LONDON ARCHAEOLOGIST 1989 vol 6.6
THIS ARTICLE has been prepared from reports submitted by individual supervisors and collated by Andrew Westman. WC at the end of a report indicates that work continues.
12 America Square, 15-17 Crosswall, 15 Coopers Row TQ 3355 8090 (C. Goode, A. Stephenson & T. Nixon).
Following preliminary excavations underneath the railway viaduct to the E of Fenchurch Street Station (see LA 5 no. 14 (1988) 382) an extensive series of excavations took place between October 1987 and January 1988, funded by Central and City Properties Ltd. Of 39 trenches sited where pile caps were to be inserted to support a new building above the railway, 20 were excavated archaeologically and the rest by contractors.
The Roman city wall ran N-S across the site and to the N a 32m (105ft) length was exposed (to be consolidated and displayed in the new building). A change in build was evident on the inner face. N of this change a tile drain ran through the wall. The wall survived up to 2m (6.5ft) in height above original ground level on the E (outer) side. A gravel-metalled surface on the berm survived intact, 0.60m (2ft) below the sandstone plinth on the wall face, and the V-profile of the base of the original ditch was also recorded.
To the W a hard gravel surface, dated to the late 2nd-early 3rd c and probably a construction road for the wall, was sealed by dumps of sand, gravel and brickearth originally banked up against the inside of the wall. These dumps contained 2nd c pottery.
Very thick deposits of dark earth or similar strata extended W, cut by pits, wells and lines of stakeholes, probably fencing. Datable finds suggest that occupation was continuous from the 11th c. A large pitched stone medieval culvert was inserted through the wall (remaining in use until the 19th c). To the E a medieval or later ditch cut sloped down further to the E than the recorded Roman ditch. This later ditch was backfilled and the area levelled up with dumps of homogeneous gravel containing 17th c pottery, cut in turn by post-medieval horncore-lined pits. No evidence was found for substantial buildings before the 17th c, and parts of the site remained open until the construction of the railway viaduct in the 1840s, when much of the city wall was also demolished.
Roman finds include a bow brooch and quantities of glass from bottles, flasks and a pillar-moulded bowl. Bone counters and fragments of two shale bracelets were also recovered. Late medieval lead tokens and two cloth seals came from metal-detecting. There was also a range of post-medieval glassware, including wine glasses, phials and a near-complete beaker with chequered spiral decoration. Other post-medieval finds include an ivory comb and several knives.
22-25 Austin Friars TQ 3289 8137 (D. Dunlop & A. Shotliff).
A post-demolition excavation took place between February and June 1989, funded by MEPC Developments Ltd.
Natural sands and gravels were sealed by brickearth, sloping down towards the line of the Walbrook at the NW corner of the site. During the Roman period, the area underwent large scale drainage prior to revetting which, allied with dumping and levelling across the site, provided ground suitable for construction.
A complex sequence of waterlogged timber pipes, tanks and wells served buildings located in the S and E of the site. Two of these buildings had masonry walls and tessellated floors, indicating high status. The larger building contained at least nine rooms. Evidence for extensive rebuilding included the replacement of tessellated floors. Tile drains ran beneath the floors in both buildings, crossing one room diagonally.
Chalk and ragstone walls founded on timber piles formed part of an early medieval building, possibly related to the Augustinian priory nearby. Two brick-lined wells and a section of chalk cellar were probably of 17th c date.
Finds from the site are almost all of Roman date. They include copper alloy pins, jug lids, ligulae and styli, as well as 76 coins from the fill of a wooden drain feature. A pipeclay figurine of Venus also came from this feature. Other items include an enamelled zoomorphic mount, a wooden bowl and comb, a bow brooch and a bronze handle cast in the form of a lion.
