LONDON ARCHAEOLOGIST 1980 vol 4.2

CITY OF LONDON: all excavations by Department of Urban Archaeology, Museum of London. (Submitted by J. Schofield, Field Officer)

Miles Lane TQ 3284 8075 (L. M. B. Miller)


Subsequent excavation on the east side of Miles Lane showed that the substantial Roman building excavated in 1979 180 was Flavian in date, as was the timber drain to the south. A fragment of timber revetment of the same date was found beneath the Hadrianic terracing, consisting of boxes filled with organic dumps. During the watching brief following the demolition of King William Street House in 1980 the plan of the Flavian building could be completed. A brick-lined drain ran north-south underneath its floors for 23m. To the south of the building a timber pipe continued the line of this drain out over the Flavian quayfront. The quay differed from the timber revetment found earlier which may have formed a jetty. During the removal of Miles Lane three medieval road surfaces were recorded. There was some discontinuity between these and the recorded Roman road surfaces which were on a slightly different alignment. Under King William Street House the line of the Flavian quay front has been established. To the north the ground had been levelled with redeposited natural gravel prior to the construction of a second Roman building, probably also Flavian in date, on the west side of the site next to the modern Arthur Street. Its plan is not yet complete but covers an area 15m X 25m. Chalk foundations and cess pits of several medieval tenements have been recorded, some of which would have originally fronted on to Upper Thames Street and some on to St. Martins Lane on the west side of the site. WC.

Peninsular House TQ 3295 3340 (G. Milne).
Monitoring of the contractors site work enabled a c 15m length of a 1st century timber ?quay to be traced. It would have functioned with the earliest phase of the substantial masonry structure examined during the controlled excavation, just to the north. This building is now known to have continued in use with major modifications, into the late 4th century. Botolph Lane was sectioned and shown to have been laid out at the same time as the earliest of the 8th-9th century timber buildings recorded on the eastern side of the site. (see L.A. Vol 3, No. 16.)

24 & 25 Ironmonger Lane TQ 3250 8124 (J. Norton).
A small site 1(8m X 8m) fronting on to Ironmonger Lane provided a chronological sequence of evidence for the setting out and alignment of an east-west Roman road north of Cheapside, and the subsequent development of roadside properties. The earliest road surfaces sealed a series of backfilled pits and irregular scoops, probably dug to extract the natural gravels, dated to the mld-1st century. Over twenty successive road surfaces and makeups were recorded, and a shallow roadside gulley filled with loose pebbles and silts washed off the contemporary road surfaces provided a chronological sequence of datable pottery through to the 4th century. Part of six successive lst/2nd century structures and an adjacent gravelled courtyard area along the northern edge of the road were found to respect the same alignment. The occupational surfaces and a series of superimposed hearths were bounded by slots to take a sill beam and timber uprights, and each successive slot encroached farther on to the roadside gravels fronting the buildings. There was widespread burning over the built-up area with collapsed sections of burnt daub, painted wall plaster and charred timbers. The remains of two oval interconnecting sunken Saxon structures, dug into the Roman road gravels to a depth of 1.30m were filled with 9th century debris which had accumulated on the floors and up against the gravelled walls of the structures. Nearby, a series of robber trenches of about the same date contained fragments of chalk and ragstone, suggesting that ruined Roman walls were still standing in the city up to 500 years after the Roman occupation. A series of truncated late Saxon/early medieval rubbish pits was excavated across the whole site. An almost complete skeleton of a male horse was recovered from the bottom of a deep cess pit and, following a preliminary examination by specialists, is considered to be a valuable find. The site was sealed by post-Fire basements (a brick floor and a gravelled surface) which had removed all traces of late medieval activity.

2-9, 13-16 Bevis Marks TQ 3335 8130 (C. Midgley).
Site 1 (13-16 Bevis Marks): all horizontal stratigraphy had been destroyed by Victorian basementing. Surviving features included Roman rubbish and brickearth quarrying pits of the late 2nd to 4th centuries; 11th to early 13th century rubbish pits and two linear cuts running east-west. possibly marking a property boundary; a late 16th century brick and chalk lined well; and a late 17th century brick basement having at least three phases of use. Site 2 (2-9 Bevis Marks) (excavation in progress): machine-cut trenches along the front and down one side of the site have revealed a cut feature of possible late 3rd century date which is at least 40m long and 4m wide, running the length of the street frontage. Further trenching will establish whether or not this is a linear feature. To its south are a complex sequence of Roman and medieval pits and horizontal deposits. No structural remains survive. WC.

