Paul Toy works for York Archaeological Trust as a Visitor Services Host in the Attractions & Events Division of the JORVIK Group.
My role at the trust is as a Visitor Service Host at the Richard III Experience, which gives me the opportunity to make use of my M.A. in Medieval Studies. However I had also done postgraduate research in the Early Modern period, and I was pleased to be able to work on the St Peter’s School project, as the dates, 1557 -1644, coincide almost exactly with my previous work. I had done some research for Museum exhibitions before, but this was the first time I had been asked to help put archaeological finds in a wider context.
The research project led me to consider issues of religion and educational practice as well as historical and archaeological concerns. I had only vaguely known of the Horsefair area outside the Walls before, and it was interesting to learn of its varied history. The figure of Guy Fawkes, and the other Gunpowder plotters educated at the school, was an intriguing perspective on national events.
Whilst I used the resources of the Local History/Archive Dept at the Public Library and the YAT Research Library, most of my work was done at the Minster Library, in both the General and the Yorkshire Collections.