Fulford Battlefield Research Website


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Mr Richard Tasker


25 February 2004

Dear Mr Tasker

When I spoke to the Atkinson brother recently, I was alarmed to discover that we had lost your support. I cannot say how sorry I am that some misunderstanding has arisen. I hope you will accept that I had absolutely no intention to deceive or mislead yourself, the land owner or the Atkinsons. I really am very sorry.

We are working with the active support of English Heritage, the Battlefield Trust, York Archaeological Trust, officers of the City of York Council, several universities and funded by the Lottery, Local Heritage Initiative. We are carrying out the work as quickly as possible to ensure that any remaining evidence is collected, now we have identified the site.

I would welcome an opportunity to meet you and the land owner to discuss the work. Could I perhaps suggest that we walk round the site and I explain the battle and the work we are doing. This would give me a chance to show you the material we have assembled so far which is stored in the Fulford Social Hall.



We were entering our 4th season of metal detecting when permission was withdrawn. Shortly before this date we had disclosed to the developers that we had identified some hearth areas as a result of the inspection of the material by experts.

The misunderstanding I refer to relates to the land to which we had access. I provided a map and plan in 2001 when we first obtained permission showing where we hoped to work. Somehow the impression was formed that we would only be working near the river bank and therefore well away from the proposed development.  

No meeting resulted and a new agent adopted an aggressive stance toward the project and our work. He managed to get the local papers to publish misleading and inaccurate information about the site.

Things had been going so well - see below

12 June 03

Dear Mr Tasker

Continued Permission to metal detect

Last year, you kindly agreed to let me organise some metal detecting work on the land farmed by The Atkinsons in Fulford. I felt it was time to give you an update and confirm that we have your permission to continue with the work.

We have so far undertaken 3 surveys on fields with the complete cooperation of Mr Brian Atkinson. The results have been very encouraging in our search for the location and extent of the Battle of Fulford, which took place just a few weeks before the battle at Hastings in 1066. The work has now attracted extensive support from the archaeological and academic community.

We have so far extracted nearly 1000 items. The majority are lumps of iron and bits of broken pottery. The items are given to an expert from the Yorkshire Museum for examination. Two items have been sent to the British Museum for further analysis. The first is a cloth seal that, uniquely, has some threads of the cloth still trapped within the seal. The other is possible ‘treasure trove’ which looks like a broken curtain ring but apparently the base metal might be covered in gold. Neither item have monetary value and I would like your permission, subject to the findings of the British Museum experts, to allow them to keep these items which have value to scholars.

I am storing the rest of the items, pending the funds to carry out proper examination and conservation. We are awaiting the outcome of a bid for funds to carry out this work from the Heritage Lottery Fund. If we are successful in our bid, the York Archaeological Trust and the Royal Armouries in Leeds, will x-ray the iron fragments to see what lies beneath the rust-crust. May I have your permission to dispose of those items once they have been examined with the exception of items of value, where £50 is the customary limit. I will contact you immediately if such items are identified. The normal procedure is to share the value with the finder. However, battlesites are not normally rich in jewellery!

The grant will also allow us to work on the Ings which we believe was at the heart of the battle. The results are being published on the website showing the scatter of items and the photo of a few items - www.battleoffulford.org.uk

With your permission, I would like to continue the work through this year and next year which is the time the project will take. The Atkinson Brothers have been very generous with their cooperation and I hope I have not imposed too much on their good nature.

I try to publish the times of the surveys on the website and you would be very welcome to come and watch us at work some time. Thank you again  

Yours sincerely



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The author of the content is Charles Jones - fulfordthing@gmail.com   Last updated April 2015

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