LONDON ARCHAEOLOGIST 1982 vol 4.10
CITY OF LONDON: Excavations by Department of Urban Archaeology, Museum of London.
29 - 32 Clements Lane (TQ 3286 8094) (C. J. Evans).
A watching brief funded by Guinness Peat Properties Ltd was conducted from April to December, and recorded.
Evidence was found of Neronian timber buildings and of an early fire, apparently Boudiccan. These buildings were succeeded by brickearth sill, wattle and mudbrick structures; in one instance eleven courses of a scorched mudbrick wall survived. A sequence of drains, indicating a property division, was found to the E of Clemens Lane. A large early 2nd c building was recorded on the part of the site beneath Plough Court. Here ragstone walls survived to a height of 0.80m (2.5ft) and the interior of this rectangular structure had been made-up to at least 0.90m (3 ft) above the exterior level. The base of a stairway leading up to the internal level was seen on its side. Mortar and red plaster surfaces covering its exterior faces would suggest that this structure may have formed part of an extensive courtyard-plan building, perhaps of public use This structure was burnt in a 2nd c fire (Hadrianic) and contemporary burnt collapse was found across the site. Mid-2nd c ragstone and flint walls and foundations were found on both E and W sides of the site. Associated surfaces and floor make-ups were recorded and numerous fragments of a destroyed tesselated pavement were found in robbing trenches.
A late Saxon/early medieval rammed chalk and gravel foundation appears to have been laid out in relationship to Clements Lane. This was cut by medieval pits which riddled the central area of the site, where a keyed chalk lined well was also seen. Late medieval chalk and brick foundations, including an arched foundation, were recorded on the Clement Lane/Lombard Court corner. This building had been burnt in the fire of 1666 and subsequently re-built.
Billingsgate Lorry Park, Lower Thames Street (TQ 3300 8065) (S. Roskams).
The excavation in the Billingsgate market park is now nearing completion with the study of the late-Roman timber quay. This substantial feature, of tieback construction, represents a major reclamation in front of the first c quays found to the N of Thames Street at Pudding Lane, Peninsular House and Miles Lane. Its demise was represented by a series of features suggesting robbing. This may have taken place within the Roman period, and was itself followed by siltings both in front of, and behind, the quay which show that there was then a significant gap in occupation.
The first signs of new constructional activity are two contemporary Saxon features with an inlet in between. These were revetted by a very substantial stave built revetment up to 3m (l0ft) high, put up in the late 9th or 10th century. Subsequently the Inlet was filled in but its position was preserved by a conspicuous property boundary, which ultimately divided the St Botolph's wharf and Billingsgate areas.
Throughout the 11th and 12th c the waterfront continued to advance to the S, this time with a series of front-braced revetments. These exhibited extensive signs of pre-fabrication in the form of carpenters' marks and also of the re-use of timber from both buildings and boats. In the 12th c, the revetments provided a tongue of land projecting into the river, the gravel metallings constituting St. Botolph's wharf. From the 13th c the waterfronts were off the site to the S, but the sequence of buildings behind them were examined, lying either side of the now formalised lane of St Botolph's. On the W side, it flanked the 12th c masonry walls of the church of St. Botolph. To its S buildings, probably warehouses, developed, their early 15th c versions including a well-preserved undercroft. In the mid-15th c, the church expanded to incorporate this previously domestic undercroft, with the open area between it and the church made into a private chapel, possibly a chantry. This plan continued through the 16th c, until the chapel was converted into the main S aisle of the church. Many high status burials were excavated from beneath the floors, of which the tiles were burnt in the Great Fire. The post-Fire buildings on the site of the church incorporated stones from it and were themselves incorporated into the foundations of the Victorian cellars on the site.
To the E of the lane, by contrast, commercial buildings continued in use from the 13th c onwards. Those of the 16th and 17th c contained substantial drains and culverts, perhaps suggesting an industrial function. After destruction in the Great Fire another thin strip-like mercantile building was constructed. its associated cess-pit suggesting occupation into the 18th c. These levels, therefore, terminate a continuous horizontal sequence of stratigraphy from the late-Roman period onwards. WC.
23 - 32 Bishopsgate (TQ 3310 8124) (C. J. Evans).
