Defining Tadcaster

Principal investigator: A Mason
Level: Archaeology society project

Tadcaster Historical Society, Archaeological Group

Defining Tadcaster:
Archaeological Investigation of a Two Thousand Year Old North Yorkshire Town.

Table of Contents:

1.0 Background/Summary
1.1 Acknowledgement
1.2 Introduction
1.3 Document Scope
1.4 Historical Context & Literature Review
1.5 Community Context
1.6 2015 Excavation Summary
1.7 Project Proposal

2.0 Research Aims and Methods
2.1 Remote Sensing and Geophysical Survey
2.2 Targeted Intrusive Investigation
2.3 Post-Excavation Assessment and Analysis
2.4 Further Analysis, Community Engagement and Publication

3.0 Resources

4.0 Funding

Appendix 1 List of Archaeological Excavations


⦁ Background/Summary

⦁ Acknowledgement

The majority of the historical and archaeological background described in this proposal is taken from the archaeological excavation report of the Tadcaster Riverbank Archaeological Dig Report (Firth & Williams, 2016, SNY22102). The author is grateful to John Firth and the Tadcaster Historical Society for permission to reproduce this analysis.

⦁ Introduction
Tadcaster is situated 10 miles to the south-west of York and 12 miles to the north-east of Leeds (Fig. 1). It straddles the River Wharfe and is the highest point on that river which is navigable from the Humber Estuary and the sea. It has long been a major crossing point of that river, historically carrying the main east-west road from York to the West, Leeds, Manchester and Chester and linking major north-south roads to the west of the town to York and the east coast..

Figure 1. Tadcaster. © Crown Copyright. All rights reserved, 2016.

The underlying bedrock comprises Dolomitic Limestone of the Brotherton Formation, with a small area of superficial deposits of Devensian Glaciofluvial terrace deposit of sands and gravels to the south (British Geological Survey, 2018). The soils are classified as belonging to the Aberford association, described as shallow, locally brashy, well drained calcareous fine loamy soils over limestone. (Thomson & Avis, 1983).

⦁ Document Scope

This proposal will outline the known history of Tadcaster, the gaps in that record and catalogue the previous archaeological investigations within the town and its surrounding area.

It will propose archaeological research questions which can be addressed by a variety of methodologies and identify a number of potential sites which may provide information which can contribute to the questions posed.

This is an initial proposal to outline the overall scope of a potential multi-year project to enhance the archaeological and historical record of Tadcaster, it is not concerned with the detailed design of specific archaeological research projects which will be addressed individually at an appropriate time.

⦁ Historical Background
The history of Tadcaster has commanded considerable attention from travellers, antiquarians and local historians through the ages. Their observations, findings and resultant interpretations have been collated and published in some detail (Speight (1902), Bogg (1904), Page (1912)). Whilst the town has been the subject of a number of small-scale archaeological investigations (Appendix 1), the nature of Tadcaster's early development remains relatively obscure.

A growing number of prehistoric finds attest to early prehistoric exploitation along the
Wharfe valley around Tadcaster; which is perhaps not surprising given the close proximity of the Newton Kyme Neolithic henge monument 2 km to the north-west. Finds of flint, stone and copper alloy artefacts in the last century, point to Neolithic and Bronze Age activity in the area (Page, 1912). More recent work in the town itself has also resulted in the recovery of flint assemblages ((Roberts & Morris (1993), Holbrey (1995)).

Conventionally, Tadcaster is equated with the Roman town of Calcaria, a reference to the town as a source of limestone (Page, 1912, 376-7), and one of the towns of Roman Britain mentioned in the Antonine Itineraries (Iter Britanniarum, Iter II) placing the town nine roman miles from Eburacum (York). More recent theories have equated Calcaria with the Roman fort and settlement at Newton Kyme (Bidwell and Hodgson, 2009). Irrespective of this, Tadcaster would have been an important crossing point of the River Wharfe and a number of Roman roads (fig. 2) converged on it from the west (Margary (1973), Ramm (1976)).

