This page celebrates the number, volume, and academic excellence of the wave of publications about archaeology in the London area which have appeared since 1997. We are also impressed by the fact that only one of them, on Southwark Cathedral, needed support from CoLAT. Developers are taking their true responsibilities of funding this exciting, new research on London and its history, from prehistory to the present. There has also been funding from English Heritage (from 2016, Historic England). We thank them all and show here some of the products of their funding.
These publications are available from the archaeological organisations which produced them, or from on-line bookshops such as Amazon and Oxbow Books.
Three Ways Wharf, Uxbridge: a Late glacial and Early Holocene hunter-gatherer site in the Colne valley
This volume documents the evidence for human activity in the Colne valley at Three Ways Wharf, Uxbridge in the Lateglacial and Early Mesolithic periods. A series of five in situ lithic and faunal scatters, centred on hearth settings on local high points within the valley floor, belong to two main phases of hunter-gatherer activity. The earlier phase, characterised by Lateglacial bruised-edge ‘long blades’ of the north German Ahrensburgian technocomplex, associated with reindeer and horse, is dated to c 10,000 BP. The succeeding Early Mesolithic phase is typified by broad, obliquely backed flint points, associated with a fauna dominated by red and roe deer, and dated some 800 radiocarbon years later at c 9200 BP. Detailed analyses of the important faunal and lithic assemblages, bolstered by an extensive refitting programme, have been fully integrated to provide new and striking behavioural explanations. These hunter-gatherer groups can now be seen as groups of people intent on pursuing their own independent and socially defined goals, and no longer solely in terms of their adaptive responses to environmental pressures. Three Ways Wharf will come to take its place alongside other iconic sites of the period such as Star Carr, Broxbourne and Thatcham. Published 2011.
Mapping past landscapes in the lower Lea valley: a geoarchaeological study of the Quaternary sequence
Archaeological evidence is enriched when it is viewed against the backdrop of its natural landscape setting. This setting is not readily apparent in the lower Lea valley, where evidence for the natural topography has been cut away by quarrying and reservoir construction or buried by metres of alluvium and modern made ground. The Lea Valley Mapping Project, funded by the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund, has taken a geoarchaeological approach to reconstructing the past landscape and its relationship to archaeological distributions by using existing borehole information to model the buried topography and past environment of the lower Lea valley from the M25 to the confluence of the Lea and the Thames. The results place the known archaeology within its past landscape context and also predict the archaeological potential of the study area, which readers can investigate by referring both to the maps in the monograph and to the accompanying gazetteer. They can also download the interpreted geo-referenced datasets produced for the project from the ADS website. This book will be an indispensable guide not only for those wishing to know the archaeological potential and past landscape characteristics of the lower Lea valley but to anyone proposing to investigate the buried landscape in other river valleys or wanting an introduction to Quaternary deposits, environments and landscape processes in Greater London. Published 2011.
Queen Mary’s Hospital Carshalton: an Iron Age and early Romano-British settlement
Excavations just outside a large Late Bronze Age ringwork at Queen Mary’s Hospital Carshalton, in the London Borough of Sutton, revealed a settlement which was occupied possibly continuously from the Early Iron Age into the early Romano-British period. Originally an open settlement, parts of it had by the Late Iron Age been enclosed by an arrangement of small ditches, which underwent some modification over the next two centuries while keeping their overall layout. An Early/Middle Iron Age round-house and an adjacent square probable granary were uncovered, but most of the features were pits, including grain storage pits. These contained evidence of arable and pastoral farming activities, domestic life and craft/industry, including Romano-British metalworking. Some of the material in the pits had been deliberately deposited, probably for ritual or religious reasons. A few pits contained carefully selected metal, ceramic and other objects. Others contained partial or complete animal carcasses, sometimes in large numbers; sheep were the most common animal deposited, but also of note are several dog burials. Published 2017.