Excavations funded by the Standard Charter Bank took place in a 280 sq m (3,000 sq ft) L-shaped area. possible evidence of later prehistoric activity was seen in a few minor features which survived extensive Roman truncation of the brickearth natural; worked flint flakes and a substantial amount of fire-cracked flint were recovered from the re-deposited natural which covered the site.
The initial Roman development of this area (Neronian/ Flavian) was certainly planned as was evident in the continuous brickearth slab which was cut by hacking-out ditches; quarry pits were found in the E area of the site. Contemporary with this initial development was a major N/S road 7.50m (25ft) wide. Its projected alignment appears to be close to that of the first forum, running N from the approximate centre of the forum to the W of Bishopsgate, though it need not necessarily have been straight. Successive drains were excavated on either side of the road. Truncated post-holes from E/W aligned timber structures which fronted upon this road were found, as was an early pit which contained much scorched daub with wattle impressions. These structures were succeeded by more substantial, later 1st c, brickearth buildings which followed the earlier property lines. The interior surfaces of the later buildings survived in only a limited area where a baked clay hearth was found. A sequence of associated exterior surfaces in the E end of the site suggest rebuilding of these structures.
These buildings were destroyed or demolished probably in the early second c, for a horizon of large fragments of painted wall plaster and a large pit containing substantial quantities of building materials, some of which was scorched, were found. These were sealed by a thick brickearth dump perhaps arising from a re-development of the area. During the watching brief, a small portion of an in situ red tessellated floor was seen in the S/E corner of Crosby Square, and apparently dated from this re-development phase as it was bedded on similar brickearth deposits. In the E of the site a remarkable mid-second C pit was excavated which produced over l00kg (2201bs) of pottery and a large quantity of building materials and household goods. No later Roman horizontal stratigraphy survived on the site; fills from truncated roadside drains indicate that the road may have continued in use during the third c. Only a few later Roman pits were present and their distribution would suggest that the early property boundaries had been maintained.
One late Saxon pit and a number of 12 - 14th c cess-pits were excavated. Two standing late medieval vaults, which had been part of the Crosby Place buildings (built c. 1466) were examined and four main construction phases, were recognised, dating from the 14 - 17th c. A large brick vaulted cess-pit was found within one of the vaults which was contemporary with their later commercial use, A post medieval well and cess-pit were excavated.
2 - 3 Cross Key Court, Copthall Avenue (TQ 3275 8148) (C. Maloney).
Above the natural Walbrook valley 'fills' were a series of deposits that may also have accumulated naturally but were the earliest to contain cultural material. Willow or poplar roots were found to have grown in these layers although they were apparently waterlogged at least on occasion. Ditches dug through these layers were presumably drainage channels. A dump of redeposited natural clays, dated to the late 1st - early 2nd c and sealing all these features, was clearly intended to raise the ground level. The clay dump was itself cut by ditches and gulleys, one of which was embanked and another served as a drainage ditch for the earliest road - see 1981 round up for all subsequent stratigraphy.
Finsbury House, 23 Blomfield Street (TQ 3283 8155) (C. Maloney).
A section was recorded through some fine river gravels, probably part of the bed of the tributary of the Walbrook. Just to the E was a N-S line of timber posts driven into the natural clay which may represent the remains of revetting.
1-6 Old Bailey, 42-46 Ludgate Hill (TQ 3177 8119) (P. Rowsome).
Excavation and observation between April and December 1982 produced evidence of the city wall and defensive ditch sequence. Of the 51.5m (170ft) stretch of the Roman city wall shown by trial holes to flank the E boundary the site, a 17.0m-(56ft) section has been revealed. This section was incorporated into the W wall of St Martin Ludgate in Wren's post-Fire rebuilding, and into the pre-Fire church also. The city wall was observed surviving up to 3.lm (l0ft) above plinth level, the core having two double tile courses 0.7m (2ft 4in) apart, the lower of which was 0.7m (2ft 4in) above the top of the red sandstone plinth. The foundations of the wall were 0.95 - 1.0m (3ft - 3ft 3in) deep and 2.45m (8ft) thick. A 0.1m (4in) thick primary fill of silts in the base of the construction trench included tiles, chalk, ragstone, plaster, mortar, and opus signinum suggesting that a previous building may have been demolished to make way for defensive work. The plinth and facing survived over a length of 11.0m (36ft) and a height of 0.85m (2ft loin). Random single tile courses, misplaced and broken plinth stones, two sandy limestone blocks, and various mortars all suggest a medieval reconstruction of the face of the city wall N of Ludgate. The core material and foundation, definitely of Roman date, produced a samian bowl provisionally dated mid to late 2nd c. Underpinning work has allowed the recording of a massive ragstone and mortar foundation underneath the Ludgate Hill pavement and 8m (26ft) W of the city wall which may well be the Roman gate.
