Hidden Archaeology in York

AOC logo 2008

Located in one of the United Kingdom’s most beautiful and archaeologically vibrant centres, our York office sits just beyond the medieval walls near Walmgate Bar, one of the four main and most complete medieval gateways into the heart of the city. Today the sun is shining and our team members are busy analysing data collected from recent excavations and geophysics projects, and preparing for the exciting projects which are starting in the next couple of weeks.

Mitchell Pollington (Operations Manager)

I spent a great morning having a look around (and under!) York’s medieval Guildhall and the adjacent ‘Hutments’ site, where we are going to be undertaking an extensive community excavation this August.

Everyone will have the opportunity to be involved with the project, and it’s all for free!


Interior of Guildhall – originally built in the 15th Century and restored after damage from raids in WW2, the stained glass window illustrates the history of York and the historical importance of the city.



Front of the Guildhall – as viewed from the rear of Mansion House


Common Lane – a hidden street beneath York’s Guildhall!


The ‘Hutments’ Site – the location of our excavations in August will be focused here. The existing building is situated on the site of a medieval monastery where Richard III stayed when in York!

Paul Clarke (Project Officer – Excavation)

Today I am in the office preparing for the upcoming York Guildhall community excavation in August, which promises to be one of the most exciting excavations in York for years! I’ve only just started working for  AOC but I have already worked on excavating a Romano-British ladder settlement in Brough over the past 3 weeks, which has turned up some really complex and fascinating archaeology – it’s a very wet site so it’s one for the palaeobotanists.


Some of our team busy in the office


Alice James (Project Officer – Geophysics)

This morning I finished writing a report on a gradiometer survey at St Andrews College and Moat near Acaster Selby. St  Andrew’s College was founded in 1470 by the Bishop of Bath and Wells and in an act of Parliament in the late 15th Century recorded as holding an estate of 40 acres in Nether Acaster. It is documented as being made up of the main College buildings and chapel which lie on top of a large square platform.  Although there are no standing remains of the college and its associated structures, the site contains earthwork remains including a moated enclosure and ridge and furrow. By using a gradiometer survey we have been able to accrue more information regarding the form and extent of these known features as well as identifying previously unrecorded features such as a series of enclosures.

This afternoon is going to be filled with the organisation and project management of the geophysics projects we will be conducting in the next couple of weeks. July and August will be busy, especially in the south of England. In mid-August we are going to carry out a GPR survey as part of our Guildhall project in collaboration with the University of York, which I am very excited about!

DSC_0020 ne

St Andrew’s College and Moat – earthworks of the moat, which are still present in the modern landscape



Balancing a Bartington gradiometer before data collection


AOC Archaeology Group provides a UK-wide service, from three main offices, in Edinburgh, London and York. For more information about our professional services or any of the projects we working on please go to:

AOC logo image     Twitter Icon      Facebook Icon       LinkedIn Icon