c. AD 400 — c. 866

aerial view of Fishergate excavations

Excavations by the confluence of the Rivers Foss and Ouse at Fishergate revealed the remains of an unsuspected Anglian settlement

Little is known about York immediately after the withdrawal of the Roman garrisons from Britain in the early 5th century. There are very few traces of the Anglo-Saxons who we know settled in the area during the 5th and 6th centuries. This remains a challenge for the York Archaeological Trust in the future.

Our work has led, however, to a greater understanding of the later Anglian period. Documents show that York was important enough for King Edwin of Northumbria to be baptised here in 627, and by the 8th century the city had a reputation throughout western Europe for learning and scholarship. Despite this, we found little real evidence from this period until the mid 1980s when we discovered 7th–9th century buildings near the River Foss in Fishergate, well outside the Roman centre, and at last the lost centuries began to unfold.

coppergate helmet

The magnificent 8th century helmet found at Coppergate