Documents indicate that York was a thriving commercial city by the 8th century and our excavations by the River Foss at Fishergate have uncovered what might be a wic (a trading settlement) set up to serve York’s ecclesiastical and royal centre. In particular, fragments of very fine glass vessels, pottery and lava quern stones show that there were trading links between York and northern France, the Low Countries and the Rhineland. Other goods including raw materials and foodstuffs were imported from other parts of England, amongst them stone from Yorkshire and the Lake District, and pottery from East Anglia.

A bone single-handled comb of a style found in Frisia (northern Netherlands)

Tating ware jug fragments imported from the continent

Regional, East Anglian and continental pottery

A fragment of an Ipswich ware pitcher

French pottery of 8th century date

A bone comb decorated with an animal head thought to show Frisian (northern Netherlands) influence