Friends of York Archaeological Trust

Formed in 1975, The Friends of YAT membership gives members the opportunity to learn more about the latest archaeological discoveries the Trust are involved with as well as learn about life in the past. By joining the Friends, members make a valuable contribution to the work of the Trust as every penny of profit is donated directly back into the Trust to further its important work.

Benefits of membership include:

  • Visit Trust excavations
  • Participation in themed visits to archaeological sites across Europe
  • Access to the Trust’s lunchtime lectures
  • Subscription to the Trust’s Northern Archaeology Today publication
  • Free admission to the Trust’s attractions, The JORVIK Group
  • Discounts in gift shops, on Trust publications and training fees.


Prices start from £22 per annum. For more information, please contact Peter Connelly  

To keep up to date with the Friends of YAT, follow them on twitter.

A selection of images from recent days out with Friends of YAT

  • Site visit to Aldborough
  • Site visit to Lair Glenshee
  • Site visit to Lair Glenshee 2
  • Site visit to Lair Glenshee 3
  • Site visit to Wemyss
  • Site visit to the Govan Stones
  • Site visit to Normandy
  • Site visit to Piercebridge
  • Site visit to Corfe Castle
  • Site visit to Ironbridge
  • Site visit to Montgomery Castle

Friends of YAT Lectures

From October to April every year YAT stages public lunchtime lectures, supported by the Friends of YAT, on various YAT-related activities. Held in the Central Methodist Church Hall on St Saviourgate, York, the lectures are free for all to attend and provide an interesting insight into recent YAT archaeology projects and offer an opportunity to catch up on Friends activities. Lectures start at 12.30pm, duration 30mins, with Q&A after.


Upcoming Lectures:
“The Varied World of Community Archaeology!”
by Dr Jon Kenny
12.30pm, Wednesday 5 April
Jon will talk about the wide variety of local interests encapsulated by different communities around Yorkshire and his role in helping them to find out more about the past. From prehistoric landscapes to alum houses. From Moorland farm houses to Medieval moated sites, from lost chapels to 1066 and all that. Jon’s talk will be a lightning flight around the community archaeology projects that he has been involved with over the last two years.


Past Lectures:


Hearthside stories: new research on food, cooking, and identity in the Age of Vikings (7th December, 2016)

Dr Steven Ashby, Senior Lecturer, Department of Archaeology, University of York, presented findings on a new research project at the University of York that uses cutting-edge scientific techniques to explore the ways in which pottery was used to transport, store, prepare and serve food and drink in Viking-age York.


Time and Tide (2nd November, 2016)

Project Manager Ian Milsted gave a talk on a major project that YAT are working on with the Environment Agency for a proposed coastal defence scheme in East Yorkshire. As part of the project team YAT are investigating a large and complex landscape where an entire sequence of human habitation over the last 12,000 years may survive in the tidal muds and reclaimed farmland of the North Humber shore.


Dramatic Discoveries at York Theatre Royal (5th October, 2016)

Ben Reeves talked about the discoveries made during the 2015 excavation of part of St Leonard’s medieval hospital, revealed during the recent renovation of York Theatre Royal. With the post-excavation analyses at a preliminary stage Ben shined a spotlight on some of the new structures identified during the recent work, the character of the archaeology the team encountered, the results from environmental samples, some of the fascinating objects recovered from the excavation and of course a little bit about the theatre itself.


The pottery from archaeological investigations at Rutson Hospital, Northallerton, North Yorkshire (6th April, 2016)

by Anne Jenner

During an excavation carried out by YAT in the heart of Northallerton during the Autumn of 2015 a very unusual assemblage of Post-Medieval pottery was recovered from brick lined feature. During the lecture Anne investigated what this intriguing assemblage represented and what it told us about the people who once owned it.


Tree-ring dating late medieval timber-framed buildings in York (2nd March 2016)

Dr Jayne Rimmer explored the use of tree-ring dating (dendrochronology) in the investigation of historic timber-framed buildings. To date, very few timber-framed buildings in York have been dated using this technique. This is despite there being a high number of surviving late medieval timber-framed buildings in the city. With the aid of a research grant from the Vernacular Architecture Group it has now been possible to sample and analyse timbers from a further three well-known late medieval buildings in York (including Lady Row on Goodramgate and All Saints Cottages on North Street). The results of this project has refined our understanding of these buildings and late medieval construction methods, and extended our knowledge of the use of dendrochronology in York.


Archaeological Conservation Abroad. (Wednesday 3 February)

YAT Conservator, Margrethe Felter, focused on the role of archaeological conservation in the field and on some of the projects she has been involved with outside of the UK over the last 10 years.  Working on archaeological sites abroad and volunteering with heritage organisations is enormously rewarding, leading to a whole host of new skills and experiences.



Palaeolithic Archaeology and the Caves of the Southern Magnesian Limestone. (Wednesday 2nd December)

Creswell Crags is famous for its caves, and the Palaeolithic archaeology contained within them, however, these caves represent a small number of those that are located in the Southern Magnesian Limestone of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire. Glyn Davies wtalked about the wider landscape of the Southern Magnesian Limestone and the numerous valleys and gorges that are known to contain caves and rock shelters. The talk also considered the caves archaeological potential, condition and future conservation.


The City of York Council Archaeologist:  A Career In Ruins. (Wednesday 4th November)

John Oxley, archaeologist with City of York Council since 1989, gave an illustrated review of what his role with City of York Council involves and how it has developed over the last 20 years.  Attendees learned how a local authority archaeologist contributes to the development of the Local Plan, is involved with assessing and commenting on planning applications, manages the Historic Environment Record, and encourages community involvement.




Looking Back and Looking Forward: Archaeology Live! in 2014 & 2015 (Wednesday 1 April 2015)

Toby Kendall, director of YAT’s successful and renowned Archaeology Live! annual summer traing programme, gave an overview of what was discovered at last year’s training dig and discussed what the team could potentially unearth this year.

‘Trading Histories and Imaginary Castles’: two community projects in the heart of Sheffield  (Wednesday 4 March 2015)

Anna Badcock, Regional Director of ArcHeritage, gave a brief overview of community projects based on the site of Sheffield Castle and the 700 year history of market trading at the same site.

Vikings In The High Arctic (Wednesday 4 February 2015)

The first of the Friends Of YAT 2015 Lunchtime Lecture series was delivered by Dr Ailsa Mainman (President of FOYAT), who  investigated the archaeological evidence for Viking trade and habitation in the High Arctic.