Four separate areas of excavation on the site included three complete sections through the ditch sequence. The early Roman V-shaped ditch was not recorded, perhaps as a result of Victorian basement terracing into the Fleet Valley slope to a depth of 2.6m (8ft 8in) below the wall's plinth level, but Roman, Saxon, and medieval ditches survived in truncated form. Furthest to the W a late Roman flat-bottomed and wide ditch was recorded. The Roman ditch was recut slightly to the E in the late Saxon period and was in turn cut by a succession of three early medieval defensive ditches, each recut slightly to the east of its predecessor, the last being flat bottomed, the first two roughly V shaped. The latter, flat bottomed, medieval ditch seemed well maintained and regularly cleaned but retained a V-shape in the area 35m (115ft) N of Ludgate thereby leaving a 6.0m (20ft) wide margin outside the city wall for a possible early medieval bastion (B21). A wealth of finds dating to c 1300-1325 was preserved in backfilling of the ditch, including a large pottery group, horse skeletons and industrial waste suggestive of Fleet Valley industries, and a well-preserved wattle fence, perhaps representative of early suburban encroachment, crossing and blocking the ditch cut. The very early backfilling of the ditch N of Ludgate as excavated is supported by documentary evidence of encroachment by 1348. The excavation was funded by generous grants from Norwich Union Insurance Group.
Pudding Lane (& Fish Street Hill) (TQ 3294 8072) (G. Milne).
The monitoring of the contractor's earth-moving activities on this Roman waterfront site (see 1981 Round-up) from August to December 1982 enabled a comprehensive picture of the natural topography to be drawn up. In addition, the outline of a second 25m (82ft) long range of 1st c "warehouse" buildings was observed to the W of the range recorded in 1979-81, together with the E side of a mid to late Roman "bath-house"; further details of the Roman quay; and the western side of the ?bridge pier base.
Swan Lane/Upper Thames Street (TQ 3273 8070) (G. Egan).
A 7 month watching brief on the 400 sq m (48,000 sq ft) site of the former Swan Lane car park, where there was a limited excavation last year (see 1981 Roundup), took place during the early stages of redevelopment. It was made possible by generous grants from the City of London Archaeological Trust and the Museum of London Trust Funds, and with the co-operation of the contractor. Sir Robert McAlpine and Sons Limited. The assistance and invaluable expertise of members of the Society of Thames Mudlarks and Antiquarians clearly demonstrated the advantages to be gained from the controlled use of metal detectors on a site of this kind by the recovery of the most extensive and varied collection of stratified metalwork from any London excavation. Dating provided by coins appears to be sufficiently accurate to give a more finely detailed framework for part of the medieval pottery sequence than has hitherto been possible from dendrochronology. The dates given below are however provisional, based on a preliminary examination of some of the finds.
A complicated sequence was recorded of some 30 wooden riverside revetment structures, marking successive phases of the reclamation of over 80m (260ft) of land from the Thames. At the N end of the site a well-constructed ?late 2nd c quay, built of large beams, was found to have been partially dismantled. It was succeeded by structures with a different technique of construction -- two post and plank revetments, and at last two other riverside structures which made secondary use of very large beams, but employed less sophisticated jointing than that in the earliest revetment. The alignments of these features apparently changed near the middle of the site, at a point where a N-S wooden drain was found. Deposits associate with these structures produced late Roman pottery. The subsequent late Saxon clay bank seen in 1981 was itself succeeded by a series of late 12th - mid 14th c post and plank revetments, braced on both the landward and on the river sites. There were several N-S lengths, which presumably mark property boundaries. Over 30m (100ft) of land was reclaimed during this period of intensive development in the waterfront area. It was not possible to make an adequate record in the part of the site where later 14th c reclamation might be expected, but to the S of this 15th c revetments appeared to have been constructed with thick vertical wooden beams and to have been braced only on the landward side. The latest, and most southerly, waterfront structure was a well-built later 15th c stone wall aligned N-S.
