Rare finds by archaeologists are delaying the completion of the £4.1m refurbishment of Theatre.  The York Theatre closed in March for a revamp and was due to reopen in December.  It was built on the site of the medieval St Leonard’s Hospital and it was thought the hospital foundations had been destroyed.

But a team from York Archaeological Trust has made a number of significant finds since ground works by the main contractor William Birch and Son began last week in the auditorium.  The team have uncovered the limestone foundations of the north wall of one of the 13th century hospital buildings and a number of the plinths and pillar bases for the rib-vaulted ground floor.

Ben Reeves, Project Officer for York Archaeological Trust, said: “It is amazing that, considering all the alterations to the theatre since 1764, so much of the medieval hospital has survived under the stalls and elsewhere within the building.

“The remains are an exciting and important discovery for both archaeologists and the public, offering an opportunity to investigate and understand more about one of the City’s most fascinating and little understood sites.”