Imperial College Sports Ground and RMC Land, Harlington: The development of prehistoric and later communities in the Colne Valley and on the Heathrow Terrace
This volume brings together the results from two excavations between the villages of Harlington and Sipson in the London Borough of Hillingdon. Activity dating to the Early−Middle Neolithic period included numerous pits, many containing assemblages of Plain Bowl and Peterborough Ware-style pottery, worked flint and other finds, and a rectangular ditched enclosure. A possible dispersed monument complex including two penannular ditched enclosures and one double ring ditch associated with rare and important remains of cremation burials was of contemporaneous Middle Neolithic date. A small number of pit and burial deposits dated to the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. In the Middle to Late Bronze Age a formalised landscape of extensive rectangular fields, enclosures, wells and pits was established, possibly across both sites. Activity continued in the Iron Age and Romano-British periods with a nucleated settlement. In the early Saxon period, there was rather less activity, with settlement represented by two possible sunken-featured buildings and a small cemetery. Subsequently, a middle Saxon and medieval field system of small enclosures and wells was established. Published 2015.
By River, fields and factories: the making of the lower Lea valley – archaeological and cultural heritage investigations on the site of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
The construction, in east London’s lower Lea Valley, of the Olympic Park as a venue for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, prompted a comprehensive series of investigations into the site’s environmental and cultural heritage. The work was commissioned by the Olympic Delivery Authority and comprised geoarchaeological, palaeoenvironmental and archaeological investigations, built heritage recording, documentary research, oral history and other forms of community engagement. This volume combines many strands of evidence charting the evolution of the valley landscape over some 10,000 years, and changes in the patterns of human settlement, land and waterway management, and economic activity. It has revealed important new evidence for prehistoric farming, post-medieval milling, Victorian infrastructure development, the area’s 19th- and 20th-century industrial heritage and World War II defences. The creation of the Olympic Park is the most recent of a long series of transformations which the lower Lea Valley and its communities have witnessed over their history. These cultural history investigations, the results of which form part of the legacy of the 2012 Games, have ensured that the site’s past has been preserved, and renewed for the future. Published 2012.
London Gateway: maritime archaeology in the Thames Estuary
The DP World London Gateway Port, on the north bank of the Thames, is a major development of a new container terminal. Its construction has been accompanied by a major dredging scheme that has increased the depth of sections of the approach channel over a length of approximately 100 km from the outer reaches of the Thames to the new terminal. From its beginning, this scheme included careful consideration of the archaeological consequences of dredging in such a historically-important estuary. Over the course of a decade, investigations have provided a new perspective on the historic environment of the Thames, and explored innovative archaeological approaches and methodologies for addressing marine developments of this type and scale. This volume sets out the challenges, results and history of these investigations, and the context and constraints encountered. The results contribute to our knowledge of maritime archaeology in the Thames Estuary and to the wider practice of marine development-led archaeology. A companion volume presents the terrestrial investigations (London Gateway: Iron Age and Roman salt making in the Thames Estuary: excavations at Stanford Wharf Nature Reserve, Essex (Oxford Archaeology). Published 2012.
Industry in north-west Roman Southwark: excavations 1984–8
This volume is the second of several volumes presenting previously unpublished findings relating to Roman Southwark. This looks at an extensive sequence of Roman metalworking workshops and hearths, from the late 1st-late 4th centuries AD. The book is split into discussions of the metalworking industry, the period covered, and an analysis of the finds. Published 2003.
London’s Roman amphitheatre: Guildhall Yard, City of London
The discovery of one of Roman Londons most significant buildings - its amphitheatre - underneath the medieval Guildhall resulted from major archaeological excavations which took place between 1985 and 1999 as part of the City of London Corporations ambitious programme of redevelopment at the Guildhall. The history of the Guildhall and its precinct from the 12th to the 20th centuries is the subject of a companion volume. This book describes the construction, development and disuse of the amphitheatre, from the 1st to 4th centuries AD. Constructed on relatively low ground in the north-west part of Londinium, the first amphitheatre was built in c AD 74 of timber. Evidence was recovered for the eastern entrance, arena palisade, bank for seating and associated drains. The amphitheatre was rebuilt shortly after AD 120, with masonry foundations and walls, associated with new timber stands. The evidence allows conjectural reconstruction and comparison with other British amphitheatres. Abandoned by the mid 4th century, the amphitheatre was largely demolished and sealed by dark earth. The arena may have survived as an oval depression until the area was reoccupied in the 11th century. Significant finds assemblages include an early 2nd- century dump of glass cullet, lead curses from the arena surface and samian pottery with gladiatorial motifs. The amphitheatres remains are preserved and displayed in the basement of the new Guildhall Art Gallery. Published 2008.
