Publications in Print

Titles are available to purchase via the Jorvik on-line shop

A number of out-of-print titles are now available to download here

New Titles

Butchers, Bakers and Candlestick Makers:
The Shambles and Colliergate

by Van Wilson

Local author and oral historian Van Wilson presents an engaging account of one of York’s most historic areas, The Shambles and adjacent Colliergate. The Shambles is famous for its butchers' shops, which feature in the book, alongside other establishments including rope-makers and wood carvers, ironmongers and chemists, eating houses and pubs, bookshops and a fortune teller! With considerable historical research and previously unpublished photographs, the book will appeal to anybody interested in York’s history and social development.
Published Autumn 2014
York Archaeological Trust Oral History Series: 8
240pp, 148 b/w photographs.
ISBN: 978-1 874454 687
Price: £9.99 plus p&p

AY 8/5: Anglo-Scandinavian Occupation at 16-22 Coppergate
by Richard A. Hall
with D.T Evans,K. Hunter-Mann and
Ailsa Mainman

This volume provides the long-awaited final report on the excavations of the Viking-Age tenements on Coppergate ('The Viking Dig'). Excavations at 16–22 Coppergate uncovered a large swathe of York’s late Anglian and Anglo-Scandinavian townscape on a spur of land between the Rivers Ouse and Foss. The report charts the establishment and subsequent development of four urban properties, demarcated by fence lines, which were still recognisable into modern times. A total of seventeen structures, some of them still standing almost 2m high, were excavated on these properties, arranged gable-end to the newly established street of Coppergate or on land immediately behind. Excavation of the backyards of the plots, which extended behind the buildings down towards the River Foss, revealed them to have been used for cess-pits, rubbish pits, and small-scale animal husbandry and horticulture, accessed from the structures along wattle or plank pathways. The survival of wood allowed for a very large number of dendrochronological dates to be established and these, augmented by other scientific dates and a sequence of coin dates, provide a detailed chronological framework for the site.

A subsequent watching brief and small-scale excavation on an adjacent site revealed evidence for further properties and structures of the same character. These findings, combined with the detailed evidence from the main excavation, facilitated an unparalleled examination of a large tract of York’s townscape which includes early churches and the west bank of the River Foss, and charts the rebirth of urban life in York in the pre-Conquest period.

312pp, 238 illustrations
ISBN: 978-1 874454 67 0
Price £17.40 plus p&p


Sweet Fishes: Stories from the Castle Market (Sheffield)

Booklet resulting from an HLF-funded community heritage project about Sheffield's Castle Market, recording the history and social history of the market in the year before it moved to a different part of Sheffield. Archaeologists, historians, poets and artists came together with groups of volunteers to record aspects of the buildings, shoppers and traders. Contains poems created in partnership with the Bard of Barnsley, Ian McMillan, and drawings, photographs and excerpts of oral histories. Captures the true flavour of market life in Sheffield!
45pp, illustrated
ISBN: 978-1 874454 65 6
Price: £2.00 plus p&p

York's Golden Half Mile: The Story of Coney Street
Van Wilson 

Coney Street was once dubbed York’s Golden Half Mile because of the glamour of its costumiers and furriers, pubs and restaurants. Today the street is as vibrant as any in the UK, crowned by York’s magnificent Mansion House and Guildhall. This book by oral historian Van Wilson brings the area vividly to life through fascinating reminiscences of local people. Included are current establishments such as the Spurriergate Centre, St Martin’s Church, the City Screen, WH Smith and The Press (formerly Yorkshire Evening Press), as well as those now gone such as Leak and Thorp, York’s first department store. Full of wonderful photographs never before published, and underpinned by considerable historical research, the book will appeal to anybody interested in York’s history and social development, and in oral history in general.

Published 22 October 2013

York Archaeological Trust Oral History Series: 7
258pp. 170 b/w photographs
ISBN: 978-1 874454 64 9
Price: £9.99 plus p&p

AY 16/9: Medieval Pottery from York
by Ailsa Mainman and Anne Jenner

This volume provides a detailed account of the development of medieval pottery in York over a 400-year period (c.1050–1450/1500). It draws upon evidence from a number of excavations in the city, notably the medieval tenements from 16–22 Coppergate and from the College of the Vicars Choral at the Bedern.