Figure 2. Roman Roads in the Tadcaster area and the supposed focus of Roman settlement in Tadcaster. (Tadcaster Historical Society, 2018, 3).
Tadcaster lay in the hinterland of Roman York and a number of later Roman villas are known in the area. The town would have been a key place for the collection of produce, as well as stone that was destined for York and beyond, and could, therefore, have justified a small fort or fortlet at the river crossing point. The course of the Roman road through Tadcaster is far from certain and its route is based largely upon circumstantial evidence. It has, however, been generally accepted that it ran from Station Road between the site of the later motte and the church to a bridge at the river, which emerged on the eastern bank to run north-east along the course of what is now Rosemary Row, towards Gallows Hill (Fig. 3). The main Roman settlement in Tadcaster is thought to be located around this crossing point (fig. 2) and is an area that has produced a notable number of Roman artefacts including pottery and coins, many of these being recovered from the castle site itself.

Figure 3. Central Tadcaster and Possible Courses of Roman Road (Firth & Williams, 2016, SNY22102)

There is good reason to suppose the continued presence of a settlement at Tadcaster throughout the post-Roman period. In the Late Anglo-Saxon period the town was clearly an important route centre and inland port - the place where Harold Godwinson drew up his levies and moored his fleet before the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066 (Stenton, 1971, 589 & 594). Moreover, the Domesday account alludes to a sizeable manor in 1086 (Faull and Stinson, 1986). Tangible evidence for Anglo-Saxon occupation is, however, scarce. Early Anglo-Saxon evidence takes the form of a few pieces of Anglian pottery and some potential sunken-floored buildings found north of Westgate (Whyman, 1989); whilst later Anglo-Saxon/Scandinavian evidence relies upon a few 10th-century coins of King Olaf of Northumbria, presumably associated with a period when Tadcaster was a fortified stronghold or burh (Clark, 1881, 338). It has been speculated that the earthworks recorded in the last century may reflect the line of such early town defences (Ordnance Survey (1849), Bogg (1904), Tyler (1976)).

Tadcaster was one of 100 manors granted to William de Percy by William I. The earliest settlement was probably focussed upon the crossing point of the river (as it seems to have been in the Roman period), as reflected by the positions of the motte and bailey castle and the church, and it is notable that large amounts of Roman material have been recovered from the motte and other associated castle earthworks (Ramm (1966), Roberts (1997)). No formal investigation of the castle has been undertaken, however, the form of the castle would suggest a late 11th century date. The church is also believed to date from the 11th/12th century, although the present building is essentially of 15th-century date (the nave being dismantled and rebuilt 5 feet higher in the 19th century because of flooding). The original church was documented as having been destroyed in the Scots raid of 1318 (Fowler, 1875).
There is documentary evidence relating to the transporting of stone by river from Tadcaster in the 13th and 14th centuries (Bogg, 1904, 168), implying the continued existence of substantial wharves and moorings, perhaps in the vicinity of the castle. The town had three water mills by 1258, a charter for a market and a fair were obtained in 1270, and at least two inns were in existence by 1341. The Poll Tax returns of 1378 are indicative of a prosperous small town with a population of perhaps 400 people (Speight, 1905, 19-26) - many of the recorded occupations reflecting the town's function as a staging post and crossing point on the Great
North Road.

With the focus of the town moving away from the castle and church area near
the river crossing, and the development along High Street, the 13th century saw the
construction of the first stone bridge over the river. The 1611 map of Tadcaster, held in the Petworth Collection of the West Sussex Record Office (PHA 3422), provides a detailed layout of the town, which by then was a more linear settlement lying along the western and eastern approaches to the bridge (fig.4).
Figure 4. 1611 Manorial Map of Tadcaster © Petworth Collection PHA 3422

Tadcaster had strategic importance during the English Civil War and in 1642 Fairfax's Parliamentarians defended the western part of the town against Newcastle's Royalists who attacked from the east. A linear earthwork, still visible in the early 19th century, running along the western river bank between the bridge and the churchyard, and to the south of the bridge, has been equated with this defence (Bogg, 1904). Certain earthwork features on the castle site have also been
attributed a Civil War date (Radley, 1968).

