Dig finds to go on display in Tadcaster

Ready for the archaeologic dig at Tadcaster are some of the Historical Society members, from left, John Firth, Susie Venables, Bil Oldroyd, Margaret Dawson. Picture by: Gil Firth.
Ready for the archaeologic dig at Tadcaster are some of the Historical Society members, from left, John Firth, Susie Venables, Bil Oldroyd, Margaret Dawson. Picture by: Gil Firth.
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Discoveries from an archaeological dig in Tadcaster will go on display in the town later this month.

Free exhibitions will be held at the Boys’ Sunday School on Saturday October 31 and Saturday November 7, 10am-5pm.

It covers the dig on the river side near St Mary’s Church last April and will show pictures of the work, the finds and seek to show the history of the site and town.

“The oldest items found were some Neolithic flints that could be as old as 4000BC,” said spokesman John Firth who added that Roman pottery was also found.

“These were not found where they were originally lost but almost certainly dug up by the Normans as they built the motte.

“The finds include significant quantities of sherds of Roman pottery, some pottery that is likely to be Anglo-Saxon or Viking, Medieval pottery and a lot of post-medieval material.”

He added: “This has allowed us to date some of the activity on the site. The pottery fragments found lead us to be reasonably confident that the site is very close to the Roman settlement of Calcaria.”

Other finds include the remains of a bottle used to ship spa water around Europe in the 1700s, broken clay pipes from 1650 to 1900 and oyster shells which could date back to Roman times.

But one of the things that was not found was also interesting to the archaeologists.

“Even though Tadcaster was the site of skirmishes in the Civil War, not a single musket ball was found,” added John.

“This may suggest that the skirmishes were remote from this site.

“We believe that we have found the original limit of the motte or castle hill, as well as more recent activity such as cottages and drainage.

“It appears that the cottages known to have been demolished in the 1930s were not the first on the site.”

Entry to the exhibition is free and some refreshments will be available.