Fulford battlefied under threat

July 2015 dig

The Fulford Tapestry

Stages of discover

Summary of published report

Visiting the site

Finds 2014
Geophysics confirmation
Stages of discover
Detecting coverage
Hearth poster 1
Hearth poster 2
Investigating Ferrous Finds
Archival finds data
Non ferrous
Ferrous conservation
Weights associated with smithing finds
Ferrous weight charts
Iron finds
Quality control


Images of flood on the day of the battle

12 panoramas of the battle site

YouTube videos

The Fulford Tapestry

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Finding Fulford cover

Kindle version

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How the various possible metal recycling sites were identified.

Ferrous material being inspected by Drs Addyman and Ottoway in February and March 2004. They were the first to identify the amount of hearth material, billets of iron and metal-working tools among collections of finds from certain small areas. This was immediately notified to English Heritage, the City Planners and the developers since we sought permission to return since the land was now within the planning ‘red line’. The developers said they would do what the city archaeologist required and the city archaeologist told me that the site was now going to be a community wood so he could not require any work as the land would not be disturbed. Attempts to confirm this, or even find a clear and dated planning ‘red line’ on the plans have failed.

Text Box: A billet is a shaped piece of metal that is partway through the process of being formed into a finished product. It is unusual to find these items since they would normally be transformed into a finished object. This category and quantity of find makes the Germany Beck site exceptional.



We conducted a double blind trial and volunteers who knew nothing of the possible re-cycling areas checked several collections. The one that had already yielded the billets produced several more while not a single item emerged from the other collections from similar landscapes.

Later hearths

Text Box: A ‘smithing hearth bottom’, (below) often abbreviated to hearth bottom, is an iron-rich residue that falls to the bottom of the crucible that contains the charcoal. In the era before blast furnaces, during smithing work. Because the technology to melt this did not exist these are often found abandoned where metal working took place.



The project could not afford to have all of the collection expertly inspected and approximately a quarter of the iron finds were selected for x-ray and inspection following the methodology agreed for the project. So in February 2007, with the help of the community and guided by archaeologists, (Drs Kenny and Wikerts are seen working on finds), the iron collection was fully sorted after being stabilised for a number of years during the process of conservation. 

This led to the identification of other possible hearth areas with hearth bottoms, slag, billets and tools being found in the confined areas.

Text Box: (left) The finds which had been identified as related to the hearth areas were set out for inspection by archaeologists and the press.
The final hearths were identified following the XRF work in November 2009 when a further hearth bottom was identified and other items could be confirmed as not being modern metal.  

During the summer of 2007 I was invited to visit Copenhagen, Roskilde, Gothenberg, Ala, Lodese, Udevala and Oslo universities and museums to help identify some of the fragments recovered from the site. As a result of this I was able to identify the new re-cycling hearths which led me to renew my request for access or for the developers to undertake the work.  



Related sites Facebook  Twitter (@ helpsavefulford)        Visiting Fulford        Map York

There is a site devoted to saving the battlesite: The site has the story of the process that has allowed the site to be designated an access road to a Green Belt, floodplain housing estate.

And another website for the Fulford Tapestry that tells the story of the September 1066: This tells the story embroidered into the panels.

The author of the content is Chas Jones - fulfordthing@gmail.com  last updated June 2015

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