Cutler Street TQ 3340 8160 (S. O'Connor Thompson).
A three-week watching brief in March recorded remains of three W-F aligned inhumation burials dating to the 3rd century. These overlay backfilled shallow brickearth quarries of 2nd to 3rd century date, and were in turn cut by early medieval dark earth filled pits.

Well Court TQ 3238 8108 (D. Perring with P. A. Cardiff and R. J. Millner).
The early surfaces of the Roman road were examined and have been provisionally dated as Flavian. A timber lined drain ran along the west side of the road, beyond which a series of timber framed structures were examined. A fire destruction horizon, also possibly Flavian in date, was noted. A V-shaped ditch pre-dated the first road surface but its line was precisely followed by the west edge of that road. This feature has not been dated but may have been associated with the initial setting out of the area. The later sequence has been described in the 1979 Round-Up. Watching brief observations on the same site revealed two pre-Great Fire cellars surviving to street level. On typological grounds these may have been 14th century in date.

62-4 Cannon Street TQ 3244 8095 (D. Perring, J. V. Price and P. Rowsome).
Two trenches set in the basements of the properties cornering against Cannon Street, College Hill, and Cloak Lane were excavated to a depth of c lm. In the trench along the College Hill frontage a sequence of late and post-medieval features were recorded. These had cut into an early medieval intrusive feature which contained clay and silt surfaces and an east-west beam trench. This may have been a sunken featured structure. An underlying fire destruction horizon, probably 2nd century, was recorded but not excavated. In the trench along the College Hill frontage two tile capped north-south dwarf walls were recorded. These have been provisionally dated to The fourth century on the basis of associated pottery.

Watling Court TQ 3235 8105 )(D. Perring with P. A. Cardiff).
Watching brief observations to the north of the excavated area (see 1978 R.U.) revealed a sequence of chalk footings to 13th century (and later) structures fronting on to Watling Street, These had cut into a gravelled area, perhaps a yard, which underlay destruction debris on a similar level to the 'Hadrianic fire' excavated in 1978.

60 Fenchurch Street TQ 3336 8097 (C. Guy and D. Perring).
A first century (possibly Flavian) structure, probably of timber framed construction, was observed: its southern limit running east-west across the observed area. This building was replaced by a similar structure, possibly after its destruction by fire. In the late first or early second century a stone founded wall (represented by a mid-second century robber-trench) was constructed along the same line as the walls described above. The robbing activity post-dated an early second century fire horizon, presumably part of the 'Hadrianic Fire'. Later pits apparently respected the boundary indicated by these walls until at least the 3rd century, after which date the pits were apparently randomly distributed.

86 Fenchurch Street TQ 3347 8110 (A. Upson).
Excavation revealed a series of 1st and early 2nd century timber buildings, the earliest of which was possibly sub circular in plan, being replaced by a series of rectangular structures lying roughly parallel to the forerunner of Fenchurch Street. The earliest rectangular structure was destroyed by fire. Subsequent deposits clearly related to an east-west division, with a sequence of internal brickearth floors and occupation accumulations to the south, and a series of well surfaced exterior gravel courtyard or lane metallings to the north. The Roman sequence was cut along the east side of the site by a north-south line of early medieval pits.

2-3 Jewry Street TQ 3356 8110 (D. Perring and P. Rowsome).
Observations in the area adjacent to the site excavated in 1975 included second century structures associated with a fire destruction horizon. A sequence of surfaces beneath this were recorded in section and the relevant records are currently being studied in the hope of identifying structure. To the bottom of the sequence a series of regularly spaced postholes imply the presence of a substantial post-built building which was traced east-west for 9m. Amongst other intrusive features a late medieval chalk lined well was recorded.

