Weekly insight

Regular insights from the A63 Castle Street archaeology team

A63 Castle Street archaeology - weekly insight


25 Jan 2021

Friday 26 February - Meet Jen, head of processing and reburial at Trinity Burial Ground, Hull

In her video she talks about the work she does.

Friday 19 February - Meet Angela, one of our field archaeologists

Hi, I’m Angela Fawcett and am currently employed as a Field Archaeologist with Humber Field Archaeology (HFA). They are a Hull based company, who work extensively within Hull and the East Riding and are working in collaboration with Oxford Archaeology North on the A63 project.

Angela - field archaeologist

I live in Beverley, East Yorkshire, and have always had an interest in history and archaeology. An advert to join East Riding Archaeological Society (ERAS) in 2009 is what started me on my current path.

The society is a mix of enthusiastic amateurs and professionals with a commitment to promoting the archaeology of East Yorkshire and a very good place to start if you are interested in local archaeology. I turned up with very little knowledge and no experience and was welcomed and encouraged.

We hold regular and varied lectures on national and regional projects (currently online). Post-pandemic, we will continue with our monthly Field Studies programme – sorting and recording pottery from Romano British kilns from Holme on Spalding Moor.

Members also receive the Society’s major publication, ‘The East Riding Archaeologist’ and regular newsletters. ERAS also organises day trips, weekends away and social events. Members can get involved in geophysical surveys and, sometimes, excavations. Visit www.eras.org.uk or our Facebook page if you are interested in joining us. Go on – have a look. Who knows where it will take you?

This inspired me to begin a six-year period of part-time study at The University of Hull whilst working as the Administrative Officer in a local Nursery School, volunteering at excavations in school holidays and continuing as a busy Committee Member with ERAS.

In 2012, halfway through my studies, I became a Commercial Field Archaeologist. I consider myself really lucky to live and work in Hull and the East Riding doing something I adore. I’ve worked on some amazing sites of national significance on the Wolds and Holderness – for example Iron Age chariot burials and early Anglo Saxon Cemetery and settlement sites. I have also worked extensively in Hull Old Town – including the Humber Street regeneration, the dry dock and the C4di building.

More recently I have been involved in Highways England funded developments at The South Blockhouse Project and at Hull Minster. The South Blockhouse Project invited community involvement and it was wonderful to see how enthusiastic the Hull population were about their amazing heritage – with many visiting weekly to see how we had progressed.

Angela working on site

After excavations at Hull Minster it was natural to want to be part of this project. Every regeneration project in Hull gives archaeologists an opportunity to explore previous generations. It’s an incredible opportunity to explore and understand the social and economic history of the population of Hull at a time when it was experiencing huge population expansion.

When restrictions are lifted I am looking forward to showing our visiting archaeologists the cultural sights and sounds of our lovely city.

Hi, my name's Nathan. I am one of the project supervisors, responsible for leading a team of archaeologists in the excavations out here at Trinity Burial Ground.

Here I talk about how I got involved in archaeology and what it’s like working on this project.

Archaeologist nathan

How did you become an archaeologist and why?

Having always had a passion for history I went to University of Chester to study history and archaeology, planning on becoming a teacher. However, I found that I much preferred being in the field getting dirty and handling history, than just simply reading about it in books.

When I completed my degree and having developed the itch to keep exploring the next archaeological horizon, I approached a unit that I had previously volunteered with and was fortunate enough to be given a paid post. And now four and a bit years later my career has brought me back home.

Have you worked on any other sites in and around Hull?

Unfortunately, no, this is my first time excavating within Hull, having spent most of my career in the south working on other large-scale projects such as HS2.

What's so interesting/exciting about this project?

As with any large-scale cemetery excavation it provides us with a snapshot of the population from the period and region concerned. Giving us useful information on the population, like where they came from, their diets, the diseases that afflicted them, possibly even how they died. With this data we can compare it to other cemeteries and see how the population differed across the country and even throughout time. This one just has the added bonus of being in the great city of Hull.

Archealogist nathan

What does this project mean to you as someone local to Hull?

For one thing, those individuals we are excavating from the burial ground are likely to be distant relatives, which gives it a unique connection, unlikely found on other sites.

But also, I know how important these road improvements are to the region and it gives me a sense of pride to know that the work I am doing will have a positive impact on the lives of people I know.

Lauren is one of the archaeologists working on the A63 Castle St scheme. Here she talks about how she got into archaeology and the work we’re doing in Trinity Burial Ground, Hull.

About weekly insight

Each week, our archaeological team and guest contributors will shed light on themes, personalities, discoveries and personal experiences which tell the story of Hull. 

We will be going behind the scenes on the archaeological work in the Castle Street area and finding out more about other recent digs and finds in and around the city.

We will dive into the archives to find out more about the transformation of Hull from a medieval market town to a commercial port at the centre of the Industrial Revolution to the celebrated modern city of culture we have today.

Behind these sweeping changes in the fabric of the city, we will also be homing in on individual human stories about the lives and livelihoods of people who have lived here through the ages, and exploring why their stories are important to Hullensians today.

These ‘Weekly Insights’ will be posted here every Friday, starting in February, and shared on our social media feeds. You can find us on Twitter and Facebook. If you would like to be updated on the latest news and information on the A63 archaeology, make sure to subscribe to our new email list.

We welcome your comments, feedback, and questions arising from the weekly insights. Please get in touch via email or social media.

Do you have any burning questions for our archaeological team?

Do you have any insights about Hull’s heritage which you would like to share?

Do you know of any historical mysteries that we could investigate further?

If you do, get in touch with us at: A63CastleStreet.Hull@highwaysengland.co.uk 

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