Archaeologists Uncover Immaculately Preserved Medieval House in Rare Find


Archaeologists working with the University of York have uncovered an ancient medieval structure in England, Ancient Origins reported.

Known as a timber hall, the houses were common in the Middle Ages around England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and other parts of Northern Europe. They earned their name because they were often designed around one central hallway.

Discovering an unaltered timber hall, as the archaeologists in Skipsea, East Yorkshire did, is practically unheard of. Surviving timber houses, by necessity, have been entirely overhauled by successive owners over the years; but a structure that appears as it did in the Middle Ages is extremely rare indeed.

It was nearly a decade ago when Jim Leary and Elaine Jamieson detected a significant mound at the Skipsea site. They originally hypothesized it might be a motte castle, but radiocarbon imaging revealed the structure to be a timber hall that turned out to be much older and, measuring 16.5 feet wide by 52.5 long, much larger than Leary and Jamieson had anticipated.

Officials believe the home belonged to high-status citizens, and considering its size believe the structure was used as a gathering place for rulers to greet visiting dignitaries, as well as for hosting celebrations and feasts. Further excavations set to take place later this month are expected to shed more light on the home’s ancient history.

“The unearthing of timber buildings dating to the period between the collapse of the Roman Empire and the arrival of the Vikings, a time often referred to as the Dark Ages, is an incredibly rare and significant find,” Leary said in a statement.

“The discovery at Skipsea is particularly interesting because we know that the area was in the hands of the last Anglo-Saxon King of England, Harald Godwinson, and then later, after the Norman Conquest of 1066, it became the estate center of the Lords of Holderness,” the archaeologist explained.

Later this month, archaeology students will join the team from the University of York to continue digging into the site’s mysterious history.

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