Tadcaster castle was an early stronghold of the Percy family. Its foundation date is unknown, although it would appear likely that it was built as a motte and bailey soon after the Conquest of the North in the late 11th century. A significant stronghold would have to have existed in 1209 to facilitate King John's alleged visit (Bogg (1904, 174), Speight (1905, 14)). The castle covers an area of some 500m2 in a series of terraces that form the garden to the rear of 32 Westgate. To the south the earthworks have been cut into by encroaching properties, whilst to the east part of the motte has been cut away, possibly for material for river bank reinforcement, the removal of which ultimately provided land for the construction of a row of cottages which appear in the 1841 Census and are portrayed on the six inch Ordnance Survey mapping of 1849 (fig. 5). The cottages were demolished in the 20th century. It would appear that the castle was established on the site of a previous Roman settlement, given the large quantities of Roman material that have been recovered from the castle banks and horizontal layers that make-up the motte (Ramm (1966, 563-4), Roberts (1996 & 1997)).

Figure 5. Tadcaster Late 1840s, OS 6 Inch, 1849. © Ordnance Survey, 1849.

There is no evidence that the castle ever developed beyond the motte and bailey stage, despite speculation with regard to a shell keep and a stone phase - and a tradition that would have the stone being cannibalised for the construction of the bridge (Clark (1889), Camden (1607, 699), Pevsner (1959, 499), Toulmin Smith (1907, 43-4)). The stone that has been recovered from the castle could relate to its later use as a pleasure garden (Page, 1912, 39). When the castle went out of use is unclear, but as a timber and earthwork fortification it probably had an early demise. Not surprisingly, it was out of use well before 1611, as it is not represented on the map of that date (fig. 4).

Archaeological work has been limited (a list of relevant reports is given in Appendix 1). A small investigation was carried out by the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments in 1965, following observations of motte erosion in 1961. This work recovered Roman building debris and 2nd/3rd-century Roman pottery, as well as Norman Pimply ware (Ramm, 1966, 563-4). Findings of a similar date were recovered from an eroding south-facing section of the motte when it was recorded in 1999, revealing horizontal make-up deposits similar to those of the motte portrayed in the Bayeaux tapestry (Roberts, 1997). In 1993 Ian Roberts interviewed the then occupier of the site (Mr Michael Fox), whose garden constituted a large part of the castle earthworks. Mr Fox recalled a small-scale excavation carried out in late 1960s or early 1970s by C.V. Bellamy and his WEA class from
Leeds University (recently attributed to 1972 (Keefe and Holst, 2011, 1.0)). The
excavation took the form of a ca.4m by 2m trench cut across the line of the site of the ditch between the motte and the bailey. Allegedly, the trench descended to a depth of 5.7m, and cut through a thick black layer of soil at a depth of 4.2m to reveal a deposit of large blocks of limestone, building material and plaster, as well as at least one Roman coin. Elsewhere, somewhere along the southern edge of the inner bailey, Mr Fox reported the discovery of two human skeletons, thought to be of Civil War date. Two human skeletons from Tadcaster Castle have recently been discovered in the archives of the Archaeological Services WYAS which are probably the same skeletons which had been deposited with the former West Yorkshire Archaeology Unit soon after their recovery. More recently, undated human remains were discovered within the bailey, on Station Road, in 1994 (Roberts, 1996, part 2), whilst another human burial has been excavated from within the bailey by the Towton Battlefield Society, looking for a possible mass grave, interpreted on the basis of Bellamy's earlier findings (Keefe and Holst, 2011).

The castle ditch around the western end of the bailey was excavated in 1996, in advance of the construction of the swimming pool. The ditch was found to be 11m wide and 5m deep at this point (Roberts, 1996). The ditch may be seen as an earthwork to have continued around the northern side of the castle to possibly join the river. Its southern course is less certain, but it is conceivable that it articulated with the town ditch to form an integrated defensive circuit in the early medieval period. The ditch appeared to have been re-cut at some point and its fills yielded pottery of Roman and medieval date, although the absence of late medieval and
post-medieval material suggests that it had been in-filled by 16th century (Roberts, 1996, 9.3).