Several 12th-13th c industrial hearths with associated montmorillonite (fullers earth) were summarily recorded in a property to the E of the comparable hearths excavated last year (see 1981 Roundup). Other deposits apparently containing montmorillonite were recorded in later medieval pits. a 15th c foreshore, and mid 17th c leaden cloth seals, which may be connected with textile finishing trades in the area.
The revetment dumps produced vast quantities of finds from all phases represented. The significant Roman finds include complete iron shears, about 100 leather shoes and sandals, and a large late 2nd - early 3rd c samian group. The majority of the medieval finds are 13th c and of particular importance as they represent most aspects of medieval domestic and industrial life. Amongst the major groups there are about 1,000 leather shoes or fragments, over 300 lead tokens and a great variety of dress accessories including belts, buttons and over 250 buckles. There is also a complete curry comb, razor and several knives with their scabbards
180-113 Fleet Streetl140-l48 Fetter Lane (TQ 3127 8118) (G. Guy)
Excavation revealed the bottom of a late 14th c chalk-lined feature and the bottom of an 18th c brick-lined pit. The basement on this site had destroyed all other archaeological remains.
14 Garlick Mill (Sugar Loaf Court) (TQ 3235 8087) (M. Barker)
Excavations began on the site adjacent to the S side of the Hudson Bay Company's Beaver House in July 1982. At least two phases of early Roman timber structures have been recorded. Pottery associated with the construction make-ups was of Neronian type: some of the earliest Roman pottery from the City of London. The assemblage yielded an interesting group of fine wares together with an unusual red-oxidised coarse ware group.
The major part of the site was occupied by a large undercroft, the walls of which stood in places to a height of approximately 2m (6+ft); some of the springers for the vaulting were still in situ. During the 17th c a surface of London Clay was laid across the floor area of the undercroft to a depth of approximately 0.25m (10in) to form an impermeable barrier to water seeping up from the underlying spring line: evidence of a spring was found in early Roman horizons. A series of mortar and gravel floor surfaces occurred above the clay floor base. Within the undercroft a brick lined cess pit yielded an interesting assemblage of 17th c pot including a Westerwald jug. During the post-Fire period the undercroft was back filled with tile and timber debris showing much evidence of charring and burning.
To the west of the undercroft a late Saxon/early medieval alternating chalk and gravel foundation running E/W was seen in longitudinal section.
A further series of make-up dumps lying to the W of the undercroft yielded pottery of up to 3rd c date and the earliest horizons in this area yielded further evidence of structural activity associated with early 1st c Roman pottery. WC.
London Wall (TQ 3283 8152) (B. Pye)
Observations were carried out during work on a telephone manhole in London Wall street opposite No. 57. A 2m (6.5ft) stretch of the Roman city wall was exposed and the full width of 2.5m (8ft) at plinth level. The internal face of the wall survived up to the second tile course, 2.lm (7ft) above the foundations. The bank, consisting of dark grey earth, also survived to this height. The external face of the wall only survived to two ragstone courses above the red sandstone plinth. The wall foundations were unusually deep (about 1.6m: 5ft 3in), consisting, of mortared ragstone footing, ragstone and puddled clay, with large unconsolidated ragstone at the bottom. In front of the wall to the N a ditch cut down to the natural gravels, and was filled with black peaty marsh deposits.
9-9.5, 22-5 Lovat Lane (TQ 3305 8074) (D. Gadd)
Over the winter of 1981-82 the Department carried out work on two sites in Lovat Lane; a small excavation at 22 Lovat Lane, and standing masonry was photogrammetrically recorded at 9, Lovat Lane. At the first site. n:, horizontal stratigraphy survived beneath the cellar slabs: only the truncated bottoms of a dozen pits cut into the natural gravel. The pits dated from the 11th to the 18th c and the latest. a rectangular brick and tile lined cess-pit. produced an interesting group of artefacts. Examination of the standing walls around the site demonstrated that the chalk, rag and brick walls claimed by Marjorie Honeybourne to be those of the late 12th c Inn of the Abbot of Waltham were in fact later, almost certainly post-Fire rebuilds.