55 Basinghall Street TQ 3246 8154 (N. Hall).
Two phases of excavation and a watching brief, in July-September 1988 and May-June 1989, were sited partly on the line of the E wall of the Cripplegate Fort. Work was funded by Prudential Portfolio Managers Ltd. The defensive ditch around the fort wall was located, with traces of a timber structure on the berm to the W. The wall was robbed and the backfilled ditch was sealed by floor surfaces and walls of late Roman date, later robbed in turn. These features, and natural brickearth and gravels elsewhere, were truncated successively by medieval refuse and cesspits, medieval and post-medieval cellars and Second World War bomb craters.
4 Billiter Street, 34-35 Leadenhall Street (Albion House) TQ 3327 8110 (A. B. Thomas).
After demolition of Albion House, excavations were carried out in a large area in the centre and on the W side of the site, between July and September 1989, and underpinning at the E side of the site was watched until December 1989. Work was funded by Commercial Properties Ltd.
Roman activity began with possible quarries for gravel and brickearth. They were backfilled, the site levelled up with thick dumps of brickearth and at least six separate, or successive buildings constructed to N and S. The earliest were timber structures, partly sunken. Building debris indicated that some of the later buildings may have been of high quality, with decorated walls and tessellated floors. To the N, the latest Roman building, constructed in masonry and tile, included a large room orientated NW-SE with a buttressed apsidal end wall.
To the E, chalk foundations may represent a medieval cellared building. Truncating these foundations and running across the site was a series of large, deep pits, irregularly-shaped except for a flat base, in association with much smaller pits or hearths and working surfaces. All these pits were backfilled with fragments of bell mould and with building rubble. Documentary evidence confirms that bell foundries operated here and nearby in the 14th and 15th c. All later strata were truncated by modem basements.
Amongst the objects recovered were a Roman bone die and fragments from several facet-cut glass beakers. A complete aryballos was also recovered, with copper alloy rings still surviving in its handles. Medieval finds include several complete Rouen-style baluster jugs which had been deposited in a barrel well, and much ceramic bell-mould.
41-63 Bishopsgate TQ 331 1 8135 (M. Watts).
Excavations conducted in the basement of a standing building, concurrently with contractors' demolition operations, between February and April 1989, were funded by Kumagai Gumi UK Ltd.
The earliest activity appeared as stained surfaces and pits, the latter containing ash, charcoal, a burnt timber and a complete pottery vessel dated to the late Bronze Age-early Iron Age. They were sealed by redeposited brickearth containing struck flints and pottery fragments of similar date.
Structural remains of the Roman period comprised, in the N half of the site. a beam slot, posthole and stakeholes. To the W quarry pits for brickearth were backfilled with Roman building materials, and other pits contained cess and rubbish. Pits of definitely medieval date were located only to the W, implying different land use to the E, presumably the presence of buildings fronting onto Bishopsgate. Modern basements and foundations truncated all other evidence.
Most finds from the site are of Roman date. Amongst them are fragments of glass bottles, bowls, flagons and flasks, as well as a counter and a stirring rod. Other finds include a copper alloy lock bolt, part of a mirror, a stylus and a pair of tweezers.
158-164 Bishopsgate TQ 3330 8154 (J. M. Oetgen & S. Poole).
The project combined excavation in two phases, December 1988-January 1989 and March-August 1989, with partial recording of a listed building retained at 162-4 Bishopsgate (originally a fire station). It was funded by Friends Provident.
A sequence of large early Roman quarry pits was cut into natural gravels, with evidence of gravel surfaces, perhaps tracks connecting with a known Roman road, Ermine Street, immediately to the W. These quarry pits were backfilled, perhaps by the 2nd c, and thick deposits of dark soil resembling 'dark earth' accumulated across the site, indicating horticulture. No human burials were found (see 166-170 Bishopsgate). A long series of pits was cut into the dark soil in the medieval period and later. Localised waterlogging in the SE corner of the site preserved organic materials in pitfills; this area remained open until at least the 17th c. Two horncore-lined pits may have had an industrial use. To the SW, cess and domestic refuse pits suggested occupation nearby, probably along Bishopsgate, the medieval successor to Ermine Street. Two dog skeletons were recovered from one of the pits.
