Current Archaeology Research Project of the Year nomination for research

News | Posted on Tuesday 5 December 2023

Research by University of York staff and students has contributed to a project by Durham University, identifying pauper apprentices in rural post-medieval Yorkshire.

Reburial of the skeletons from Fewston
Reburial of the skeletons from Fewston

Professor Michelle Alexander, Malin Holst and masters students from the University of York undertook extensive analysis of the rural post-medieval cemetery population at Fewston, near Harrogate.

It was part of a collaborative community-led project with the Washburn Heritage Centre and Durham University, which has been nominated for the Current Archaeology Research Project Awards.

The research found that most of the individuals from the cemetery were from the local area and included farmers and stonemasons. However, several of the older children and teenagers were found to be paupers from workhouses in London, who were indentured to work long hours under terrible conditions in the flax and silk mills at Blubberhouses.

This project demonstrates how collaborative research can give a voice to those people in the past who did not have a voice whilst alive and who rarely feature in history narratives.

Read the full Current Archaeology feature