With some 400 line drawings, colour photographs and 400 catalogued entries, the volume seeks to show the full range of York’s medieval pottery.

159pp, 102 b/w figures, 17 colour photographs
ISBN: 978-1-874454-61-8
Price £10.00 plus p&p

AY16/9:Medieval Pottery

Medieval Craft and Mystery
by Nicola Rogers

York’s famous cycle of Mystery Plays was first performed in the late 14th century, and was an important feature of city life for almost 200 years. The 50 plays were all funded, produced and performed by the city’s craftspeople, each one the responsibility of one trade, whether it be the tanners or shoemakers, goldsmiths or armourers, cooks or butchers. York Archaeological Trust has been excavating in the city for 40 years, and has provided fascinating evidence of the lives of these craftsmen (and occasionally craftswomen), ranging from the physical remains of the places where they lived, worked and met, through to the tools they used and the products they made. Beautifully illustrated throughout, this book explores the lives of York’s medieval artisans, using this newly acquired archaeological knowledge together with insights from historical documents of the times to bring the original performers of medieval York’s Mystery Plays to life.

‘Medieval Craft and Mystery: Discovering the People behind York’s Mystery Plays’
by Nicola Rogers (2012)
ISBN: 978-1-874454-59-5
Price £8.50 (£10.20 including p&p)

Medieval Craft and Mystery

It's How You Play The Game: Olympic Sports in York
by Van Wilson

A timely and fascinating exploration of sport in York over the last 100 years in the year of the London Olympics. York sports protagonists from all 25 summer Olympic sports are interviewed, including a number of Olympians and Paralympians, in this celebration of sport in York. Detailed background and club information for sports such as cycling, boxing, swimming, rowing, hockey and archery is given. Richly illustrated with photographs never before made public. Includes the stories of two of the York people chosen to carry the Olympic torch as it passes through York in June 2012, Stan Wild, Olympic gymnast, and Clive Warley, table tennis player. Foreword by York-born Olympic gold medal swimmer Anita Lonsbrough.

York Archaeological Trust Oral History Series: 6
256pp, 159 b/w photographs
ISBN: 978-1-874454-58-8

Price: £9.99 plus p&p

It's How You Play The Game

Monk Bridge Ironworks
by Glyn Davies, Mark Stenton, Ron Fitzgerald and Rob Kinchin-Smith

This volume presents the results of archaeological investigations at the site of the former Monk Bridge Ironworks, in Leeds. It examines aspects of the emergence of the iron and railway engineering industries throughout a period of rapid national change.

The Monk Bridge Ironworks was founded in 1851 by Stephen Whitham. In 1854 the site was purchased by James Kitson, a locomotive manufacturer, and the Monk Bridge works became part of an integrated and internationally recognised company at the cutting edge of technology. Under the management of Kitson’s sons the company established a very strong reputation for the quality and reliability of its products.

The growth, success and changing fortunes of two extraordinary family businesses are charted through original research, standing building recording and extensive archaeological excavations. Important information has been gathered on a number of iron-working processes including puddling, reheating and rolling technologies.

Hardback, 194pp, 30 line illustrations, 119 colour and b/w plates
ISBN: 978-1-874454-56-4
Price: £20.00 plus p&p

Monk Bridge

The Changing Face of Clifton
by Van Wilson

Clifton, which boasts a rich historical background, has now been brought to life in this book by oral historian Van Wilson. Memories of a whole host of people who have lived or worked in the locality, an area from St Peter’s School to the Backies nature reserve at Clifton Moor, from the 1920s onwards, are included. Contains photographs never before published, and considerable historical research.

York Archaeological Trust Oral History Series: 5
263pp, 182 b/w photographs
ISBN: 978-1 874454 55 7
Price: £9.99 plus p&p

AY 6/2: Archaeology in the Environs of Roman York
by Patrick Ottaway

This volume reports in detail on the Roman phases from some 50 excavations and watching briefs undertaken in York between 1976 and 2005. Some are major excavations such as 16-20 Coppergate and 14-20 Blossom Street, while others are very small sites which would not normally merit a publication in their own right. This volume brings together all the excavations in the extra-mural area of Roman York and thus contributes to the overview of history and topography of the city.
The author discusses evidence for the development of the road system and how this influenced settlement, land divisions and cemeteries in the area surrounding Roman York.