A brick wall probably of 16th c date was exposed and recorded along the S edge of the site, incorporated in adjoining standing buildings. This wall, tentatively identified from documentary sources as originally part of a building known as 'Fisher's Folly', reused 13th c moulded stones as mullions in windows at half-cellar level. Other medieval and post-medieval structures, mainly chalk and brick cellar and cesspit walls, were truncated by 19th c levelling of the site and construction of warehouses and the fire station.
Finds of note from the site include a medieval double-sided wooden comb and a complete London-ware conical drinking vessel. A complete Frechen jug of 1550-1575 was also recovered, as well as a broad-rimmed pewter saucer bearing the initials 'T.C.'. These initials are thought to refer to the owner rather than the maker.
Docklands light Railway Shaft, Bucklersbury, near Queen Victoria Street TQ 3259 8106 (J. Hill & P. Rowsome).
Excavations were conducted from September to December 1987 in an access shaft being built for the Docklands Light Railway.
Deposits were recorded to a maximum depth of 7m (22.7ft) within a vertical shaft 6.3m (19.7ft) in diameter. The work was funded by Olympia and York and DLR.
The natural ground surface sloped down to the Walbrook, to the E. A series of timber buildings was constructed, one with a plank floor and stave-built wall and another containing a room that may have been open-sided, perhaps to facilitate passage of goods brought from the Walbrook. Between two buildings in this sequence the site was levelled up with dumps containing a large quantity of broken and burnt, but apparently unused, Samian pottery, perhaps deriving from a warehouse or shop nearby, destroyed by fire in the early 2nd c. This sequence was sealed by deposits of dark earth and these in turn by medieval external surfaces. Intrusive masonry foundations were excavated and are identified with a building documented as 'The Barge', the gatehouse to the manor of the Buckerel family founded in the 12th or 13th c.
Cannon Street Station south, Upper Thames Street (Cousin Lane) TQ 3258 8075 (R. V. Bluer, F. Meddens &A. Stephenson).
Two phases of excavation and an extensive watching brief, funded by Speyhawk plc, took place concurrently with contractors' groundworks underneath the railway viaduct between Upper Thames Street and the river, from August 1988 to October 1989.
The earliest features found, to the N, were a 30m (100ft) length of late Roman timber revetment running W-E (see Cannon Street Station north, p.162), followed by a sequence of Saxon banks of clay, rafts of brushwood and stone rubble, with pits and hearths to the N. To the NW, controlled excavation revealed a masonry building 10.3m (35ft) wide, extending S from the N end of the site for at least 17m (58ft). The walls, built of ragstone on chalk and gravel foundations, survived up to 1.4m (4.5ft) in height above the level of the floor, the latter mostly of crushed chalk or mortar, frequently renewed. The building was a single-aisled hall, the ground floor of which was probably used for storage: architectural details of two square pier bases in situ and associated stones reused in a later context suggest a late 12th c date. This building is identified as the Guildhall of the merchants of Cologne, who are documented in London in 1175. Further chalk foundations indicated that the Guildhall was enlarged towards the river by at least 31m (105ft), probably around 1300, and that other buildings were constructed to the E, presumably the houses, shops and storerooms of the traders of the Hanseatic League who acquired the site in 1475, when it was known as the Steelyard. This precinct extended to a late medieval river wall found as far S as the present river frontage. Later deposits were truncated by post-medieval cellaring partly re-using earlier masonry, and by construction of the railway viaduct in 1865. The latter included an inclined cab road running between the level of the street and the platforms, which was photographically recorded by HMBC before demolition.
The finds assemblage is dominated by 156 moulded stones of medieval and later date. Sparse evidence of Roman activity is provided by a penannular brooch, tweezers, a finger-ring and several coins. Medieval objects include a bone skate, a buckle and a Saxo-Norman decorative bone dress-pin; there are good groups of post-medieval clay tobacco pipes and decorated floor tiles.
Cannon Street Station north, Upper Thames Street (Dowgate Hill) TQ 3260 8080 (R. Bishop, M. Burch, J. Hill & A. Stephenson).
