CONSTRUCTION workers building luxury flats in York have stumbled across what could be a medieval well.

Builders from Kier Northern found the old well underneath a concrete slab while clearing land in Stonegate Walk.

The company is getting ready to build retail units and 18 luxury flats on the Stonegate Arcade site, opposite McDonalds restaurant.

The well, which was full of rubble, has intrigued workers who want to find out about its origin.

Martin Stockwell, of the York Archaeological Trust, said it was too early to say just how old the well was.

But he said the limestone design did not rule out a medieval origin.

Kier site foreman Frank Heleniak said the company had informed the proper authorities about the find.

He said: "We had no idea it was there. There was no record of it. It was hidden under a concrete slab.

"We pulled it away and there it was. There have been hints that it might be 15th century.

"We find a lot of things when we are clearing sites. We have covered round the well and are protecting it until the archaeological trust is finished with it."

Mr Stockwell said the find would be recorded and then preserved underneath the new buildings.

"It is a circular well constructed from large blocks of magnesium limestone and topped off with some fairly modern blue bricks," he said.

"It is difficult to know how old it is. It could be medieval, but that is open to question. These types of find are sometimes typical of the medieval period.

"We have recorded the find and photographed it. It will be preserved and covered over by the floor slab of the new building.

"It won't be available for viewing, but it will remain undamaged and preserved.

"It is quite a pleasant little find although they appear quite frequently."

In last night's Evening Press we carried a view of the Minster incorrectly stating that it was taken from the new £20 million Westgate Development in Leeman Road.

In fact it was taken from the roof of Anderson tailors in Blake Street. We apologise for the confusion.

Updated: 11:26 Friday, May 03, 2002