Roman London and the Walbrook stream crossing: excavations at 1 Poultry and vicinity, City of London
No. 1 Poultry proved to be one of the most significant Roman sites ever excavated in the City of London, with an unparalleled sequence of buildings, roads and open spaces. A timber drain of AD 47 beneath the main road is the earliest securely dated structure yet known from Londinium, and a pottery shop, destroyed in the Boudican revolt, gives a snapshot of life in AD 60/61. A 2nd-century AD writing tablet preserves the only evidence for the sale of a slave found in Britain to date, while the 3rd- and 4th-century buildings found provide a rare demonstration of the continuities and changes that occurred in Roman urban life. Published 2011.
An early Roman fort and urban development on Londinium's eastern hill: excavations at Plantation Place, City of London, 1997–2003
Excavation in 1997 to 2003 produced important new evidence for the development of Roman London. The site lay north-east of the bridge, towards the edge of the early town. Sparse commercial and domestic ribbon development here alongside early roads was ended by the Boudican revolt of AD 60/61. The military response is shown by the discovery of a previously unknown Roman military fortification, constructed over and partly out of the destroyed buildings. This is interpreted as part of an earthwork and timber fort, built c AD 63 in the aftermath of the revolt to secure the site of the devastated town and as a base for personnel involved in the reconstruction. The excavation produced a large collection of military artefacts, including plate armour (lorica segmentata), fittings and part of a cavalry helmet. The fort survived until c AD 85, possibly mothballed or squatted after c AD 70, before it was cleared to make way for civilian domestic and commercial buildings. These were destroyed in the Hadrianic fire of c AD 125 and the redeveloped area was dominated by a substantial masonry townhouse, demonstrating the changing character of the town. The building may have housed a wealthy merchant or provincial official; a cellar contained a hoard of 43 gold aureii concealed in or after AD 174. This complex survived, much modified, into the later 4th century AD. Published 2015.
Glass working on the margins of Roman London: excavations at 35 Basinghall Street, City of London, 2005
Excavations in the upper Walbrook valley, in a marginal area in the north-west of the Roman city, recovered over 70kg of broken vessel glass and production waste from a nearby workshop, giving new insights into the workings of the glass industry and its craftsmen. The area was developed in the early 2nd century AD, with evidence of domestic buildings and property boundaries. Two later buildings constructed in the mid 2nd century AD may have been associated with the glass-working industry. The disposal of a huge amount of glass- working waste in the later 2nd century signals the demise of the workshop, with the area reverting to open land by the 3rd century AD. The comprehensive nature of the glass- working waste has made it possible to study the various processes from the preparation of the raw materials in the form of cullet, broken vessel and window glass, to the blowing and finishing of the vessel. All the glass originated ultimately in the eastern Mediterranean, some of it arriving as raw glass chunks, which was supplemented by cullet collected locally for recycling. A review of the current evidence for glass working in London also examines the implications for the organisation of the industry. Published 2005.