There is cartographic and documentary evidence for industrial activity on both the east and west banks of the Wharfe for as long as the town has been in existence (Tadcaster Historical Society, 2018, 17) - although much of the evidence for this has disappeared in relatively modern times with the advent of major flood defence construction. From Roman times stone from the local quarries would have been loaded at the wharves in the town and various varieties of mills have been documented since the Anglo Saxon period.

⦁ Community Context

Tadcaster has a population of approximately 8,000, the main employment in the area being based on the three breweries in the town, light industry, retail and agriculture. The town is also ideally situated as a base for commuters to York or Leeds and lies close to the main north/south (A1/M1) and east/west (A64/M62) road arteries in Yorkshire. There is no longer a railway link in the town.

There are three primary schools, a large comprehensive school and a NYCC Library servicing the town and its surrounding rural communities. There are C. of E., Catholic and Methodist churches as well as a number of social clubs and sports teams. The town has a Sports Centre, Community Swimming Pool, Youth Centre and a residential care home.

Tadcaster Historical Society (THS) is a long established and active local community group which holds well attended monthly meetings on topics relevant to the town, it also carries out research into the town's history and has published a number of booklets on a variety of topics concerning the town. Further information on the activities of the group are available on their website at

In 2015 THS carried out a successful archaeological dig, with the assistance of the Archaeology Service of the West Yorkshire Archive Service (ASWYAS) (section 1.6), immediately to the east of the existing motte and bailey castle structure, this has been fully documented and a report published (Firth & Williams, 2016, SNY22102).

One of the principal aims of the project will be to involve as wide a cross section of the local community as possible. The 2015 archaeological dig (section 1.6) was very well supported by volunteers and it is evident there is a keen interest in the history of the town among its inhabitants. The project will actively seek to offer fieldwork training opportunities to volunteers and to disseminate progress and results both online, via the society website, and by means of presentations and site visits at THS meetings, local schools/residential care homes and other interested community groups. The project will seek to involve disadvantaged and/or isolated members of the local community wherever possible and with appropriate professional support and advice.

The active involvement of the local Town Council, schools, churches, businesses and residents will be sought as an initial step in establishing the project.

As was the case with the 2015 dig, it is envisaged that any relevant materials discovered as a result of the project's archaeological activities will be made available for viewing by the local community at an appropriate venue.

The impetus for establishing this project stems from a group of Tadcaster residents who are attending (or have attended and graduated from) the University of York Centre for Lifelong Learning (CLL) Archaeology Course. This group approached THS with a proposal to continue its initial 2015 archaeological work in the town (section 1.6) which has resulted in this project proposal. Additional members of this nascent THS Archaeology Group have come from within the society itself and also have archaeological fieldwork experience.

The project has received expressions of support from the Archaeology Department of the University of York (Dr. Steve Roskams) and has established contacts with Mr Brian Elsey of North Duffield Conservation and Local History Society which has carried out a successful multi-year archaeological project with their local community.

Additionally a number of the project team are members of, and have received geophysical training from, the Roman Roads Research Association ( who are receptive to carrying out collaborative research on the ancient road systems to the west of Tadcaster.

Dr. Mark Whyman, University of York CLL and Dr. Jon Kenny (Jon Kenny - Community Archaeology) have provided encouragement, support and professional archaeological advice in establishing this project and it is our hope that they will continue to provide the technical and academic basis for our work as we progress.

⦁ 2015 Excavation Summary

In April 2015 Tadcaster Historical Society (THS) and local volunteers in partnership with the Archaeological Services of the West Yorkshire Archive Service (ASWYAS) carried out a two week archaeological investigation of the area immediately to the west of the remains of the motte and bailey castle, the dig included part of the area of this scheduled monument. The site under investigation is thought to lie within the proposed Roman and post-Roman occupation area and be close to the possible river crossing point during those periods. The site is to the north of the modern centre of the town which shifted to its current focus on the stone bridge road crossing around the time or shortly before the Norman Conquest and the construction of the motte and bailey castle (Firth & Williams, 2016, SNY22102). The site is known to have been occupied by cottages until relatively recently (1960s) and it seems evident that a portion of the original motte was removed to accommodate these structures.

