Joseph Williamson’s Kitchen continues to reveal its secrets…

View of the basement of Williamson’s house, showing the rear wall and bay window. Inside, you can see the newly discovered Fireplaces in the kitchen.

Part of the work that has been taking place on Mason Street since starting our dig on this site, has been above ground. This work has been gradually exposing the basement of Williamson’s House, which includes the back wall and Bay Window of his house. In the last few weeks, we also uncovered a large fireplace, then right next to that a second, then a third and finally a fourth fireplace came into view. Each of these fireplaces have a different type of cooking range within. So would this have been Joseph Williamson’s kitchen?

A Close-up of the fireplaces, showing the the ranges in each one
What we think will be looking from the back yard of Williamson’s house, in through his rear bay window into the kitchen

We have also found some very interesting finds, by one these fireplaces. We unearthed a set of wooden items. Firstly we thought they would have been Spurtles, or a wooden Porridge stirring implements. However, the York Archaeological Trust has been giving us advice told us that they would have been Nautical Belaying Pins. The York Archaeological Trust are now preserving these items for us.

These unusual items found in Williamson’s kitchem, first thought to be Spurtles, but now thought to be Belaying Pins.

It is nice that every now and then we find info or Historic Writings that match with where we are digging, well we think this is one of those occasions. Charles Hand was a historian in the early 1900’s who wrote about Joseph Williamson and his tunnels. Here you can see a snippet from the Transactions of Historical Society of Lancashire and Cheshire issue 79 – 1927. So we are confident that this kitchen area where Charles Hand wrote about here.

Extract from Transactions of the Historical Society of Lancashire and Cheshire

Will we find more Fireplaces? Maybe not, but time will tell. Once the ranges inside the fireplaces are cleaned up, this will be quite an impressive area.

Watch this space…

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