Temples and Suburbs: Excavations at Tabard Square, Southwark
Excavations at Tabard Square in 2002 transformed our perceptions of Londinium’s ritual landscape and refined our understanding of Southwark’s prehistoric and Roman topography. Hearths and associated scatters of worked flint attest to the temporary camps which characterised Southwark’s channel edges from Late Glacial or early Post-Glacial times. Set between Borough Channel and Watling Street, the approach road to Londinium from ports to the south-east, the site occupies a strategic location adjacent to the Roman crossing point across Southwark’s islands to the settlement on the north bank. Following extensive drainage and reclamation the earliest buildings here were domestic structures of clay and timber, well- appointed and with finely-executed painted plaster schemes. But it is as the location of a major temple complex that this site is best known. The mid second century saw a transformation of the landscape as domestic buildings were levelled and a large gravelled precinct constructed, with two Romano-Celtic temples, numerous plinths, altars and columns. An inscribed marble plaque, the first found to mention ‘Londoners’ (Londiniensi) suggests that at least one of these buildings was dedicated to Mars Camulus. The complex was modified and embellished through time, a dividing wall and possible portico were constructed in the 3rd century, setting each temple building within its own precinct. By the 4th century the precinct had contracted to a small enclosed area, with an enigmatic winged building set to the south-east.
Amongst the finds recovered from the ditch defining the precinct’s eastern extent were numerous, deliberately punctured, complete flagons and other vessels. One of two tin-alloy canisters found contained a greasy preparation, most probably used for lightening the complexion, still bearing the finger marks of its last user. Published 2015.
Roman Burials in Southwark
The extent of the Romano-British cemetery to the south of Londinium has only recently begun to be recognised. The excavations reported on in this publication took place on two sites in the London Borough of Southwark in 2003. Together these revealed over a hundred inhumations, along with two cremation burials, of second to late 4th or early 5th-century date. Both sites produced an impressive range of artefactual material, predominantly pottery, glass vessels, jewellery and beads, largely as gravegoods. A variety of burial practices was observed, including prone burials and bodies laid to rest on chalk. A grave at Lant Street contained the multiple burial of a young male, child and infant interred with a range of pottery vessels. Amongst the more richly-provisioned inhumations was that of an adolescent buried with an ivory-handled knife in the form of a leopard; fittings of carved bone and copper alloy by the foot of this burial probably once adorned a wooden casket or box.
This publication presents the results of the excavations, including detailed artefactual reports and osteological analyses, with a synthesised catalogue of data for each burial. A collaborative program of isotopic analysis was undertaken to help identify the possible geographic origin and dietary habits of the inhabitants. The results, presented here, show that many of those individuals tested may have spent their childhood close to the Mediterranean. Analysis of carbon and nitrogen isotopes suggests the population avoided the consumption of fish. This monograph presents only a fraction of a rapidly expanding body of data relating to burial across the suburb and is the first from the London region to include an extensive study of diet and migration through isotopic analysis. Published 2013.
Roman Archaeology in the Upper Reaches of the Walbrook Valley: Excavations at 6-8 Tokenhouse Yard, London EC2
The Walbrook was undoubtedly a powerful and important topographical feature in Roman London. Its upper reaches were originally marshy and comprised a network of streams, progressively modified and reclaimed throughout the Roman period and beyond. Two small yet deep trenches excavated in advance of development at Tokenhouse Yard provided a fascinating to explore this part of the Roman city. Here an early channel of the Walbrook had been infilled around the time of the conquest. By the mid 1st century AD, two exceptionally preserved, parallel, in situ fences with an alley running between them had been constructed. In the backyard of an associated building were found the remains of a tree stump belonging to the Pomoideae group, possibly a crab apple. A possible military presence is hinted at by the survival, amongst the remarkably preserved finds assemblage, of seventeen near-identical copper alloy studs from a belt, dated to the late 1st century AD.
The construction of a series of timber lined box drains, interspersed with episodic ground raising deposits, reflect repeated attempts to reclaim land and control the ever-present risk of flooding. Excellent preservation of waterlogged timbers enabled a program of tree ring dating which, combined with the recovered pottery assemblage, has allowed for exceptionally close dating of the archaeological sequence and flooding episodes. A cremated sheep carcass, a ceramic cockerel and a miniature shoe are among many objects that suggest the repeated placing of votive offerings in this waterlogged area. Published 2012.
