Medieval dig won't slow work on Beverley's Saturday Market
A MEDIEVAL archaeological discovery will not delay work on the £2.5m revamp of Beverley's Saturday Market.
History experts were called in last week after workmen uncovered a section of ancient wall outside what is now Caffè Nero.
Work was halted there while archaeologists excavated a large trench running right across Saturday Market.
Contractors moved to work on a different section of the market.
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Now, after a few days of intensive study, the remnants of the wall have been sealed with plastic and concreted in.
Nick Pearson, director with York-based On-Site Archaeology, which has the East Riding Council contract to keep a watching brief, said: "It didn't need to be dug out. It's not being disturbed.
"We're working with the developer on nine phases.
"They moved on to another area."
The wall structure, which could be the foundations of medieval shops, was about 2ft from the surface.
The discovery means other finds could be made elsewhere as work progresses throughout this year.
Mr Pearson said: "We have been there since the start and that will go on as long as the project is running."
Nigel Leighton, director of environment and neighbourhood services at the council, said: "As the maintenance scheme in Saturday Market is within the historic core of the medieval and post-medieval part of Beverley, there was always the possibility that items of archaeological interest may be found.
"As such, the council appointed a contractor to keep an archaeological brief, including observation, investigation and recording, to be carried out during ground works associated with the remodelling and refurbishment of Saturday Market."
Beverley Civic Society is keeping a close eye on the progression of the work, having had lengthy discussions with East Riding Council about how it felt the marketplace should look after the revamp.
Backed by a vocal campaign, the society won its fight to have stone setts retained, after the council initially decided to remove them.
Now it wants to be sure the area is not cluttered with street furniture and that anything historic that is uncovered is properly examined and recorded.
The Saturday Market revamp is progressing well, despite poor weather at the start of the year.
The funding for the Beverley scheme is being taken from £3.3m set aside for roads maintenance after a council underspend during the previous year.
It leaves just £800,000 for the rest of the East Riding and that has caused some anger in other towns.
East Riding Council leader Stephen Parnaby said the East Riding has a schedule of works based on need and Saturday Market, because of its condition, is at the top of the priority list.