All posts by AlanF

Retired Computer Design Engineer. Main hobby photography. Moved to live in York in November 2010 to be near family.

Ivory Comb found at Fisherate Postern Tower

York Archaeological Trust have been doing some more work to study the ivory comb found at Fishergate Postern Tower during the December 2018 dig.

Here’s another update on post-excavations from FPT.  The ivory comb photogrammetry is now live on
As you can see, YAT’s  top spec DSLR struggled to get the detail between the teeth, but even a laser scanner would struggle there. The detail of the grain of the ivory has come out very nicely, as have the crafts person’s tool marks.
A 3D print copy of the comb is being investigated.  Once this has been done, YAT  will be able to provide a cost for the object. Estimate around £40 – as the teeth will need to be manually sawn.

Fishergate Postern Tower – Archaeological Dig Report

In December 2018 the York Archaeological Trust (YAT) led a dig at Fishergate Postern Tower for The City of York Council with the help of Friends of York Walls volunteers. We are now excited to reveal some of the interesting finds that were collected from the community excavation!

The first item, said by archaeologists to be the most significant personal object recovered from the excavation, is a post-medieval comb possibly owned by a former tenant of Fishergate Postern Tower. After analysis in the YAT Conservation Lab, the growth rings visible on the comb prove that it is made of elephant tusk! This find is at least 300 years old, almost complete in its physicality and is a must see.

Bone Comb

As well as this, a wide range of pottery pieces were found, each telling their own tale across 2,000 years of York’s history. This included a (get ready for it) post-medieval fine oxidised industrial earthenware wide shallow flanged bowl, or Pancheon to us. These pieces were likely to have been used by The Phoenix Iron Foundry, formerly located on George Street close to Fishergate Postern Tower and therefore serve as a valuable piece of York’s history.


There are plenty more pieces to show you so don’t forget to visit Fishergate Postern Tower on the 10th and 11th August to see what else we’ve found.

If you can’t wait that long to see some of our discoveries, you can visit Sketchfab via your web browser HERE on PC, tablet or phone to see a virtual tour of the 1504 foundations exposed during the dig. Or likewise, if you have access to a smartphone and you can download the Sketchfab app to see the 3D model of Fishergate Postern Tower in augmented reality and VR. Simply search for YAT on the app and away you go!

If you wish to see the full report of the dig for free you can access it HERE via the City of York Council’s website. We look forward to showing you what we found in real life at the York Walls Festival across both days at Fishergate Postern Tower.


Annual Friends Meeting Saturday 4th May 2019

Annual Friends Meeting 2019

The Annual Friends Meeting was held on Saturday 4th May,  at 2pm in Clements Hall.  Nunthorpe Rd, York  YO23 1BW.

John Shaw of the York Architectural and York Archaeological Society (YAYAS) gave an illustrated talk on ‘York in Old Maps’.

Then there followed a discussion of the FPT development plans.


York Walls Festival – 10th & 11th August 2019 + other activities.

2019 Walls Festival Press Release

A National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £10,000, towards this year’s York Walls Festival, has been approved!

The grant will enable us to:

  • Enhance the programme of the Festival, extending it to both the Saturday (10th August) and the Sunday (11th August), and drawing in new partners with new activities.
  • Create a dedicated website for the Festival  See  HERE
  • Improve our visitor information and displays, and maps
  • Provide some of our key literature in translation into selected languages
  • Provide a programme of expert talks related to the walls leading up to the Festival and running on afterwards (See Festival Website for more details)
  • Put on training events for Friends and interested members of the public including work on archives, ecology and archaeology
  • Create a Family Pack and a Schools Pack for the Walls
  • Create a nature trail to enhance the experience of going round the Walls and ramparts
  • Do a professional display of the archaeological dig in the Fishergate Postern Tower
  • Increase the profile of Baile Hill in this year’s Festival, including better signage, interpretation and activity on the Festival days
  • Help the Red Tower to put on a Community Food Event on the Saturday afternoon of the Festival
  • Arrange for two study visits to other cities in England with heritage walls to research useful lessons for what we do in York in the future.
  • Help the Festival have a greater economic benefit for walls related businesses in York.
  • Take the first steps towards enhancing the visitor experience at Fishergate Postern Tower through display, space organisation and lighting.

Recent press coverage has included an article in The Press  HERE


Fishergate Postern Tower open 8th & 29th June, 13th July, 10th & 11th August.

Fishergate Postern Tower will be open on Saturday 8th & 29th June and then Saturday 13th July.  On Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th August there will be open days and special events as part of “York Walls Festival 2019”   Open each date is from 10am to 4pm. These dates are part of our 2019 season of Open Days, and as always it will be FREE entry.  Do come along and see us, and have a chat. Explore this unique 500 year old building, now NEW for 2019 with its own electricity supply and improved lighting.