Posted on 4 July 2012
The Monk Bar Rough Sleeper Site Survey which starts today will be carried out by the Homeless Heritage team, made up of members of the University’s Archaeology department, and shelter residents. It follows the team’s similar survey at a rough sleeper site at Bootham Park Hospital.
The aims of the three-day project are to compare the Monk Bar site with that at Bootham Park Hospital and to examine the site’s occupation and use through the distribution and nature of the finds. They also hope to learn more about the Church of St Maurice which once stood on the site near the junction of Monkgate and Lord Mayor’s Walk.
The Church of St Maurice was built originally in the 11th century and first demolished in the 1860s before being rebuilt shortly after. It was finally demolished in 1967.
One of the students involved, Navid Tomlinson, said: “We hope to disseminate the survey information in two ways. We plan to hold a number of talks and to produce both a survey report for the Historical Environments Record and an article on both the results and the collaborative work.”
One key aspect of the project is the collaboration between students and residents of the Arclight shelter. By working together as a team of equals, it allows the project to use the expert skills of both groups to understand homelessness in York from a new perspective.
Ex-Arclight resident Dan Clarke, involved with the project since its origins in York, said: “I’ve never seen people truly engaged before; they were this time. We went in with no expectations, at the end of it learnt some skills, some science and had fun in a team. It was also great not having a student-homeless person divide. None of that; we all dug holes and drew maps, and did everything.”
The survey will include field walking, topographic survey and resistivity survey.