Figure 6. Extent of 2015 Excavations (Firth & Williams, 2016, SNY22102)

Ten test pits and 2 trenches (fig. 6) were excavated and uncovered evidence of these cottages under a significant layer of demolition material. There was evidence of possible earlier structures (also cottages?) beneath the cottage foundations which were of considerable depth. The investigation also found evidence of repeated flood defence activities and also possible evidence of the original edge of the motte structure shown by a row of tumbled rubble interpreted as having rolled down the side of the motte when it fell in to disuse. Given the limited time available to the dig it was not able to progress to sufficient depths to establish the presence of Roman, Anglian or Anglo-Scandinavian structural remains in the area nor, indeed, and indication of a road bridge in the vicinity.

However, the artefact inventory recovered from the site did cast significant light on the ancient nature of the area. Pottery finds from the earliest periods of the Roman occupation through to the modern period showed continuity of activity on and near to the site for the last 2000 years. Roman pottery was found across the whole site whereas medieval pottery was only found in excavations assumed to be outside the original area of the Norman motte. The presence of residual Roman pottery in the higher strata of the excavation indicates the likelihood that the motte was constructed using material from the earlier Roman settlement on the site.

The distribution of pottery reinforces the theory that the central focus of the town made a significant shift southward in the early medieval period. The ratio of Roman to medieval pottery was noticeably weighted in favour of Roman varieties, when this is combined with evidence from other (mainly rescue and watching brief) excavations in other parts of the town a clear pattern of Roman activity concentrated on the motte and bailey area and medieval activity to the south side of the motte and bailey bounded by Westgate on its northern edge (fig. 7).

Figure 7. Temporal Distribution of Pottery Finds in Tadcaster (Firth & Williams, 2016, SNY22102)

The area thought most likely to be on the site of the Roman road (trench 2, fig. 6) found no evidence of it, having reached a final depth of 2.39m.

Interestingly there was no evidence of material from the civil war period, it had been assumed that the motte had been fortified during the Battle of Tadcaster (1642) by the Parliamentarian defenders, however, this could not be substantiated.

The report suggests that the most likely site for investigation of pre-Norman Tadcaster would be in the area once covered by the portion of the original motte now removed by construction works and erosion. While the motte construction may well have destroyed much of the evidence for earlier settlement in the surrounding area it would have, in effect, sealed the stratigraphy immediately beneath the motte. Any extant pre-Norman archaeology, however, is likely to be at considerable depth due the build up of alluvial deposits from river flooding episodes.

⦁ Project Proposal

From the above synopsis it is evident that there is a significant gap in our understanding of Tadcaster from the arrival of the Romans to the Norman Settlement. Indeed, its very identification as the Calcaria of the Iter Brittaniarum is in question (Bidwell and Hodgson, 2009), largely due to the paucity of evidence for the existence of a settlement of sufficient substance to be worthy of note. Similarly our knowledge of the immediate post-Roman to Anglo Scandinavian periods is, if anything, even more sparse.

The evidence we have suggests that the focus of settlement in the first millennium was centred on the area now occupied by the Norman motte and bailey and St. Mary's Church, with the main Roman road from the legionary fortress at York to Lincoln crossing the Wharfe in this area and carrying on along roughly the path of what is now Station Road. This, however, remains conjecture in the absence of irrefutable archaeological proof of a road, a bridge or significant settlement in the first 1000 years of its supposed existence.

An intriguing parallel can be drawn with the recently discovered Roman settlement at Stamford Bridge on the eastern end of the glacial moraine upon which Tadcaster lies at its western end (Historic England, 2014). This was unknown until discovered via aerial photography in 1976 and occupies a similar river crossing site as Tadcaster.

We know from the historical, archaeological and cartographical record that there is a convergence of ancient roads and tracks to the west of Tadcaster but there are still significant gaps in our knowledge of the exact positions of these routes in a number of places and the state of their fabric and preservation. During the recent dry summer several parchmarks became evident in and around areas that these ancient routes are known to have passed through (fig. 8) and modern geophysical techniques are ideally suited to surveying the open agricultural areas where these parchmarks typically appear.