At 9, Lovat Lane the stripping of the rendering and tiling from the basement walls of No 95 showed that it concealed a well-preserved chalk undercroft lining measuring 10m x 4.5m (33 x 15ft). The squared chalk blocks (av. 30 x 20cm: 12 x Sin) were accurately laid with very narrow mortar gaps. The lining survived to street level at the E end fronting onto Lovat Lane, and was pierced by two blocked openings, interpreted as a central entrance and a window, The rear, W end wall survived even higher with the remains of a spiral staircase in the NW corner squared-off by later modifications. It was built using a combination of materials; chalk for the spiralling barrel vault and containing wall, the latter with a brick facing. The door jamb of the entrance into the staircase was in greensand and the treads of the surviving steps in hard Kentish rag. Alongside the entrance a recess had been cut into the W wall of the undercroft to house the door flush when it was swung right back.
The vault was replaced with a joist floor and the floor raised (by almost 1m: 3ft) in 1620, and the basement was finally tiled over and used as a tank for live eels when the premises above were converted for the production of jellied eel. No dating evidence was recovered in association with the undercroft, and the only indications of its date of construction are stylistic. The door recess is a feature known from other buildings of the 13th c while the brickwork of the staircase was of an early type, possibly 14th c or earlier.
21 - 9 Mansell Street (TQ 3381 8119) (A. Upson).
Excavation took place in January and February 1982. All evidence of the Roman burials anticipated due to the position of the site c. 150m (500ft) outside the Roman city wall at Aldgate had been removed by the digging of large quarry pits for the extraction of natural gravels of the river terrace. These pits had apparently been backfilled over the long periods of time between 1300 and 1700 AD, and the whole area had been sealed by dumps of clayey silt over a period in the 18th c.
These dumps were intruded upon by several pits and a brick-lined well before a major property boundary was established by means of an E-W brick built wall across the site, It formed the N wall of a brick-lined cess pit and another lay immediately adjacent to its south.
The area to the N of the property boundary had been used for the burial in excess of 100 bodies. These had mostly been buried in wooden coffins which had been stacked closely in rows to a maximum of nine per stack. Of the 74 whose ages it was possible to estimate, 57 were adult, 7 were children, and 10 infants. Documentary sources suggest that this had been a Non-Conformist burial ground in the 18th c.
The excavation was funded by a grant from A. Peachey and Company Ltd., the developers.
119-121 Cannon Street, 1-3 Abchurch Yard, 14 Sherborne Lane. (TQ 3272 8091) (P. Rowsome).
Contractors' excavations on a large site just E of Walbrook valley and N of Cannon Street required archaeological coverage in January and February 1982. Preliminary trial holes had correctly shown the S and W areas of the site to be devoid of archaeological deposits, but in the E 1.2m (4ft) of stratigraphy survived in a shallow basement area of 6 x 30m (20 x 100ft).
Earliest recorded features were a Roman well and two square, vertical sided cuts into natural. The well, to the extreme W of the site on the edge of the Walbrook valley, survived to 4.0m (13ft) below natural and contained in a box at its base a human skull with the skeletons of two dogs and many sherds of Neronian flagons and amphorae. The other square cuts were 2.0m (6.5 ft) square and 1.2m (4ft) deep. Sealing these cuts were extensive dumps of Neronian and early Flavian date. To the E a sunken floored masonry structure cutting down to natural was recorded. Its construction trench contained early to mid- Flavian pottery and the W wall was 6.5m (21ft) long and 1.0m (3ft 3in) thick, the N & S walls running E off the site. The walls were of ragstone and tile course construction in a matrix of hard cream mortar, faced on the inside. In a later phase of building a 3.0m (l0ft) long addition was made to the N. The structure continued in use until the early 4th c, subsequently filling with thick deposits of waterwashed clayey silts which sealed a quantity of fine marble tiles scattered over the mortar floor. The structure may be part of a bath complex or water reservoir for the nearby governor's palace.
