Kate Fletcher works for York Archaeological Trust as a Site Supervisor at the Richard III Experience and as a Visitor Service Host in the Jorvik shop.
My current roles within YAT are Site Supervisor at the Richard III Experience and Visitor Service Host at the Jorvik shop, however my background is in research for television documentaries and I really enjoy investigating various places and people to try and uncover curious and obscure facts, and reveal their stories. I was very interested in the research opportunity which the resilience funding provided, taking finds from the YAT collection and placing them within a wider context so discovering their connection with the location in which they were found and the people they were associated with.
My project focused on equipment relating to the refining of sugar (moulds and collecting jars) that had been excavated at a site on Skeldegate referred to as Pawson’s warehouse. As this is an industry I know nothing about it was fascinating to uncover the details surrounding the use of these items and how they ended up in the Skeldergate location. My research led me to look at the life of a remarkable individual, John Taylor, a Quaker missionary who had preached world wide before setting up his business at Skeldergate. I also uncovered an area of York I was unaware of before when I tracked down the old Quaker burial ground in Bishophill, now absorbed into the garden of a block of flats, but open to the public should anyone wish to venture in. Unfortunately I was unable to find the grave of Taylor or his family but it is such a peaceful overlooked spot to take a minute before returning to the busy area surrounding it.
The YAT library at DIG was a very valuable resource as was the Local History and Archive department of the main city library, and Google books meant I was able to read John Taylor’s own words in the form of his published diary from the comfort of my own home. I found the whole project very enjoyable and appreciate being given the opportunity to carry it out.