Medieval finds at new housing estate site in Pontefract

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Parts of Pontefract’s medieval history have been unearthed during building work at a new housing estate in the town.

Developer Rippon Homes is currently building 61 new properties on the site of the former Simpson’s Malt factory off Ferrybridge Road.

As part of the work, trenches were first dug at the site ten years ago to see if there were any historical features on the site.

Pottery dating back to the 11th century has been found and West Yorkshire Archeological Services (WYAS) discovered Roman pottery during work it carried out in 2008.

Ian Roberts, WYAS lead archaeologist, said: “The findings in the eastern part of the site have had a major impact on our understanding of medieval Pontefract and will potentially have implications for the dating of many previously-excavated sites across Yorkshire.

“It could prompt a major review of medieval pottery chronologies both regionally and nationally.”

Earlier this year archaeologists also found a large medieval oven, which they believe was used for drying hops, at the site.

Further analysis on items found recently will be carried out over the next few months.

Ian Dyke, managing director of Rippon Homes, said: “The findings made by the archaeologists on site are absolutely fascinating and clearly hold significance.

“I’m sure people in Pontefract will be very interested to learn about what has been discovered on their doorsteps.”