New archaeological finds at housing site

The Burnby Lane site
The Burnby Lane site

More Iron Age finds have reportedly been discovered on a housing development site in Pocklington.

It is believed a number of skeletons and an “item of interest” have been found on a site off Burnby Lane where developer David Wilson Homes is building 65 homes.

File pic: One of 160 skeletons found on the site of the Pavilion Square housing development site

File pic: One of 160 skeletons found on the site of the Pavilion Square housing development site

The development site off Burnby Lane is neighbouring the Pavilion Square development which unearthed an Iron Age site in 2014 which received international significance.

At the Pocklington Town Council meeting last week, Ward Councillor Kay West said: “An interesting note, the dig down Burnby Lane, they have found another 15 bodies this morning.

“I can’t say, but they have found something interesting...something associated with it – it’s quite exciting.”

Cllr West added: “It’s a bit of a surprise what they have found.”

Development site off Yapham Road

Development site off Yapham Road

Hundreds of artefacts were found at the Burnby Lane site where 77 houses were being built.
A total of 160 skeletons and more than 75 square barrows from the ‘Arras Culture’ which dates back as far as 800BC to 00AD, were found at the settlement. An Iron Age sword and narrow blade spearhead were found.

Peter Morris, development director at David Wilson Homes Yorkshire East, said: “Following the significant Iron Age findings which were discovered in Phase 1 of our Pavilion Square development on Burnby Lane last year, we are currently investigating the next phase of our project to ensure any other findings that may come to light are persevered accordingly.

“As such we are working with MAP Archaeological practice to strip the site, who are currently at the very early stages of their excavations. We are continuing to investigate the site and will keep the community updated as and when we make any discoveries.”

There are also reports of an archaeological dig taking place on the development site off Yapham Road after finds were discovered which could possibly be Roman.

Phil Gilbank, chairman of the Pocklington and District Local History Group, said: “If they have discovered further finds on both the Yapham Road and Burnby Lane building sites it’s hardly surprising but more good news to enhance Pocklington’s heritage.

“We already knew that the first site on Burnby Lane that turned up so many artefacts and skeletons in 2014 and 2015 was just part of a much larger Iron Age site. Ancient remains were identified during the building of the Wold Road and Pinewood Road estates on Burnby Lane in the 70s, 80s and 90s, but unfortunately in those days there was no requirement for archaeology to precede development, as is the case today.

“It’s a similar story down Yapham Road. I know of someone who found a Roman tile on a spoil heap when they were building houses on Algarth in the 1960s; more finds were made, including a Roman bowl and a wheel pin and some Iron Age stuff during the Sherbuttgate development in the 1970s, and more recently Peter Halkon, identified a Roman villa site on the other side of Yapham Road by field walking.

“I had heard tales of the Yapham Road site being robbed by illegal metal detectors a decade or so ago, so I really hope that there are still significant finds to come.”