Finding Fryston was an exciting 2 year local history Community Research Project financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund
It caught the imagination and support of village residents of all ages and others from further afield who wanted to get involved finding and handling artefacts themselves; this helped the Time Team piece together more about Monk Fryston’s history and village heritage.
Three years ago, in 2015, the project got off to a fantastic start with a 32 day excavation in Monk Fryston Hall which exceeded all expectations. The volunteer excavators found over 10,000 artefacts dating from the Ice Age to the 20th century, however, most were from our target period of the Monks to the Victorians.
We were able to share and explain our discoveries first hand to over 1000 visitors who came to the site during the dig; what’s more, almost 100 people ‘had a go’ on our free taster days. Some came back and practiced their newly acquired skills and made more discoveries for themselves as well as made new friends. Our presentations to the Yorkshire Symposium of the Council of British Archaeology in February 2016 was described as ‘Inspirational’ by their Chair.
In fact, we made so many discoveries that we ran out of time with unfinished business. Tantalisingly, towards the end of the dig we discovered a medieval wall embedded into an extraordinarily well made road. This warranted further exploration but unfortunately we simply ran out of dig time so, with the Heritage Lottery Funds permission, we decided to stage a 13 day supplementary Dig in April and May 2016.
Our Dig was a great success. This very productive site, didn't disappoint and we found a further 2500 artefacts...
In July 2016, the Time Team partnered Monk Fryston School and undertook a Big Village Dig. This was our first attempt at a public training and multi-site excavations event. It proved to be very successful; all the participants enjoyed themselves and we continued to learn much about our villages.
During the following Autumn, Winter and Spring 2017 our volunteers embarked on an ambitious project to reassemble pot sheds which they had discovered and did so with remarkable success. Some of the reassembled pots were displayed in April at our Digs and Discoveries Presentation.
To find out more about the dig discoveries take a look at the News Archives and a full Project and excavation report has been prepared and will be published in Spring 2018.
LEGACY OF THE PROJECT
The Project, which was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and North Yorkshire Historic Environmental Records Office, was fully recorded and presented locally in April 2017 and to the Yorkshire Branch of the Council for British in November 2017. Reports will lodged and archived at the NYHR Office Northallerton.
We have now completed the three legacy elements of the Project. In April 2017 we unveiled 3 display banners illustrating some aspects of the role played by St Wilfrid’s Church in the development of Monk Fryston which was followed in early August by four new Heritage Information Boards. These were erected at strategic locations around the village and provide an overview of more aspects of village history.
The third legacy element, a mini museum in Monk Fryston Hall, displaying a selected artefacts discovered during the excavation was opened in November 2017.
As a result of the Finding Fryston project, residents and visitors can enjoy an informative tour and leave with a better appreciation and understanding of our ancient village and how it originated on the borderlands of the Vale of York. Similarly, residents will know how the village evolved and have a deeper understanding of why the village is so attractive. It does have a long history and unique heritage whilst others will be able to recall their involvement in discovering it. For participants the Finding Fryston Project may have represented the start of a new hobby or the fulfilment of a lifetime's desire to do some history or archaeology
Community Research Project
Whether you are an experienced enthusiast or a beginner, you can take part in our Project.
Our Next Meetings are at:-
Tuesday 12th June
Burton Salmon Village Hall
Tuesday 17th July