46-8 Fenchurch Street TQ 3335 8095 (M. Barker with D. Perring).
Four sections were recorded on this site. One of these contained lst/2nd century Roman structural remains including in situ fire debris (possibly Hadrianic). Post-fire Roman horizons were truncated and overlain by a further series of occupation levels, yielding pottery of medieval date. To the south a further series of 1st century Roman layers were recorded. These were cut by a pit containing fills with a high percentage of fire debris (possibly Hadrianic). The earlier Roman horizons were overlain by a further series of make-ups. These make-ups were in turn cut by an early medieval pit, a medieval chalk cess pit, and a 16th or 17th century brick foundation which can tentatively be identified with one of those shown on a plan of 1612 by Ralph Treswill, which property was granted to the Fullers' Company in 1520.

174-176 Aldersgate. TQ 3214 8164 (M. Barker with D. Perring).
A north-south section to the rear of this extra-mural property revealed a possibly Roman horizon of redeposited natural, overlain by a series of make-ups/dumps which in turn were cut by an east-west ditch. The ditch may have functioned as a property boundary. Pottery from its fills have been provisionally dated to the 12th/13th century. Gravel and silty clay dumps were laid across the site over the ditch fills. These were sealed by a medieval tile-based hearth which predated chalk block wall foundations. Post-medieval brick foundations were also noted.

12-14 Nicholas Lane TQ 3280 8092 (D. Bowler and D. Perring).
Substantial Roman wall footings and at least two fire destruction horizons were noted on this site but detailed recording work was not possible.

LAARC Archive

Christchurch Greyfriars, Newgate Street, EC1. TQ 31000 81370 (R. Lea).
Details of the Wren church were recorded when the turf inside the church (now an open space) was stripped: floors, pier bases, a brick vault containing lead coffins, other brick vaults and a pulpit base. Finds included medieval moulded stonework from the pre-Great Fire Greyfriars church and fragments of the font of the Wren church. Further work by the Corporation of London took place at the E end of the church in 1982 when brick features and architectural fragments, apparently from the Wren church, were observed.

47–49 Fenchurch Street, EC3. TQ 33265 80950 (M. Barker).
Remains of 1st and 2nd c structures were excavated, together with fire debris (possibly Hadrianic) lying in situ, but the upper levels were truncated. To the S lay further 1st c levels, cut by a pit and sealed by more deposits. An early medieval pit, a medieval chalk cesspit and a fragment of a 16th c or 17th c brick foundation were also recorded. This last may be a fragment beneath one of the walls surveyed on the site in 1612 by Ralph Treswell.

46 (Hoop and Grapes) and 47 Aldgate High Street, EC3. TQ 33730 81220 (J. Schofield and A. Upson).
These two timber-framed buildings date from the middle of the 17th c. During conversion so that no. 47 could expand into the storeys above the ground floor pub at no. 46 (the Hoop and Grapes), details of the timber-framing were noted. The rear elevation of no. 47, from first floor upwards, was dismantled under the direction of Dr Richard Harris and stored at MoL.
Sections were also recorded in a lift pit in the cellar of no. 47. These revealed that the earliest exposed deposits consisted of a series of horizontal strata, possibly levelling, which was cut by a large rectangular pit containing cattle horn cores. Above this was the damp coursing and construction cuts for the standing building.

GPO tunnel, Moorgate, EC2. TQ 32710 81540 (D. Perring).
A GPO tunnel beneath the S carriageway of London Wall near its junction with Moorgate probably went through the brick foundations of the 15th c Moorgate. A substantial brick wall was recorded; possibly the W wall of the 17th c rebuild of Moorgate, as it projected N from the city wall, or a building fronting onto the road N of the gate.

St Paul’s Churchyard, EC4. TQ 32020 81106 (R. Lea).
A trench 2m square and 1.3m deep was cut for tree planting in St Paul’s Churchyard 10m S of the S facade of the W transept and 20m E of the line of the W front. In the W half of the trench a brick structure at least 0.8m wide, possibly a burial vault, was observed running on a NNW-SSW axis about 0.45m below the present ground surface. A blocked round arch of four orders was found in its E face. Limestone blocks were used in the blocking and in the main structure itself, which was overlaid by demolition debris including limestone, mortar, brick, tile and ash containing no finds.