Canal warehouse dig success

A clear layer of black coal dust was discovered. Records show the warehouse was constructed over a coal yard.
A clear layer of black coal dust was discovered. Records show the warehouse was constructed over a coal yard.

The archaeological investigation into Pocklington’s Canal Head basin has been hailed as a success after organisers reflected on the dig’s results.

The lead archaeologist, Dr Jon Kenny, said the operation had confirmed what organisers had expected to find as they excavated the remains of the 19th Century warehouse built by Sir Robert Dennison in the 1830s.

Carefully excavating the remains of the Dennison warehouse.

Carefully excavating the remains of the Dennison warehouse.

He also thought the dig brought the community together with young families getting involved and members of the older generation, who have lived in the area for a long time, sharing their fond memories of the basin area.

It is now believed that the warehouse was the same height as the other building on the opposite side on the basin after taking a close look at the remaining foundations.

However, Dr Kenny is appealing for pictures of the original warehouse, which was demolished in the 1950s-1960s.

Dr Kenny said: “The dig went really well. We were trying to find out how the canal linked with the community.

The trenches will remain uncovered until late summer next year to allow more people in the area to take a look at the site.

The trenches will remain uncovered until late summer next year to allow more people in the area to take a look at the site.

“The canal is like a Victorian motorway and we wanted to see how it fitted in with the town.

“It was basically a tale of someone trying to fire up the fortunes of the canal in the 1830s.

“We also looked at the end of the building and found it was taken down carefully with the timbers removed to be used elsewhere.

“The real success was through the local people who imparted their knowledge, which helped immensely, and interest shown by children.”

Some of the objects found at the site.

Some of the objects found at the site.

The dig was one of many projects hosted by The Canal and River Trust focusing on the Pocklington Canal.

Lizzie Dealey, the project officer, said: “We have decided to keep the trenches open until late summer 2018 to allow more people to take a look at this previously hidden bit of history.

“We’ll use a membrane during the colder months to protect the brickwork, but it’ll happily sit exposed until we recover it next year.”

Diggers operated in slot trenches to see how deep the foundations were.

Diggers operated in slot trenches to see how deep the foundations were.

Volunteers work on one of the trenches during the dig.

Volunteers work on one of the trenches during the dig.

Lots of bolts were found showing the site was dismantled with care.

Lots of bolts were found showing the site was dismantled with care.