Additionally there are other intriguing cropmarks, which appear to be settlement rather than road related, also in the vicinity of Tadcaster (fig. 9).

Figure 8. Parchmarks in fields west of Tadcaster © Google Maps 2018

Figure 9. Cropmarks in fields north west of Tadcaster © Google Maps 2018

There is documentary evidence of water mills on the Wharfe at Tadcaster from pre-Norman times and the banks of the river will have been the sites of many industrial activities when the river was a main transport artery bringing and taking goods to and from other British and near-European ports. We have clear evidence for relatively modern mills on the eastern riverbank, both north and south of the current road bridge, which have now completely disappeared and their exact location and state of preservation of any remaining archaeology is unknown.

It is our belief that Tadcaster presents an attractive subject for further targeted archaeological research which can be driven by the local community group with the support of specialist archaeological professionals and technical skills providers.

The overarching aim of the project is to contribute to the historical record of Tadcaster specifically in the first millennium A.D. This would embrace greater definition of pre-Norman Tadcaster around the castle and church sites and extending out along Westgate/Station Road and the identification of ancient routeways and their state of preservation west of the modern town. Additionally, we aim to locate and investigate, where possible, the industrial heritage of Tadcaster along its riverbanks.

⦁ Research Aims and Methods

To identify, define and characterise through a variety of non-intrusive techniques and intrusive excavation, the extent and physical condition of archaeological remains in the town of Tadcaster and surrounding hinterland.
To obtain data which will contribute to the future management of significant archaeological remains.
To promote the history and archaeology of Tadcaster by sharing volunteering opportunities, basic fieldwork training and dissemination of progress and results with the local community and other interested parties.

2.1 Site Identification, Remote Sensing and Geophysical Survey

Question: Can we identify valid archaeological remains which may indicate the presence and/or extent of either pre-Norman structures, road systems or industrial activity within and around Tadcaster. Do they justify/warrant intrusive investigation?

Task 1: Continue with study of the known historical and archaeological record of Tadcaster.
Approach information resource providers to assist with identifying sites of interest, e.g. Portable Antiquities Scheme, Yorkshire Museum.

Task 2: Identify ownership of, and request access to, sites of archaeological interest within the town of Tadcaster and surrounding area. Request 'Section 42' permission to carry out geophysical survey of the Tadcaster Castle Scheduled Monument from Historic England.

Task 3: Approach resource providers and partners for assistance with specialist skills and equipment, determine costs:
Yorkshire Archaeological Aerial Mapping: Aerial Survey
University of York, Dept. of Archaeology: Geophysics of town
Roman Roads Research Association: Geophysics of fieldsystems (magnetometry)
Dr. Jon Kenny & Mr. Brian Elsey: Access to resistivity equipment & expertise.

Task 4: Organise programmes of geophysical survey based on site identification, access permissions and professional archaeological advice.

Task 5: Analysis and dissemination of results with oversight by professional archaeologists and technical experts.

Task 6: Identify sites for potential intrusive investigation by excavation.
Create 'calendar' of proposed investigations.

2.2 Targeted Intrusive Investigation

For each proposed intrusive investigation:

Question: Can we obtain detailed stratigraphic and palaeoenvironmental information which will add to and enhance the historic record of Tadcaster?

Task 1: Having identified potential sites from section 2.1, prepare detailed project proposal(s) and justification(s) to undertake intrusive investigation to 'ground-truth' target site(s).
Obtain access permissions.
Assess resource requirements and costs (section 3.0 ).
Assess post-excavation requirements and costs.
Apply for funding (section 4.0).
Invite volunteering opportunities in the local community and partner institutions.
Determine post-excavation finds management procedures.

Task 2: Determine timing requirements and organise resources.

Task 3: Carry out archaeological investigation with professional archaeological oversight.
Fieldwork will follow the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists' Standard and Guidance for Archaeological Excavation (CIfA, 2014).

Task 4: Reinstatement: The site(s) will be returned to its original state prior to any excavation activities, acceptable to the proprietor of the property.

2.3 Post-Excavation Assessment and Analysis

For each proposed intrusive investigation the following questions should be addressed:

Question: What can the results of the intrusive investigation tell us about the nature of the site both materially and environmentally?