Excavations took place in the two bays of the railway viaduct immediately N of Upper Thames Street, on the site of part of the presumed Roman governor's palace, a scheduled ancient monument. The excavations, funded by Speyhawk plc, were conducted in several phases, including a watching brief, and at the same time as contractors' engineering operations, between September 1988 and August 1989.
Natural sands and silts on the E bank of the mouth of the Walbrook were enclosed behind a timber revetment; the infilled ground was terraced by substantial masonry retaining walls running N, parallel to the Walbrook, and E, parallel to the presumed Thames waterfront lying outside the site to the S. The S face of the latter wall was buttressed, probably with both curved and squared tile-built projections. A series of culverts and drains incorporated in these walls and the Walbrook revetment carried off surface water. The provisional date of these structures is Flavian, and they relate presumably to the palatial structures to the E (recorded in 1972) and N (observed in 1865).
These structures were superseded by more land reclamation in the late 2nd-early 3rd c, when a new revetment was constructed a further 25m to the W, on the Walbrook, and presumably also to the S, on the Thames (see Cannon Street Station south, p.161). Much building rubble was used for infill and a masonry building was constructed extending to the S and W. The foundations of this building included oak piles, many of which were reused house timbers of 1st c date. One room contained a hypocaust and an opus signinum floor, and another contained a tessellated floor. Separate tiles and masonry walls indicated more buildings lying to the N. The Roman sequence was sealed to the E by a series of intercutting pits, sealed in turn by a stone-walled cellar, in which a new floor was inserted in the 18th c. Strata elsewhere were truncated by construction of the railway viaduct in 1865.
The site produced an important assemblage of finds, mostly of Roman date. They include a copper alloy bell and a brooch, finger-rings, lock fittings and toilet implements. On-site metal detecting enabled 367 Roman coins and other metal items to be recovered. Iron objects include a saw and two styli and there were also fragments from three shale bracelets, and an intaglio. Later finds include 87 moulded stones and, among post-medieval finds, glass phials and a bone syringe.
13-23 Carter Lane (Wren House) TQ 3202 8103 (B. Bishop).
A watching brief was conducted between August 1988 and March 1989, before and after demolition of the interior of Wren House. Work was funded by St Martins Property Investments Ltd. To the NE an apparent soil horizon survived almost intact above a profile of natural sands and brickearth. To the E, floor surfaces and fallen wall plaster were recorded, associated with a wide, well-founded tile-built wall or pier base, probably representing a substantial Roman masonry building. Elsewhere, medieval refuse pits and cellar walls and foundations were recognised. A 16th c well, lined at the base with barrel staves and, above these, with chalk blocks, was excavated, and another, brick-lined well was recorded.
69 Carter Lane, 10 Friar Street TQ 3180 8106 (B. Watson).
Excavations funded by MEPC Developments Ltd were undertaken from March to May 1989, supplemented by watching briefs before and after, from October 1988 until September 1989.
The earliest features identified were an unlined well of 12th c date and several gravel pits. Parts of the Dominican Priory of Blackfriars, established c 1276, were known to have occupied the site. To the N, they included the E end of the choir of the priory church, but little of the walls of the choir remained as they appear to have been replaced by existing basement walls on the N and E edges of the site. Inside the choir, five burials and two brick burial vaults were found, the latter emptied and then used for rubbish disposal sometime after the dissolution of the Priory in 1538. To the S, the Prior's Lodging and a garden are documented, and were represented by stone foundations and an external garderobe pit, the former containing a floor of delftware tiles and last used as a coal cellar before demolition in the late 17th or 18th c.
The party wall along the S edge of the site incorporated stone foundations of the external wall of an undercroft (recorded further to the S in 1900, located below the Provincial's Hall and the South Dorter). These foundations were buttressed to the N; to the W upstanding masonry contained a large window of c 14th c date, subsequently blocked, which will be preserved and displayed in the new development. Along the W edge of the site, to the S, another substantial medieval foundation was recorded: probably the E wall of the Chapter House.
