Monument record MYO3769 - Cemetery of St Helen Fishergate

Summary

Location of the cemetery associated with the pre-conquest and medieval church of St Helen Fishergate. This church was listed among the pre-Conquest foundations of the city, as it was granted to Holy Trinity Priory in 1086 as an existing church and toft. Cemetery discovered during excavations in advance of development on Fishergate House in 2001/02. NMR: Excavations at Blue Bridge Lane in 1994 revealed settlement and an inhumation cemetery dating from the Early Medieval period to the Post-Medieval period. Assuming this is the same cemetery. RCHME Microfilm Index Number PRN: 6143

Location

Grid reference Centred SE 6069 5098 (78m by 31m)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire

Map

Type and Period (2)

Full Description

A medieval cemetery dominated the archaeology of the adjacent development site [Fishergate House], separated only by the route of Blue Bridge Lane itself. This belonged to the hitherto ‘lost’ Church of St Helen, Fishergate. Distinct from St Helen on-the-Walls, this church was listed among the pre-Conquest foundations of the city, as it was granted to Holy Trinity Priory in 1086 as an existing church and toft.46 A radiocarbon assay of two of the earliest burials laid out in stratigraphic ‘strings’, returned dates of ad 680 to ad 890 (GU-12719) and ad 940 to ad 1050 (GU-12722) (Tab 1). The first was unexpectedly early and suggests the presence of an inhumation cemetery contemporary with, and adjacent to, the Anglo-Saxon settlement remains. The origins of the church, already known to pre-date the Conquest, may actually belong to the middle Anglo-Saxon period. Identification with the church of St Helen, Fishergate draws the site into the wider cult traditions of this saint, the mother of Constantine, which gained particular currency in the region from the middle to late Anglo-Saxon period.


CA Spall and NJ Toop, 2008, Before Eoforwic: New Light on York in the 6th–7th Centuries (Article in Journal). SYO190.

Sources/Archives (1)

  • --- Article in Journal: CA Spall and NJ Toop. 2008. Before Eoforwic: New Light on York in the 6th–7th Centuries. Medieval Archaeology volume 52 2008.

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Mar 23 2020 11:28AM

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