Can you help unearth the Guildhall’s past?

AOC Archaeology Group, which has been appointed to undertake an archaeological dig close to the medieval Guildhall site, are encouraging residents and visitors to help unearth the Guildhall’s past.

please credit the york past and present photographic groupCredit:York past and present photographic group

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).

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: 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.

The plans are highly controversial potentially involving the council in major expenditure while jeopardising the civic role that the Guildhall has supported for over two cneturies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.