Most of the finds are post-medieval in date. Copper alloy objects include 11 coins and a variety of domestic articles. An iron Jews harp was recovered, as well as two fragmentary ivory double-sided combs and some textile. A good selection of glass vessels, in turquoise and green as well as clear glass, includes an almost complete colourless wine glass. A gold coin of George III was recovered. The pottery includes several whole vessels, among which is a Westerwald panel jug depicting the seven electors of the Holy Roman Empire, with the date 1603, and a Frechen bellarmine with the arms of Amsterdam on the medallion. Also noteworthy is a whole decorated tinglazed tile, predominantly blue, on a white background with yellow and green leaves.
29-30 College Street (Innholders' Hall) TQ 3252 8083 (Sarah Gibson).
A watching brief during refurbishment of the Hall and excavations for a new lift shaft, in April and May 1989, were sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Innholders. The earliest deposits were on the E bank of the Walbrook, associated with a timber structure, probably Roman, possibly a revetment. A medieval chalk wall constructed on beechwood piles may have been part of the original Innholders' Hall, destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. Some of the larger roof timbers in the existing Hall were evidently reused and were also charred: they may have been salvaged from the original hall for reuse after the Fire. Dendrochronological dates on these timbers and the beech piles could not be determined.
20-56 Copthall Avenue, 52-63 London Wall TQ 3283 8147 (D. M. B. Lees & A. Woodger).
An excavation funded by Scottish Widows was undertaken in two phases, before demolition between February and April, and after demolition between June and September 1989 (see also LA 6 no. 5 (1989) 115-9).
Natural sands and gravels were resorted along the line of a Walbrook tributary which flowed SW across the SE corner of the site. The earliest activity was Roman land reclamation along this channel. A series of industrial pits and drainage gullies were located along the W bank and the channel itself contained abundant leather waste and 20-30 human skulls. A road constructed of rammed gravel ran NNE-SSW, roughly through the middle of the site. Between this road and the Walbrook tributary, brickearth and timber buildings were built in at least two phases, possibly in the mid 2nd c. A timber-lined well, dated no earlier than AD 130, was constructed between these buildings and the channel.
A second gravel road running WNW-ESE was recorded to the E. This road was partially silted over and stones from a monumental building were laid in a linear arrangement on its surface, probably to form a drain. In the NW corner of the site lay two more Roman buildings, one to the W constructed of brickearth sills and timber uprights and the other to the E built of wattle and daub. In an external yard associated with the latter building was a tile and mortar plinth, possibly for a statue. Marsh deposits accumulated after the disuse of these buildings. The only surviving later feature was a ditch running W-E cut into these marsh deposits, representing an attempt to re-establish drainage in the area in the 11th c. All later strata were truncated by 19th c basements.
Among the varied finds, a good pottery assemblage is mainly 2nd c in date. A fragmentary bowl, probably London ware, has strips of tin foil applied to the rim sherds. Such decoration on this type of pottery is hitherto unknown in Britain. Another unusual ceramic find is a Koan amphora with a painted inscription in Greek, a name in the genitive case, translated as Theoumrou or Theouerou. Other unusual finds include two leather-working implements, consisting of an iron awl with leather thongs wound around the head and, among many good leather finds, a whole leather shoe with hob nails. Other organic objects recovered include a complete wooden spindle, a boxwood ladle head, a fragmentary wooden bowl, half an ivory bracelet with incised decoration and several bone pins, one of which has an animal hoof head. Among the metal finds are a complete pair of copper alloy bevelled tweezers, a fragmentary seal box and more than 20 coins, most of which are copper alloy but one, overlaid with silver, is a forged denarius.
8-11 Crescent TQ 3361 8083 (R. S. Sermon).
Excavations adjoining the outer face of the city wall, a scheduled ancient monument, took place in May and June 1989, after demolition of existing buildings. A watching brief, including photogrammetric recording of the city wall, ended in August 1989. Work was funded by Arundell House (City) Ltd.