To the W evidence of timber building and sealing fire debris was recorded. A V-shaped ditch of 1st c date and cutting 2.5m (8ft) into natural ran across the mouth of the site towards the SE and elsewhere five medieval wells, three with chalk linings, were observed in the natural. A sequence of late medieval to 16th c pits in the E of the site produced fine collections of pottery and glass.
68 Cornhill (TQ 3298 8113) (P. A. James).
An area 6 x 7m (20 x 23ft) was excavated in plan, adjacent to the N side of the second Roman basilica, and tour contractor's trenches were also monitored. In Period I a linear flat-bottomed ditch, 3m (loft) wide by 0.6m (2ft) deep, ran for at least 9.5m (31ft) W-E across the site. To the N of it lay an area of accumulated tread with two small (? domestic) hearths. The ditch was infilled and the whole area levelled up with redeposited brickearth c 85 A.D. In Period I1 groups of stake-holes within rectangular cuts (c. 0.6 x 0.5m; 2ft x 1ft 8in) are thought to have been pile foundations for a timber building. The lack of survival of the Period II building remains is attributed to a large-scale horizontal truncation which marked the beginning of Period III. Immediately following this truncation the second Roman basilica was built. A previously unrecorded 3.5m (11.5ft) length of its north well, part of an internal partition wall and an external buttress, were uncovered and destroyed by the contractors, and showed the foundations to have been 2.4m (8ft) deep. At the same time a metalled street, c. 5m (16.5ft) wide, was laid down along the N side of the basilica. This street had flanking drains on either side N-S, and fronting onto its N side were timber buildings. A sequence of five superimposed street surfaces, several drain recuts, and ? 4 phases of timber buildings to the N survived, dating from 85 to c. 120 A.D. The later Roman and post-Roman material had largely been truncated by Victorian-basements (Period V) but a late 3rd/early 4th drain in the same position as earlier ones on the N side of the Roman street provided for continuity of that street. Further N, however, the timber building remains had been cut through by two late Roman wells. The medieval period (Period IV) was represented only by a large refuse pit and part of a stone and brick built cellar.
61-5 Crutched Friars, 1-12 Rangoon Street, (TQ 3352 8102) (D. Bowler).
Commercial Union Properties generously funded a five month excavation on this site from May to September of 1982.
The natural river gravels were uncovered over most of the site. together with a small area of the brickearth cap along the northern edge of the site. The earliest manmade features on the site were pits and gullies of the Roman period, from the first century onwards, and seen in the N part of the site. The unusually large area of excavation made it possible to trace the alignment and fall of the gullies over long distances. These features produced much animal bone, pottery, and metal work. The Rangoon Street site lay just within the walls of the Roman City, and well back from the main road '(Fenchurch Street); it is likely that this area was taken up with gardens, or given over to industrial purposes. such as butchers' yards or even rubbish tips, as suggested by the plentiful animal bone and pottery.
In the N part of the site, the Roman features were sealed by about 0.3m (1ft) of dark earth. deposited some time at the end of the Roman period. or later. It contained two human skeletons, buried together in the same grave, their heads to the north, the head of the upper (female) in the lap the lower (male?) These unusual arrangements suggest some pagan burial practice. Cut into the dark earth was a large medieval chalk-lined cess-pit, containing fragments of painted window glass. decorated with an heraldic lion and foliage patterns; and a pattern of small rectangular pits, filled with rammed chalk and gravel, perhaps post-pads of a timber-framed structure.
South of Rangoon Street, the lower part of a timber-lined well survived, cut into the gravels and containing much 14th or 15th c pottery, including a watering-pot. The most conspicuous structure on the site was the East India Company's Tea and Drugs warehouse, built in 1796, whose massive brick and stone foundations covered most of the site. Surveyors' plans and elevations of this building survive in the India Office Archives. Associated with the warehouse, but not appearing on any surveyors' drawings, was an underground brick structure, identified as an ice-well. This consisted of a brick dome and cylinder, about 3m (l0ft) deep altogether, set in the natural gravel, down to the top of London Clay. It may originally have been built before the warehouse, but was retained when the warehouse was constructed.
