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Can You Help Unearth The Guildhall’s Past?

Please credit The York Past and Present photographic group

9:46am 16th June 2014

In partnership with City of York Council, the unique dig is set to begin later this year to give a better understanding of the site’s history and significance, which will help to move forwards with the development of emerging plans for the new-look Guildhall complex.

However, before the digging begins, AOC Archaeology would like to uncover more of the history of the site and the old timber buildings itself (aka the hutments).

The hutments are believed to have been built sometime between 1938 and 1962 but prior to this the land used to be the site of an Augustinian Friary where Richard III famously once stayed, he also attended a feast at the Guildhall in 1483. They are currently located within the York Central Historic Core Conservation Area on the north bank of the River Ouse (between York Boat and the Guildhall).

Cllr Sonja Crisp, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said:

“This is providing us with a unique opportunity to gain a much better understanding of this key historical area of York.  Residents and visitors could really help us unearth any number of important memories about the historic Guildhall, which 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.”

Mitchell Pollington at AOC Archaeology, said:

“AOC Archaeology are excited to be carrying out this important archaeological and historical investigations at the Guildhall. We particularly would like to hear from anyone that may have any memories or photographs of the site from around the 1940s – perhaps you worked in the building, or nearby, or remember the area during the war?"

“Please contact Mitchell Pollington at AOC Archaeology if you can provide us with any information: mitchell.pollington@aocarchaeology.com or 01904 413 404.”

In July 2013 City of York Council’s cabinet specifically approved funding for the preparation of an options appraisal and business case development for a mixed use solution for the Guildhall complex, incorporating the establishment of a Digital Media and Arts Centre. A report outlining the proposals in full will be taken to a cabinet meeting later this year.

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