289pp, 168 line illustrations, 58 b/w photographs
ISBN: 978-1 874454 54 0
Price £35.00 plus p&p
The Best Years of Our Lives?
Secondary Education in York 1900–1985

by Van Wilson

Marking the 25th anniversary of comprehensive education in York, this oral history book records the changing experience of secondary education in York from the 1900s to 1985. Based on in-depth interviews, with considerable historical research and many photographs, it covers aspects of school life including teaching methods and daily life, misbehaviour and corporal punishment, perceptions of school and the critical 11-plus exam and its effects on individuals and families. Foreword by Dame Janet Baker, highly acclaimed opera singer and formerly Chancellor of York University, who attended York College for Girls which is featured in the book. The book will appeal to anybody interested in York’s history, education and oral history in general.

York Archaeological Trust Oral History Series: 4
240 pp, 170 black and white photographs
ISBN 978-1 874454 49 6

Price: £9.99 (£11.99 including p&p)

best years of our lives
St Mary's Abbey and The King's Manor, York:
The Pictorial Evidence
by Barbara Wilson and Frances Mee

St Mary’s was the foremost Benedictine Abbey in the North of England. After the dissolution of the monasteries the Abbot’s Lodging, now known as the King’s Manor, became headquarters of the King’s Council in the North; it is now part of the University of York.

This lavishly-illustrated account summarises the site’s history and presents a wealth of illustrations of both historic and artistic interest.

152pp, 125 illustrations (24 in colour).
ISBN 978-1 874454 46 5

Price: £14.95 (£18.00 including p&p)

St Mary's Abbey

Stonegate Voices
by Van Wilson
This third volume in the York Archaeological Trust Oral History Series looks at life in Stonegate, Swinegate and adjacent streets, with Barley Hall at the centre; an area once filled with craftsmen, printers, booksellers and jewellers. Fascinating first-hand material, with images never before in the public domain, all backed up with considerable historical research, paint an evocative picture of the area in living memory. The book will appeal to anybody interested in York or the recent evolution of an English provincial city.

York Archaeological Trust Oral History 3
304 pp, 167 black and white photographs
Price: £9.99 (£11.99 including p&p)
ISBN 978-1 874454 441


Medieval York
by Gareth Dean

Examines life in York from the Norman Conquest until the mid-sixteenth century, using a mass of unpublished excavation material to supplement historical sources. Includes material on the city's topography, defences, religion, aspects of life and death, and trade and industry.
192pp. Illustrations and colour plates
Published by The History Press
Price: £17.99 plus p&p

Medieval York cover

Rations, Raids and Romance : York in the Second World War
by Van Wilson

In this second volume in York Archaeological Trust’s Oral History series, author Van Wilson looks at life in York during the Second World War, as remembered by those who lived through it.

Over 70 interviewees contribute their experiences of life in York and the surrounding area; their memories of evacuation, rationing, air raids and dancing in the de Grey rooms give a wonderful insight into the joys as well as the hardships of life in wartime Britain.
228 pp, 134 illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-874454-42-7
Price: £9.99 plus p&p

cover of Rations Raids and Romance

Rich in All but Money: Life in Hungate 1900-1938
Revised edition (2007)
by Van Wilson

The first in a series of oral history booklets published in conjunction with the Hungate excavations. It presents a fascinating view of life in Hungate in the early 20th century as seen through the eyes of the people who lived there at the time.
Foreword by Hugh Bayley MP.
158pp; 60 illustrations
ISBN: 978-1 874454 40 3
Price: £9.99 plus p&p

Rich in All But Money cover

AY17/6: Anglo-Scandinavian Ironwork from Coppergate
by Patrick Ottaway

Now available again after being out of print for some time.

284pp, 160 illustrations
ISBN: 978 1 872414 29 4
£20.00 +P&P

Anglo-Scandinavian Ironwork

AY2/3: Probate Inventories of the York Diocese 1350–1500
Translated by Philip Stell

These inventories, of which about one hundred survive, are a remarkable source of contemporary information about medieval life in York and Yorkshire. They provide room by room details of the houses occupied by the intestate subjects of the inventories, and they list the deceased's possessions on an item by item basis. Short of personal descriptions, it is hard to conceive of a more detailed and intimate view of medieval living conditions.
278pp ISBN: 1 874454 37 X

Probate Inventories cover

The City Walls and Castles of York: The Pictorial Evidence
by Barbara Wilson and Frances Mee

The book outlines the historical background from the pre-Conquest defences, through Norman York, the medieval period, the Civil War, and their use during peacetime and up to the present day. It then considers the walls, each of the bars and posterns, the Old Baile and the castle in detail, moving on to a chronological listing of illustrations of each of those features in collections throughout the country as well as in York.