7-10 Foster Lane (TQ 3220 8132) (I. Blair).
A 2 month watching brief funded by Wates Developments Ltd. produced evidence of Roman and later periods from a small area of excavation and from a watching brief on building works. The earliest activity, recorded during the watching brief, consisted of quarry pits cut into the natural brickearth. Sealing the consolidation of at least one of these pits in the SE corner of the site was a succession of at least eight major road metallings, the earliest of Flavian date, of a NE/SW road. It seems likely that this originally formed the W boundary of an insula which was bounded on the E by the Roman road found at Milk Street in 1977.
Associated with the later road surfaces was a structure fronting directly onto the street to its W. This phase of activity was superseded by a series of linear roadside cuts which are interpreted as gullies. This means that subsequent buildings (which were not recorded) were pushed back behind the new lines of roadside ditches. In the main area of excavation the first series of buildings comprised four internal walls forming a room 3m x 2.5m (10 x 8.5ft), its axis parallel to the street, of brickearth sills probably for wattle and daub walls. This contained a domestic hearth similar to those on the GPO Newgate Street Site. The building was destroyed by fire in the mid to late second (the general date of the road widening) and was replaced by further structures which suffered the same fate in the early/mid third c.
Cutting through the later fire dumps the NE corner of a Roman masonry structure was recorded on the W side of the site, running under Foster Lane. A second masonry structure in the N of the site comprised one NS wall of rammed chalk, on the Roman alignment, which was not robbed until the early 11th c.
The dark earth was found slumped over 3rd c surfaces, though its relationship to the masonry buildings and to the road was not established. External surfaces and stakes of the ?l0th c suggest the establishment of Foster Lane. The medieval period was represented by two cesspits, which produced crucibles for metal working, in one case (datable to the 14th c), with traces of gold working upon it. For an important group of fragments of Venetian glass vessels from the 14th c backfill of one of the cesspits, see Mosaic, previous issue.
Museum of London rotunda, junction of Aldersgate and London Wall, EC2. TQ 32150 81570 (I. Blair).
In a British Telecom trench a sequence of road surfaces of Aldersgate Street was recorded, the latest being a medieval or post-medieval cobbled surface. In another trench at the W end of London Wall a deposit of compacted brickearth was overlaid by thick deposits of scorched brickearth.
Apothecary Street (N side), near junction with New Bridge Street, EC4. TQ 31670 81050 (J. Norton).
A gas pipe trench revealed a single course of masonry about 1m wide; it may have formed part of a N-S wall possibly composed of sandstone with some ragstone and chalk. Dark silt sealed the wall with silt and red brick fragments above, overlain by in-situ burning, more silt and then the granite setts of the road surface.
Billingsgate bath-house, 4–9 St Dunstan’s Hill and Lower Thames Street, EC3. TQ 33330 80680 (R. Chapman).
Pile holes on the N and E of the Billingsgate bath-house site revealed two ragstone walls, one constructed on a piled foundation.
76–86 Bishopsgate, EC3. TQ 33190 81380 (H. White).
A four-month excavation funded by Pontsarn Investments Ltd was conducted on a 300 sq m site on the E side of Bishopsgate Street. The main purpose of the excavation was to trace the line of the Roman street suggested to run from the NE corner of the 2nd c forum N to a gate on the site of Bishopsgate to the N of the site, and to investigate any relationship with the 1st c N-S street found on a different alignment at 28–32 Bishopsgate in 1982. The natural brickearth had been truncated to a shallow depth by modern basements on the W part of the site, adjacent to Bishopsgate. Roman intrusive features suggested the presence of 1st and 2nd c buildings and pits relating to a frontage beneath the modern street. None of the features postdating this period showed any sign of having been inserted through a substantial metalled surface.
At the SE corner of the site stratigraphy survived to a greater height. Initial quarrying activities and ground preparation were followed by a rectangular timber-framed building of at least two rooms extending beyond the limits of the excavation, with a gravelled area to its N. One room had a floor of opus signinum, the other had carefully laid make-ups of crushed building material ending with a (robbed) brickearth slab. Overlying this were quantities of tesserae and painted wall plaster. The building’s destruction was dated to the 3rd or 4th c.
