First look at vision for Roman museum planned in York

A concept visual of a Roman tourist attraction planned in York. Pic: York Archaeological Society.
A concept visual of a Roman tourist attraction planned in York. Pic: York Archaeological Society.

York Archaeological Trust has released images of its vision for a groundbreaking new Roman tourist attraction in the city.

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A concept visual of a Roman tourist attraction planned in York. Pic: York Archaeological Society.

A concept visual of a Roman tourist attraction planned in York. Pic: York Archaeological Society.

Visitors to a public consultation event for the new Roman Quarter proposals tomorrow will be among the first to see the initial concepts of what the new multi-million pound visitor attraction might look like up close, though director of a attractions, Sarah Maltby, said that much will change over the coming months and years.

It comes after the trust announced plans for a “once-in-a-generation” two-year dig under Rougier Street ahead of building work starting on the new museum, revealed alongside proposals for a 145-bed hotel, 228 apartments, cafes, shops and restaurants above ground.

The concepts were created by RMA, a UK-based leading design, build and production company which has worked with York Archaeological Trust for over 30 years, most recently on the JORVIK Viking Centre in 2016.

The concept illustrations show some ideas for how Roman York might be presented to the next generation of visitors, though director of attractions, Sarah Maltby,
said that much will change over the coming months and years.

Early plans for the museum. Pic: York Archaeological Trust.

Early plans for the museum. Pic: York Archaeological Trust.

She said: “We have been working behind the scenes on concepts for what the visitor attraction may eventually look like for some time, but this is without knowing what fascinating items we might unearth during the archaeological dig.”

"Our role is to share the stories of Roman York, and these stories will inevitably be shaped by what we find here and the things we learn for the first time
about how the Romans lived on this very site."

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While co-applicants York Archaeological Trust, York-based developer North Star and hotel operator Native expect to submit a planning application later this year for the development on Rougier Street, it will still be five years before the vision for the new Roman attraction will be realised and open to the public.

The public would be able to view the dig site. Pic: York Archaeological Trust.

The public would be able to view the dig site. Pic: York Archaeological Trust.

However, there will be plenty of ways for residents and visitors to the city to find out more, with the trust planning a huge public engagement exercise during the two year archaeological dig, which will incorporate tours, hands-on activity, exhibitions and the opportunity to watch archaeologists at work at the most significant excavation in the city for a generation.

“We are keen to hear what the public think about the proposals as a whole, but we’re particularly excited that the entrance to our attraction will be on a new street from Tanner’s Moat to Tanner Street, reinstating a former Roman road and opening up a vista towards All Saints Church on North Street – we hope to use this to create an interactive space that provides a fantastic precursor to the exhibition inside,” added Ms Maltby.

A consultation exhibition by the trust, North Star and hotel operator Native will take place tomorrow at Society, 1 Rougier Street, between 1pm and 7pm.