The foundations of the Roman city wall were cut into natural travels; the outer face survived to a height of 3.5m (13ft) above them. To the E, no trace of an original ditch survived, but timber piles and, directly abutting the wall face, mortared ragstone and chalk were revealed. They are interpreted as the foundations of a bastion (2A) added to the wall in the late Roman period, presumably obliterating any earlier ditch; it confirms the regular spacing of such bastions in this sector.
Early in the medieval period the area in front of the wall was reduced and the bastion was dismantled; then the area was levelled up with dumps containing Roman building debris derived from the wall or the bastion. The wall itself was rebuilt above the existing Roman face and core, surviving to a level just below the presumed crenellations. Further to the E, possible medieval ditch cuts were traced. Later, gravel was dumped against the wall face. Elsewhere post-medieval features included part of a horncore-lined pit or ditch, and ditch or pitfills containing slag. Building rubble was then dumped to prepare the ground for the brick foundations and drains of buildings in a documented late 18th c development, of which Crescent was a part, designed by George Dance the Younger. The bastion foundations and standing wall have been left in situ.
Finds are mostly post-medieval and include an ivory comb, a copper alloy candlestick and a ceramic button with a representation of a crowned female figure, possibly the 'Queen of Africa'.
15-17 Eldon Street TQ 3296 8164 (P. Potter).
Excavations took place in the basement of the standing building between January and March 1989, and were followed by a watching brief after demolition. Work was funded by Norwich Union Pensions Management Ltd.
The earliest features were quarries cut into natural gravels. They were backfilled and the site levelled up with dumped brickearth, into which 24 burials were inserted, to the N. Two of them contained grave goods (in one case dated to the 2nd c), one individual was buried with an iron fetter around one leg and four were buried in wooden coffins. To the S of this extra-mural cemetery a road was recorded running roughly W-E. Sealing a resurfacing of this road, and also a timber-lined well which had been backfilled with a deposit containing horse bones, was a thick marsh deposit extending further to the S across the site. Further horizontal strata were all truncated by later development, but surviving intrusive features included three ditches running W-E, probably for drainage and backfilled no earlier than the 17th c, and a post-medieval pit containing leather waste.
Fleet Valley, between Blackfriars and Holborn Viaduct Stations (S) TQ 3167 8092 - (N) TQ 3171 8148 (M. Adams, P. Askew, S. Bedford, T. Dawson, T. Ellis, C. Goode, R. Greatorix, D. Killock, W. A. McCann, M. McKenzie, G. Oulton & N. Truckle).
Redevelopment over a very large area in the lower valley of the River Fleet, occasioned by realignment of the railway between Blackfriars and Holborn Viaduct Stations, has entailed continuing watching briefs and many separate and successive excavations. Funded by Rosehaugh Stanhope Developments plc, this work began in 1988 (see LA 6 no. 2 (1989) 53; 6 no. 4 (1989) 102-7) and is expected to finish by the end of 1990.
Sections of the prehistoric and Roman E bank of the Fleet were recorded, and also its confluence with. the Thames. Roman use of Ludgate was confirmed, and a Roman surface of tiles and ragstone was revealed to the W (below Ludgate Circus).
Near the confluence of the rivers (N of Queen Victoria Street), late Saxon burials showed evidence of quartering and decapitation: buried in unconsecrated and desolate ground, they were probably criminals. Also located in an area not known to have been consecrated, to the N (near Holborn Viaduct Station), were several 11th-12th c shroud burials.
A substantial l lth-12th c timber abutment for a bridge across the Fleet was located at the bottom of Ludgate Hill. To the E and S, several 12th c buildings were uncovered including, at cellar level in one of these buildings, the lowest step of a spiral staircase and the moulded jambs and threshold of a doorway, in Reigate stone. Parts of the outer, N face and the S face of a 13th c extension of the city wall around Blackfriars Priory were recorded before demolition, running W for a distance of 11m (36ft) under Pilgrim Street. Stones reused in this wall are identified as probably deriving from the former buildings nearby. Moulded stones, originally 15th c window tracery in the priory, were found reused to line a well to the S of Apothecary Street. Associated with this lining were fragments of fine, decorated 15th c Venetian stained glass.