A small rectangular sunken-floored structure respecting the alignment was recorded within the area of the building. Its construction was probably contemporary with the demolition of the by then derelict building. The dark earth overlying these structures produced 3rd and 4th c pottery and coins. All subsequent periods in this area were represented by intense pit-digging and consequently few indications of surfaces or structures survived. Fragments of crucible, an early medieval hearth and quantities of demolished kiln material in medieval pits could suggest industrial activity in the vicinity. The remainder of the site, though heavily truncated, showed some pre-Roman features in the original ground surface with tree roots, overlaid by successive brickearth deposits and then medieval soils, suggesting this area remained open for long periods. Several medieval and post-medieval cesspits were recorded across the site.
During the excavation refurbishing of the N wall of St Ethelburga’s church, on the S side of the site, afforded the opportunity of limited recording work. A 4m stretch of the N wall, revealed by removal of Victorian rendering, was recorded. A number of reused moulded stones incorporated in the 15th c rebuild of the wall were noted. During underpinning of the party wall immediately N of the church a gravecut containing a skeleton was discovered, showing the N extent of the graveyard at the E end of the church.
Opposite 22 Creechuch Lane, EC3. TQ 33400 81200 (J. Schofield).
The site was a short tunnel dug at basement level into Creechurch Lane from the basement of no. 22. Medieval pottery was recovered from spoil from the tunnel, but no site records were made.
1–6 Ludgate Circus Buildings, EC4. TQ 31650 81210 (M. Nally).
A N-S chalk, flint and greensand stone vaulted culvert was recorded in the watching brief at Ludgate Circus Buildings. The culvert extended 7m from the N limit of excavation to an E-W return wall or foundation. The N end of a N-S chalk, flint and ragstone wall or foundation was recorded 5m to the S, in section at the E edge of excavation. A fragment of N-S chalk wall or foundation was recorded 7m to the W. There was no dating evidence or associated occupation surfaces.
84–85 Long Lane, EC1. TQ 32030 81800 (D. Bentley).
A small watching brief took place towards the NE corner of the precinct of St Bartholomew’s Priory. Victorian basements had truncated the site but two rectilinear stone structures survived, cutting into the natural gravels. At least one was a cesspit, both of chalk and ragstone and aligned with Long Lane. Evidence from sections around the edge of the site revealed, on the N side, 2.5m of successive road metallings and tread of medieval and post-medieval Long Lane, and on the S side horizontal deposits of garden soil disturbed only by N-S foundations of a 16th or 17th c brick wall under East Passage. Two N-S aligned adult skeletons were noted by contractors at a depth of 8ft.
In sections around the perimeter of the site the gravel street surfaces of Long Lane were recorded. The stone lining of a late medieval or post-medieval pit, probably a cesspit, was also recorded.
9–10 Philpot Lane, EC3. TQ 33030 80867 (S. Rivière and A. Westman).
A watching brief during redevelopment by Wates Developments Ltd, who grant-aided recording work, was conducted from October 1982 to January 1983. Above natural gravel and brickearth, and redeposited natural brickearth, three successive sequences of internal surfaces were recorded, including floors of mortar and opus signinum, and tile. The sequences were interrupted by widespread mixed dumps, the whole dated by small quantities of pottery from the late 1st to the end of the 2nd centuries. Gravel metalling, which latterly extended over the eastern half of the site, was interpreted as external, but not a road.
No more definite evidence of structures was recovered than some traces of timber posts, fragmentary brickearth sills and one substantial cut feature. The last was either a Roman robber trench or the construction trench for a wall which in the event was not built. No fire horizons were recorded.
Intensive medieval pits was followed by or was partly contemporary with cellaring. The cellars were constructed mainly north of an implied property boundary which bisected the site. They showed considerable continuity with post-medieval and post-Great Fire cellars and with a standing post-Great Fire building to the immediate north-west, in Brabant Court.
Horn Tavern, 29–33 Knightrider Street, EC4. TQ 32030 81010 (J. Burke-Easton).
A small excavation on this site produced evidence of Roman and Saxon occupation, including a possible late Saxon lime kiln. Early Saxon chaff-tempered pottery was also found, but in residual contexts.