LONDON ARCHAEOLOGIST 1978 vol 3.10

All Museum of London, Department of Urban Archaeology.

New Fresh Wharf. TQ 329 806. (L. Miller).


Observation of the site during contractors' excavation led to the recording of more of the Roman waterfront found in 1974 and 1975 bringing it to 40m. (131ft.) in length. with a post and plank revetment to the N. 39m. (128ft.) of the late Roman riverside wall was also found under the S. side of Lower Thames Street. Further evidence of the Saxon embankments and medieval buildings was produced and two riverbank revetments, probably of the 12th and 13th c., were associated with the latter.

Watling Court, Bow Lane, TQ 323 810 (D. Perring).

Six-month excavation beginning in July 1978 produced evidence of timber-framed structures, aligned N-S, which were destroyed by fire, perhaps in AD60, and replaced by the end of the 1st c. by new buildings, and two alleys which followed the boundaries of the earlier structures. In places the new buildings survived to a height of 1m (3ft 3in). Most of the walls were plastered, and traces of eight mosaic/tessellated floors were found, five of them set in opus signinum matrix. They constitute the earliest series of mosaic from London. After destruction by fire in the early 2nd c., the site was rebuilt with less substantial buildings which again observed pre-existing boundaries, and which were destroyed by a third fire, possibly of Antonine date. The late Roman to mid-Saxon periods were represented by a thick layer of 'dark earth' into which three cellared buildings of the late Saxon period were erected. These seem to have been sunk some 2m (6ft 7in) below the contemporary ground surfaces. and were lined by planks supported by timber uprights and joists. The one complete example measured 13m x 5.5m (43ft x 18ft) and contained iron waste. All respected the line of an E-W alleyway known to exist in the 14th c., and which coincided with a Roman property boundary. The Saxon buildings were backfilled by the 11th c., when chalk founded walls were constructed. The location and alignment of individual properties was indicated by the regular distribution of cess pits, most of which lay along the E-W alley, to the rear of tenements fronting N on to Watling Street and S on to Basing Lane. A finely constructed chalk-lined well of the 14th c. was associated with these structures.

G.P.O., Newgate Street. TQ 3204 8135 (S. Roskams).
A period of cremations of Flavian date, currently being excavated, imply that this part of the City was outside the official urban area up to the end of the 1st c. The structures, which mark its subsequent assimilation within that area, comprised two substantial timber-framed buildings interpreted as commercial premises fronting on to the Roman Street bounding the site to the E. These are part of a coherent, planned development of the area which took place early in the 2nd c. The commercial premises were destroyed in the Hadrianic fire, but immediately replaced, attesting the resilience of the Roman economy in London at that time. W.C.

Dukes Place, Aldgate. TQ 335 812. (J. Maloney).
The recording of a 30m (100ft) section across the defences revealed a sequence of activity from before 120 A.D. to the 17th c. The earliest dated feature was a shallow flat-bottomed ditch (probably a pre-wall boundary), the fill of which contained pottery of c. 120 A.D. and the remains of two human skeletons. The foundation trench for the city wall was cut through a deposit which yielded pottery of c. 180 A.D., as did the internal bank and deposits dumped against the external face of the wall. The wall survived to its full width of 2.7 m (8ft) and to a height of 1.7 m (5ft) above the plinth. A longitudinal section through the wall facilitated the recording of details of its construction: a singular feature was an off-set on its external face. A V-shaped ditch, 3.5 m (ll.5ft) from the wall was possibly contemporary with its construction. A localised change in the construction of the wall proved to be the blocking of a doorway and passage, and it is likely that this medieval postern was a private thoroughfare for the incumbents of Holy Trinity Priory. Other features of the Priory recorded include a doorway and undercroft in the Dorter. An arched brick wall constructed parallel to and up against the internal face of the city wall is probably part of a medieval renovation. Two large medieval ditches and a ? Civil War ditch were cut into by a series of post-medieval pits which contained substantial groups of pottery including six pots (four containing paint), a stoneware sherd dated 1591, delftware wasters, kiln furniture and a vitrified brick. A stoneware "Bellarmine" jug containing the remains of pins is thought to have been a witch bottle.

Upper Thames Street. TQ 3241 8084. (K. Flude).
Sections were recorded through an E-W GPO Tunnel along the N carriageway of Upper Thames Street, from Dowgate Hill House west to Garlick Hill. Deposits recorded ranged from Early Roman river gravels to Medieval foundations. Among several timber constructions found were 2 box-type Quay Structures, presumably of Roman date. As yet unconnected, one at Garlick Hill has its main baulk aligned N-S. the other at St. James Garlick hythe is aligned E-W. They are the first such structures found west of the Walbrook, and are north of the presumed line of the River-side Wall. WC.

Lloyds Insurance Building. TQ 3314 8104. (K. Flude).
Excavation so far has concentrated on the cut features. Roman features investigated include early Roman pits predating post-holes. The post-holes consist of two types, 2 of each types having been investigated. The first are aligned E-W and are large square features with no sign of a post-pipe, the second are aligned slightly N of E-W, and contain a square post-pipe. Early medieval pits investigated include a rectangular soak-away, or well, a clay-lined pit, and a presumed rubbish pit containing a bone ice-skate. The latter post-dates a mortar lined feature with a charcoal and ash primary fill, also containing slag, suggesting an industrial use.

Mason's Avenue. TQ 3258 8137. (P. Herbert).
A N-S trench cut two open box drains, approx. E-W, dating to 2nd c. or later. Beneath them was a natural stream bed, silted up before the Roman period.

Cutler Street. TQ 334 815. (A. Balfour-Lynn).
Examination of trial holes in P.L.A. warehouses. Evidence for two phases of post-medieval occupation before the building of the warehouses c.1800, including a wall apparently built of earth and horn cores. WC.

LAARC Archive

9-12 Bridewell Place. TQ 31610 81030 (D. Gadd).
Excavation recorded large-scale reclamation on the W bank of the Fleet in the medieval period; a revetment included part of a boat. The main findings were parallel brick foundations (including brick arches on pile-supported chalk piers, Fig*BRI). Documentary and cartographic