Alucard[/bold] wrote: Why did the Romans and Vikings build their houses underground all the time?[/p][/quote]The water table changes over time[/p][/quote]Can't believe anyone took this silly joke as a serious enquiry Alucard
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Fri 10 Oct 08

BL2 says...

Alucard wrote:
York1900 wrote:
Alucard wrote: Why did the Romans and Vikings build their houses underground all the time?
The water table changes over time
Can't believe anyone took this silly joke as a serious enquiry
It's a legacy of York council - they make so many silly jokes that they expect everyone to take seriously...
[quote][p][bold]Alucard[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]York1900[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Alucard[/bold] wrote: Why did the Romans and Vikings build their houses underground all the time?[/p][/quote]The water table changes over time[/p][/quote]Can't believe anyone took this silly joke as a serious enquiry[/p][/quote]It's a legacy of York council - they make so many silly jokes that they expect everyone to take seriously... BL2
  • Score: 0

12:59pm Fri 10 Oct 08

Queen Jane says...

I smell a Jorvik 2 - anyone for a journey back through time? Again?
I smell a Jorvik 2 - anyone for a journey back through time? Again? Queen Jane
  • Score: 0
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