Hidden roman wall discovered by archaeologists working with contractors on the new development at The Grand Hotel & Spa, York.
Archaeologists working alongside building contractors working on the multi-million pound development project at The Grand Hotel & Spa in York have discovered part of a Roman wall located under what was previously a public toilet block.
The wall was discovered during the transformation of the appropriately named Roman House in Rougier Street, which will see the five-star hotel double its number of guest rooms.
The City Archaeologist for the City of York Council, John Oxley, and Graham Bruce from York-based On-Site Archaeology visited the site to confirm the structure as being from the Roman period.
Although only a short length of wall was revealed, its scale suggests that it most probably formed part of a large public building. Despite the site having been disturbed by Victorian cellars, the Roman wall survived immediately below a cellar floor.
Following archaeological recording, the wall has been professionally covered over and the foundations of the new building have been designed to avoid damaging it.
Commenting on the discovery, The Grand’s General Manager, Maria Florou, said: “It was extremely exciting to find a piece of York history hidden within the building and it adds an extra touch of heritage to the new area of the hotel.”.
Maria continued “The existing hotel is housed within an Edwardian Grade II listed building with a rich history and association with the railway industry, so it is wonderful to know that the new development has its own connections with York’s past too.”
All excavations required for the development are being archaeologically monitored to ensure that any discoveries are recognised. The archaeological work is being undertaken in close consultation with the City Archaeologist.
Work at The Grand, which is a part of the Splendid Hospitality Group, will see a new restaurant open on what was previously a terrace area in the first half of 2017, with the new guest-rooms in the renovated Roman House due to open a few months later.