Work with appropriate experts in archaeological and environmental analysis on the following tasks...

Task 1: Assess the state of archaeological and palaeoenvironmental material from the site.
Assess the preservation of materials and the depth at which they are buried.

Task 2: Analyse the palaeoenvironmental evidence to provide information on the climate and settlement activity on the site.
Study the contextual, varietal and spatial distribution of materials from the site to enhance our understanding of the utilisation, through time, of the site and can this inform our knowledge of the wider settlement.

Task 3: Secure the long term preservation and storage of significant materials recovered from the site. Make recommendations for the future protection and conservation of the in situ remnants of the site.

2.4 Further Analysis, Community Engagement and Publication

For each proposed intrusive investigation:

Question: How do the results from intrusive investigation, archaeological and palaeoenvironmental analysis fit into the existing understanding of Tadcaster and its surroundings? How can this be assessed in comparison with other comparable investigations? How can this analysis be best shared with the local community and interested parties?

Task 1: Preparation of an archaeological site report with the oversight of professional archaeological expertise. The report should meet the standards of a professional/academic analysis and be of publication quality, possibly in a suitable academic journal. The report should be lodged with the appropriate interested parties such as Town and County Councils, Historic England etc.

Task 2: Work with the Community Archaeologist to determine the most effective means of disseminating the recovered knowledge to the local community.
This is likely to involve local presentation of material finds and the results of post-excavation analysis, placing the results in the historic context of the town.
The project should seek to involve local schools and community residential institutions, neighbouring local history and archaeology groups and partner institutions, e.g. University of York.

⦁ Resources
It is envisaged that, wherever possible, THS Archaeology Group would form the core of any workforce involved in all aspects of the project with assistance from partners contributing technical and academic expertise.
The THS Archaeology Group consists of eight members who all have experience with archaeological fieldwork including excavation and geophysics. Two professional archaeologists have been closely associated with the project from its inception (Dr. Mark Whyman and Dr. Jon Kenny) without remuneration to date, but it is intended that any further significant involvement on their part would be suitably reimbursed.
The project has received the support, in principle, of the following...
Steve Roskams, Dept of Archaeology, University of York.
The University has resources which can address all aspects of archaeological study. We would seek the close involvement of the University in all aspects of the project and would welcome the opportunity to act as a training resource for their students in any capacity they would find useful. This might also include digital archaeology and heritage management aspects of archaeology which are active topics in the University curriculum.
Mr. Brian Elsey and the North Duffield Conservation and Historical Society.
This is an active local society which has been carrying out fieldwork over a significant period up to and including 2018. The society has a full suite of fieldwork equipment (including resistivity equipment) which they have kindly agreed to make available to THS for a small management and maintenance fee. We would expect this would form the basis of any fieldwork equipment required for THS fieldwork.
Messrs. James Lyall and Mike Haken, Roman Roads Research Association (RRRA).
THS members have already established links with this group and have taken part in geophysical fieldwork activities with the group. The RRRA has expressed enthusiasm for carrying out further geophysical work on the ancient road systems west of Tadcaster and have access to their own magnetometry equipment. This resource is not expected to incur any costs as it would be carried out by volunteers from the RRRA and THS. THS will investigate land ownership and negotiate access to sites of mutual interest.
Mr. Tony Hunt and Dr. Jon Kenny, Yorkshire Archaeological Aerial Mapping (YAAM).
This voluntary group carry out high resolution aerial photogrammetry surveys producing accurate 3D digital surface maps of sites of archaeological interest. THS has already benefited from this service performed on a prospective site immediately north west of the motte & bailey and would be very grateful for the continued support of YAAM as the project develops (fig. 10).
Figure 10. Hi-res 3D aerial photogrammetry, field north west of motte © YAAM 2018
The Environment Agency 3D LiDAR survey of England and Wales waterways covers much of Tadcaster and surrounding areas and has proved an invaluable resource in identifying potential sites of interest.
In addition to the above THS will continue to investigate the possible involvement of other interested parties and resource providers as required.