Roman roadside settlement and rural landscape at Brentford: archaeological investigations at Hilton London Syon Park Hotel, 2004–10
Excavations in Syon Park, Brentford, have made a substantial contribution to our knowledge of this Roman rural settlement on the London Silchester road, by a ford across the Thames. The site yielded a well-dated sequence from the mid 1st to early 5th century AD including occupation deposits and two 2nd-century timber buildings destroyed by fire, as well as details of the main road and adjacent field system. These and a large assemblage of finds, including a surgical instrument and a roundel depicting the Medusa, provide a rare glimpse of life in the countryside in the hinterland of Londinium. A detailed overview of Roman Brentford (the first to be published since 1978) is included. Published 2013.
Roman occupation south-east of the forum: excavations at 20 Fenchurch Street, City of London, 2008–9
Excavations near the Roman forum on Londiniums eastern hill (modern Cornhill) have revealed archaeological evidence from the earliest period of Londons history. There was intensive domestic occupation on the site from c AD 505, which was interrupted by the Boudican fire of AD 60/61. The north-east corner of a temporary fort of c AD 63–85 was found immediately to the east, at Plantation Place, and reconstruction of the plan of this fort indicates that 20 Fenchurch Streetsite would have lain within it. Scant evidence for this was recovered but finds include lorica segmentata armour fittings and a possible spear butt. Possibly fort-related features include clay and timber buildings, a large timber-lined water tank and a metalworking workshop. After the fort was demolished, the later 1st-century AD occupation of the site was again domestic in character, with a succession of short-lived clay- and-timber buildings constructed across the area. During the 2nd century AD the pattern of activity changed, with longer lasting masonry buildings replacing the clay-and-timber constructions. The final Roman structure on the site was a 3rd-century masonry cellar. The finds recovered have a heavily domestic bias, with household and personal items, including a large group of dress accessories. A comprehensive collection of pottery, with a wealth of early Roman material, includes mid 1st-century AD wares. Published 2014.
Living and working in Roman and later London: excavations at 60−63 Fenchurch Street
Excavations in advance of redevelopment in the east of the City of London revealed ten broad phases of activity, ranging between the pre-Roman and post-medieval periods, with a focus on the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. Roman Fenchurch Street follows the line of earlier ditches. For the first time, the entire width of the Roman road has been exposed, permitting adjustment of its course in the street plan of Londinium. Iron pipe collars demonstrate water management along the street and to the rear of the two plots identified on site. The seventeen Roman buildings (later 1st–3rd century AD) show mixed domestic and commercial/industrial uses, including metalworking and butchery. Later Roman finds recovered from medieval and post-medieval pits indicate continuity of activity, but there is a genuine lack of Saxon occupation. A peculiar deposition of animal bone in a medieval pit may provide evidence for ritual or magic practices. Comparison with the adjacent site of Lloyd’s Register demonstrates the considerable differences that can occur in the occupation history of two adjacent sites. Published 2009.
Middle Saxon London: excavations at the Royal Opera House 1989–99
The Royal Opera House is located on the north side of Covent Garden London, in the heart of what was the Middle Saxon settlement of Lundenwic. This settlement was flourishing centre for trade and manufacture from the 7th to 9th centuries. Urban redevelopment in 1996 included the largest excavation yet undertaken in the area, providing a wealth of information about the settlement, its inhabitants, their work and daily lives. This well illustrated publication reports on the results of the excavations, describes a sequence of occupation, and considers more general themes such as the relationship of the Middle Saxon settlement to Roman Londinium, Saxon crafts and industry, the agricultural economy, trade, and demography. The discoveries included an 8th century street plan, specialised industrial buildings, rubbish and debris from a jewellery workshop, evidence of ironworking and a 9th- century defensive ditch with a hoard of Northumbrian stycas buried in its berm. The ditch was probably a response to Viking attack, but it failed to prevent the Viking occupation of Lundenwic in 871. The book also looks at the medieval and post-medieval development of the area, and includes numerous, brief specialist reports on the finds and environmental remains. Published 2003.