160pp, 120 illustrations (26 in colour) ISBN 1 874454 36 1

City Walls and Castles

'The Fairest Arch in England'
Old Ouse Bridge, York, and its Buildings: The Pictorial Evidence

Barbara Wilson and Frances Mee (2002)

Lavishly illustrated book dealing principally with the 'Old Ouse Bridge', built in 1565-6. The Tudor bridge with its large and unusual central arch, crowned by its chapel, council chamber, debtors' gaol, shops and houses, and framed by the river and waterfronts, attracted artists including Joseph Farrington, John Sell Cotman, John Varley, J.M.W.Turner and Thomas Girtin. The book includes brief essays on various aspects of the bridge and its buildings. Irresistible to anyone interested in the history and architecture of York.

124pp; 78 illustrations, 17 in colour ISBN 1 874454 26 4
£14.95 + P&P

Old Ouse Bridge

Treasures of York
Lavishly illustrated in full colour, Treasures of York, published by York Archaeological Trust in association with Landmark Publishing, presents some of the most interesting artefacts excavated by York Archaeological Trust since it began work in 1972. Over 150 objects are featured, many of which have never been on public display, with a particular emphasis on the Roman, Viking and medieval periods.
Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales

Published by Landmark Publishing

£9.99 plus P&P

Treasures of York

AY17/16: Leather and Leatherworking in Anglo-Scandinavian and Medieval York

This volume presents the evidence for the manufacture and use of leather artefacts in York in the Anglo-Scandinavian and Medieval periods. Over 5000 items of leather dating from the 9th–15th century from Coppergate and other sites in the city are represented.

388pp: 177 illustrations
ISBN 1 902771 36 2

THIS VOLUME IS NOW OUT OF PRINT but available as a download

Leather and leatherworking

2000 Years of York: the archaeological story

This full-colour booklet encapsulates the history of York over the last 2000 years. It covers life in prehistoric times in the Vale of York, military and civilian life in Roman Eboracum, the Anglian settlement and trading centre of Eoforwic, the thriving Viking-Age centre of manufacture and commerce known as Jorvik, the development of the Norman and medieval city with its castle, defences and fine buildings, and life in the city in the post-medieval period right up to the end of the 20th century. It contains a wealth of reconstruction illustrations, photographs of excavations and of the artefacts they have yielded, demonstrating the history of York and its citizens through the eyes of archaeologists.

44pp. Over 100 illustrations ISBN: 1 874454 21 3
£3.95 plus P&P

2000 years
AY 2/2:York Bridgemasters' Accounts
Translated by Philip Stell (2003)

York Bridgemasters' Accounts offer fascinating insights into life in medieval York. These 15th century documents have been translated from the Latin and are full of information about the lives, occupations and homes of York's past residents.

ISBN 1 874454 28 0

This publication is also available online in pdf format

York Bridgemasters Accounts
For a full catalogue and to order, click here

Making Archaeology Matter:
Quarrying and Archaeology in the Trent Valley (PDF document pdf file: 4.6Mb)
by David Knight and Blaise Vyner

This booklet aims to provide a brief introduction to the archaeological issues associated with quarrying in the Trent Valley, one of the major sources of sand and gravel in the UK. It is downloadable in pdf format here by clicking on the title above.

This booklet was initiated by York Archaeological Trust and written by David Knight and Blaise Vyner. It was funded by the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund distributed by English Heritage on behalf of Defra.

Making Archaeology Matter download

Archaeology and Landscape in the Vale of York ( PDF documentpdf file: 6Mb)
by Mark Whyman and Andy Howard


Vale of York


Wood and woodworking Anglo-Scandinavian finds Medieval Finds

Many more titles available in the catalogue

Vicars Choral Mediaval Coppergate St Andrewgate Parish Churches archaeology and metal detecting...
      Bedern Hall Vale of York


© York Archaeological Trust 2007