⦁ Funding
Currently THS Archaeology Group has no funds which can be directed towards this project.
It is our intention to establish the costs of the various stages of the project outlined in section 2 and, once a consolidated cost and contingency per distinct activity has been determined, to seek funding from appropriate commercial and charitable institutions.
Costs will primarily be generated by the need to employ professional archaeological expertise for the planning, execution and post-execution analysis and reporting, for the hire of specialised technical equipment where required and the purchase of consumables required during fieldwork and post-excavation activities.
Wherever possible THS will seek to minimise costs by using volunteers and local community resources donated on a voluntary basis.
Possible sources of funding have been identified as follows:
Local businesses: Tadcaster has several large businesses which might be interested in investing in local community activities.
CBA Mick Aston Fund: Small (£1000) grants for community archaeology projects
Peoples Postcode Lottery: Small to medium size grants (£10,000 - £15,000) for community activity projects.
Heritage Lottery Fund: Grants of negotiable size depending on the project proposal, duration and costings.
Appendix 1: List of Archaeological excavations
Available at

Reference Place Date
1-45250 13-15 Station Road, Tadcaster Watching Brief 2007
Ladyflats Roman Building Kirkby Wharfe 1972
11-63362 1 Beeches, Leeds Road, Tadcaster 2009
11-131509 Land east of Thorp Arch Trading Estate 2012
11-143095 Land in Bramham Park 2013
11-168767 Land east of Micklefield 2013
84231 Scholes Lodge Farm Assessment 2012
GL38001 A1 Bramham to Wetherby Upgrading Scheme 2005
Keesbury Manor Cawood-Geophys-Report 2015
SNY19253 Tadcaster Castle Motte YAS 1997
SNY8043 Colton Lane Junction 2003
SNY8472 Flood alleviation Tadcaster 2003
SNY8875 Steeton Hall South Milford 2004
SNY8914 Manor Farm Church Fenton Watching Brief 2004
SNY9571 Colton Lane Junction 2005
SNY9838 Tadcaster Street Lighting letter 2005
SNY10010 19 Westgate, Tadcaster 2005
SNY10011 Church Hill Sherburn-in-Elmet 2005
SNY10989 Street Lighting Tadcaster 2006
SNY11280 Newthorpe Quarry 2006
SNY11595 Steeton Hall South Milford 2007
SNY11637 Land north of Green Dyke Sherburn-in-Elmet 2006
SNY11658 Cawood Castle Garth 2007
SNY11877 1 Garnet Lane Tadcaster 2006
SNY11986 Tadcaster Swimming Pool 1996
SNY11987 Chapel Street, Tadcaster 1995
SNY11988 Chapel Street, Tadcaster 1993
SNY11990 High Street, Tadcaster 1993
SNY11993 The Old Vicarage, Tadcaster 1989
SNY16355 Jackdaw Crag Quarry Extension Stutton 2010
SNY19237 Towton Hall 1997
SNY19245 Smaws Quarry, Tadcaster 1994
SNY19246 Smaws Quarry, Tadcaster 1996
SNY19248 Smaws Quarry, Tadcaster 1997
SNY19252 4-8 High Street, Tadcaster 1995
SNY19255 Geophys Healaugh Manor 1997
SNY19769 Land NE Joseph Street Tadcaster 2013
SNY22102 Tadcaster Riverbank Archaeological Dig Project: Archaeological Excavations. 2016
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Roberts, I. (1997). 'Tadcaster Castle Motte', SNY19253, ASWYAS Report No. 544, unpublished.

Roberts, I., and Williams D. (2015). 'Tadcaster Motte and Bailey Castle Community
Archaeological Excavations, Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, Written Scheme of Investigation for Community Archaeological Excavations', SNY11102, ASWYAS, unpublished.

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The Tadcaster Historical Society Archaeological Group wish to become research level users to further our knowledge of of the distribution of activity in and around Tadcaster and feel it will greatly benefit the project and aid it's progression. We should imaging at this stage the project lasting at least two years.


Dr Jon Kenny BA (hons), MA (Community Archaeologist)

Audit data

  • Created: 2 years ago
  • Created by: Sam Moorhead
  • Updated: 2 years ago
  • Updated by: Sam Moorhead

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