Early and Middle Saxon rural settlement in the London region
Until now the evidence for London’s Early and Middle Saxon rural settlement and economy has received scant attention. This monograph provides a long-awaited overview of the subject, drawing on the results of six decades of archaeological fieldwork since the war, in addition to historical and place-name evidence. Some of the material has been published before and will be familiar to the reader, but much of it has only been available as site archives or unpublished reports, and at best briefly summarised as notes in excavation round- ups. This synthesis therefore forms an indispensible guide to researchers. The first part focuses on twenty-six sites and six fish traps across the region, followed by thematic sections on a range of topics, and then a final section on the pottery finds. Published 2008.
Lundenwic: excavations in Middle Saxon London, 1987–2000
The development of the major settlement of Lundenwic in the late 7th century AD marked the rebirth of London as a town. In the following century the emporium served as a seaport for the landlocked kingdom of Mercia and played a significant role in the maritime trade of north-west Europe. This monograph provides the first detailed overview of the archaeological evidence for the trading port, placing it in its regional, national and international context. The results of fieldwork at 18 locations on the site of the former Middle Saxon settlement are followed by essays on various aspects of the settlement, including its geographical setting, activity pre-dating Lundenwic (which includes one or more cemeteries), the development, size and layout of the emporium, food production and consumption, crafts and industry, trade, dress and religion. The final section focuses on finds assemblages recovered from the settlement, including ceramics, glass, metal, and bone and antler artefacts, as well as human, animal and plant remains. Radiocarbon dates interpreted by Bayesian modelling are found to broadly accord with archaeological evidence for rapid settlement growth in the third quarter of the 7th century AD, and the first use of Ipswich ware (an important chronological marker) in London cAD 730. The volume also includes a gazetteer of sites and a timeline for the settlement and its hinterland. Published 2012.
Saxons, Templars and Lawyers in the Inner Temple: Archaeological Excavations in Church Court and Hare Court
This volume tells the story of the Saxons, Templars and Lawyers who previously occupied the quiet courtyards of the Inner Temple. Here, beyond the recognized extent of Lundenwic, a Middle Saxon weapon burial and occupation activity were surprising finds, although previous discoveries in the area included a hoard of coins, possibly buried in response to the escalating threat of Viking raids in the mid 9th century.
In the mid 12th century the Knights Templar took possession of the site and built their characteristic Round Church. The church itself was extensively rebuilt in the mid 20th century, following bomb damage during the Second World War. The recovery of worked stone and marble, alongside floor tiles from the interior of the Church, has enabled some reconstruction of the Church’s earlier fabric and appearance. Structural remains of a previously elusive eastern cloister were also found. A single pit at Hare Court produced over two thousand sherds of pottery that, alongside other contemporary artefacts, illustrate the boisterous lifestyle of the 17th century lawyers inhabiting the Inns of Court. Published 2005.
London bridge: 2000 years of a river crossing
London developed as a port and a city because of the Thames estuary, which offers an excellent navigable routeway from the North Sea westwards far into central England. The Romans realised that it was the most convenient place to bridge the estuary, and constructed a series of bridges, which apparently went out of use during the 4th century AD. The Thames was not bridged again until c 1000 AD when the first of a series of timber bridges was erected, initially to prevent Viking raiders sailing upstream. The great stone bridge lined with houses was constructed c 1176–1209. Twice in 1281–2 and 1437, parts of the stone bridge were broken by a combination of ice and neglect. It was demolished in 1831–2 after the construction of a new bridge upstream. This volume is based on the 1984 investigation of the Southwark medieval bridge abutment and combines the archaeological, architectural, historical and pictorial evidence for London’s greatest bridge. The scene of battles and pageants, London Bridge was also where the ‘keep left’ on the road rule began in 1722. Published 2001.
Excavations at the priory of the Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, Clerkenwell, London
The Knights of St John, or the Knights Hospitaller, were one of the most famous Christian military orders. Their humble origins lay in helping early pilgrims at Jerusalem from the turn of the 12th century, but they developed into a true multi-national organisation with headquarters in almost all European countries. The Priory of England was centred at Clerkenwell, London, where the surviving medieval crypt and Tudor gatehouse are well- known landmarks. Several large-scale excavations by the Museum of London in the 1980s and 1990s have been combined with antiquarian surveys in this monograph to produce a remarkable picture of a priory. Founded in 1144, this highly unusual religious house evolved from a round-naved church and associated buildings into one of London’s premier palatial residences. Unusually, the priory’s buildings were retained after the Dissolution of the Hospitallers in 1540, becoming the residence of nobility and the location, for a while, of the Royal Master of the Revels. There was only ever one headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller in England: this book provides a fascinating blend of the history and archaeology of a unique site. Published 2004.
