LONDON ARCHAEOLOGIST 1977 vol 3.6

All Museum of London, Department of Urban Archaeology.

GPO Newgate Street TQ 3204 8135 (S. Roskams and A. Thompson).


Excavation continued for two months into the Hadrianic fire layers and partially into the scorched occupation surfaces of buildings beneath, on the west and south edges of the area. The main emphasis of 1977 was to complete the excavation (apart from the west wall) of the church of St Nicholas in the Shambles. It comprised four phases: a short nave and chancel, with foundations largely made up of reused Roman masonry, probably late Saxon in date, a new chancel extension in a second phase, a north aisle in the third phase and a south aisle and squaring up in the fourth phase. The second and fourth phases are medieval in date, the church being demolished in 1547-52. Three hundred skeletons from the graveyard are being studied for evidence of health, diet, disease etc. WC.

Milk Street. TQ 3235 8124 (A Boddington, S. Roskams and J. Schofield).
Substantial wooden buildings of the late 1st century aligned on a road located on the west of the site were followed by several phases of subsequent building in the 2nd c., including a mosaic. Both Boudiccan and Hadrianic fires were examined and traced over parts of the site. The Saxon black earth above was carefully excavated and seems to be imported, perhaps for agriculture. A 9th c. hut with floor and porch was found on the edge of the Roman road, and off Milk Street (first documented 1140) a large stone house perhaps of the 11th c. Other medieval foundations and cesspits were recorded, and a late 17th c. house on Russia Court was recorded by the GLC Historic Building Division.

Bastion 10A. TQ 3316 8154 (J. Schofield).
A previously unrecorded bastion was noticed on Tudor maps in the churchyard of St. Botolph Bishopgate, half way between the Roman and medieval Bishopsgate and the (?) late Roman bastion under the vestry of All Hallows on the Wall. The new bastion, to be numbered IOA, can be traced in records in 1529 and was demolished by 1676. It is presumably one of the probable late Roman eastern series. A restistivity survey of its likely site in the churchyard was inconclusive.

Cripplegate Wall. TQ 3227 8164. (D. Gadd).
A short report on the remaining archaeology of the ditches outside the length of city wall between Bastions 12 and 14, which runs beneath the Museum viewing windows, was prepared. as part of first thoughts about restoration of the wall and ditches as an exhibit. About 4m of medieval ditch fill cutting away most of the Roman ditch can be expected with no more than sporadic survival of the Roman fort and city walls.

Duke's Place. TQ 3551 8122 (J. Maloney).
The Roman city ditch was also investigated at Duke's Place. Pottery in it here dates no later than 150 AD, whereas the wall is normally dated to around 200. Either this section of the wall is earlier, or the ditch, which was flat-bottomed is from the earlier earthen defences, so far never located but presumed to be on the line of the wall. The medieval city ditch was found to be at least 6.5m wide. A rubbish pit produced biscuit wasters from a kiln presumably in the area, together with a Bellarmine jug bearing a date of 1591. WC.

Gracechurch Street tunnel. TQ 3305 8118 (P. Marsden and J. Maloney).
A traverse of the Roman basilica and forum was made in a GPO tunnel dug 4.5m below Gracechurch Street. It crossed first the south wing of the forum and found the forum entrance; then the forum courtyard, with a structure, perhaps a decorative pool, near the middle; thirdly, the basilica floor in the hall and side aisles, South of the forum the road passed through three Roman roads, the frontages of several Roman buildings, a 15th c. conduit, and the west end of St. Benet Gracechurch.

City foreshore. (G. Egan).
A wide range of post-medieval artefacts have been recovered in the past year, both by the DUA and by members of the public with whom some rapport has been achieved. Projects on lead bale seals, marked knife-blades and other categories of artefacts are in progress. The legal problems concerning ownership and the licensing of searchers remain
outstanding.

LAARC Archive

Kingscote Street / junction with Tudor Street, EC4. TQ 31600 80990 (C. Milne and G. Milne).
A tunnel to construct a sewer along Kingscote Street was monitored and a section in the tunnel drawn as it crossed Tudor Street. The section showed two horizontal timber base-plates on piles, driven into water-lain gravels, aligned N-S; above was ragstone rubble.