The church of St Saviour has stood on this site since the 11th century. The present building dates from the 15th century, although some earlier stonework survives.
During the Georgian and Victorian periods, St, Saviourgate was one of the most fashionable streets in York and St Saviour's was a very popular place to worship. In 1845, the church was extended to accommodate its growing congregation.
By 1901, the parish had declined and the church bordered on one of the main slum districts of the city. St Saviour's was eventually declared redundant in 1954, and the medieval glass and church fitments were dispersed.
In 1975, the building was acquired by York Archaeological Trust. At it was used for the storage of finds, and then, in 1990, York Archaeological Trust set up the Archaeological Resource Centre (ARC) to complement its existing York attraction, Jorvik Viking Centre. Over the following decade, thousands of people visited the ARC, and now DIG has opened its doors so that visitors can continue to explore the history of York.