The London Guildhall: an archaeological history of a neighbourhood from early medieval to modern times
The Guildhall has been the centre of the local government of the City of London since the 12th century. Major archaeological excavations took place between 1985 and 1999, and evidence from these is combined with historical and architectural analysis to create an integrated history of the Guildhall. Beginning with the first hall of the 12th century, the book describes later halls and precinct buildings from the 14th to the 20th centuries. Good organic survival preserved evidence in an 11th- and 12th-century parish churchyard and for a number of adjacent timber houses. This wide-ranging volume highlights other themes from the medieval and later periods, including evidence for medieval Jewish occupation, the cloth market of Blackwell Hall, inns, craft activity and two parish churches. Published 2007.
The Cistercian abbey of St Mary Graces, East Smithfield, London
The abbey of St Mary Graces in East Smithfield, London, was excavated in 1983–8 as part of the Royal Mint site. Founded in 1350 by Edward III and suppressed in 1539, it was the only new Cistercian house in the 14th century and the last founded in England before the Dissolution. It was also the only Cistercian abbey established in an urban setting and was built in the immediate aftermath of the Black Death of 1348–50 on the site of one of two emergency burial grounds created in London to cope with that epidemic. The excavations recorded approximately three-quarters of the abbey ground plan. Elements of the church were uncovered, including much of the presbytery, part of the nave and several chapels, together with 131 burials of both laity and ecclesiastics. Also recorded were parts of the chapter house, cloisters, refectory, infirmary and kitchen, as well as two external cemeteries. While the ground plan included elements that are paralleled in earlier Cistercian houses, overall, the abbey’s layout was far closer to that of contemporary 14th-century houses, particularly those of the friars. The work reported here represents the large-scale excavation and post- excavation analysis of a singular, relatively short-lived, later medieval Cistercian house and is of considerable importance to medieval archaeology and specifically to Cistercian studies. Published 2011.
The Cluniac priory and abbey of St Saviour Bermondsey, Surrey: excavations 1984–95
Bermondsey Priory was founded in the 1080s on the south bank of the Thames, located opposite the White Tower on an island which was also the site of an Anglo-Saxon minster. Bermondsey became a centre of pilgrimage and in 1399 the priory became an abbey, before its transformation in the 16th century into a courtier’s mansion. The results of modern excavation of the eastern parts of the church and cloister and inner court are complemented by documentary research and a detailed, 19th-century survey of the abbey. The early chapel and timber latrine and the free-standing lavabo in the main cloister and possible bathhouse are particularly important features of this Cluniac house. The 12th-century building programme and the subsequent remodelling of the priory church and cloister, including the east range and chapter house, and of the second infirmary cloister are examined. The development of the monastic cemetery is described and 193 individuals buried at Bermondsey are analysed. Contraction and disuse of part of the eastern area in the abbey’s final years was followed by the discarding of a wealth of artefacts and other material from the conventual buildings and by systematic stripping at the Dissolution. The private Tudor mansion constructed by Thomas Pope around the former main cloister reused parts of the monastic buildings. Published 2011.
The Augustinian nunnery of St Mary Clerkenwell, London: excavations 1974–96
The development of the nunnery site is revealed in this study - from evidence for Iron Age occupation, the nunnerys foundation in 1144 and the expansion of the early convent, through to its conversion in the 16th and 17th centuries to a close of large mansions surrounding the parish church. Drawing together the varied evidence, including illustrations made during the demolition of the nunnery church in 1788–9 and 18th-century surveys, has allowed detailed reconstructions of the church and cloister. Relatively wealthy, located in London’s medieval suburbs and with a dual role as convent and parish church, St Mary’s story contrasts with that of many other, poorer and more rural nunneries. Published 2013.
A New Millennium at Southwark Cathedral: Investigations into the First Two Thousand Years
This volume presents the story of 2000 years of occupation around Southwark Cathedral as demonstrated by a combination of building recording and archaeological excavation.
The story begins in the first years of Roman occupation, with the construction of a road heading southwest from a crossing point of the Thames, close to modern London Bridge. The story of the foundation, construction and subsequent history of the medieval priory of St Mary Overie is then explored and presented in the form of a tour through the Cathedral and out into the claustral buildings. Throughout the post-medieval period industry spread along the south bank of the Thames, encroaching on the church and its environs, which suffered periods of neglect, including 16th-century use of the retro-choir as a bakery and pigsty. By the early 17th century a Delftware kiln had been constructed adjacent to the north transept of the church and the kilns, their products and methods of manufacture are all presented in detail. The volume concludes with the architect’s vision for the future of the Cathedral, which also provides a guide to surviving archaeological remains on display around the Cathedral, including those of the kiln. Published 2009.
Charter Quay: The spirit of change
The Charter Quay development in Kingston-upon-Thames occupies much of the heart of the historic town. Excavations revealed elements of the town’s growth over 900 years – its urban planning, its market place, businesses, shops and inns, the early industrial area south of the Hogsmill, and the riverside wharves essential for its burgeoning trade. This volume describes the results of these important excavations, illuminating Kingston’s wider history and bringing to life the lives of the people – carpenters, bakers, innkeepers, maltsters and fishmongers, who built the houses, ran the businesses, frequented the inns and helped turn a medieval village into a modern town. Published 2002 by Wessex Archaeology.
‘He being dead yet speaketh’: excavations at three post-medieval burial grounds in Tower Hamlets, east London, 2004–10
This volume reports on three non-Church of England burial grounds in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, excavated between 2004 and 2010. It looks at over 1350 burials of Baptists, Roman Catholics and Nonconformists, the majority of whom died in 1820-54, and examines the archaeological and osteological evidence, along with the historical and documentary sources. The discussions aim to place the three populations within the wider context of 19th-century London and Britain, with the findings well illustrated and fully tabulated throughout. Published 2012.
Medieval Haywharf to 20th-century brewery: excavations at Watermark Place, City of London
Substantial remains of the medieval city’s waterfront and related structures, together with a remarkable array of finds, were preserved in the waterlogged deposits on this site, allowing a reconstruction of waterfront development here from the 13th century onwards. Timber river walls and timber and stone dock walls were recorded, including those of the Haywharf, probably originally so-named because it was where hay was imported into the city before c 1300. Fifteenth- to 16th-century industrial stone hearths or furnaces were probably associated with either brewing or dyeing on the site and Calvert’s (later City of London) brewery stood here from the 18th century until it was bombed during World War II. Published 2014.
The Thames Iron Works 1837–1912: a major shipbuilder on the Thames investigated
The Thames Iron Works and Shipbuilding Company, one of the great private enterprises of the Victorian age, launched some of the most famous warships of the time from its slipways at the mouth of the River Lea. A pioneer of shipbuilding in iron, the yard’s expertise was also deployed in ground-breaking civil engineering projects using iron structures. Several important components of the yard were investigated at a Crossrail site on the Limmo peninsula, including engineering workshops, a furnace, a mast house and mould loft building, and a slipway. An account of the history of the company places it in the wider context of London’s 19th-century shipbuilding industry (Crossrail Archaeology Series - 2). Published 2015.
An Immense and Exceedingly Commodious Goods Station: The Archaeology and History of the Great Northern Railway's Goods Yard at King's Cross, 1849 to the Present Day
A redevelopment to the north of King’s Cross Passenger Station presented a unique opportunity to thoroughly investigate the archaeology, built heritage and history of one of the most important former railway termini in the country: King’s Cross Goods Yard, which forms the focus of this book. Thanks to the sympathetic nature of the redevelopment, that yard now happens to be one of the most complete and best preserved examples of its kind in Britain. Published 2016.