To the N of Ludgate Hill, parts of the Fleet Prison, of medieval and post-medieval date, were excavated, including the E perimeter wall, rooms inside the main prison building and its courtyard. One room contained a back-to-back hearth in brick and Reigate stone. Pine piles supporting a raft of oak timbers and a superstructure of chalk blocks were located running S under the E side of Farringdon Street, and are identified as the E bank of the post-Great Fire Fleet Canal, designed by Wren.
1-4 Great Tower Street TQ 3316 8076 (C. Rosborough).
Excavations in May and June 1989 were funded by Harrisons and Crosfield plc, after demolition of the existing building. Only the N half was excavated, because of double basements in the other.
Natural gravels capped by brickearth were cut, to the N, by the foundations of a clay-and-timber building aligned W-E, dated to the late 1st-early 2nd c. This in turn was superseded by late Roman quarry and rubbish pits and a N-S ditch; elsewhere there were other Roman rubbish pits and cesspits and a W-E ditch. Surviving later features included four medieval chalk-lined cesspits and other pits, and post-medieval brick-lined wells and cellars, relating to buildings fronting onto Great Tower Street and Idol Lane, to the N and W respectively. Other strata were truncated by construction of the existing building in 1905.
Roman finds from the site include much painted wall plaster and many fragments of vessel glass. The largest of the chalk-lined cesspits was filled with an impressive group of ceramic vessels and glassware, amongst which were four Siegburg jugs and a later Roman vessel, as well as a variety of tinglazed wares. Two important glass vessels were also retrieved from this feature. A late medieval Italian beaker has extensive gilding and enamel decoration, which surrounds a colloquial inscription; and a colourless stemmed cup with blue and white trails is of a type for which no accurate dating had hitherto been possible.
52 Gresham Street, 14 Ironmonger Lane TQ 3253 8128 (A. T. Mackinder).
An excavation, funded by City Holdings Ltd, was undertaken in the basement of a standing building between January and April 1989. Parts of the building were also recorded.
The earliest feature was a quarry pit cut into natural sands and gravels, backfilled in the late 1st c. Dumps and pits were sealed by the masonry wall and floors of a late Roman building. This was on the same alignment (NNE-SSW) as walls recorded in 1954 immediately to the S, at 13 Ironmonger Lane. Further dumps, cut by a N-S 11th c ditch, pits and a possible well, were followed by the chalk and gravel foundations of an 11th-13th c building. In places, the brick walls of the standing building rested directly on these earlier foundations. The latter building was substantially of late 17th c post-Great Fire construction, refaced and refenestrated in the 20th c apparently to reinstate its original appearance. 17th c features such as floors, party walls and chimneys survived, and were recorded before demolition.
Roman finds of interest include some crucibles and stamped samian pottery, ten copper alloy coins, a copper alloy brooch and a green glass bead. A medieval decorated bone counter and a fragment of a post-medieval opaque glass lamp were also found.
Guildhall Yard TQ 3248 8135 (C. Copper & G. Porter).
A second phase of excavations took place between July 1988 and January 1989 funded by the owner and developer, the Corporation of London. They were sited immediately to the W of the previous excavations (see LA 5 no. 14 (1988) 384; 6 no. 2 (1989) 50) in the unbasemented E half of the Yard and around existing foundation piles underneath the Yard, which remained in use. Consequently excavations proceeded by tunnelling from E to W, no lower than 12m OD, a level determined by the headroom required. In all 116 interconnected sections were recorded.
The earliest evidence recovered was of 12th and 13th c dumping. After this, successive kilns for bronze smelting were constructed of roughly-coursed chalk walls capped with brickearth and tiles. Fragments of buckle moulds and some bronze buckles still in situ were found in association with these kilns. This evidence for industrial activity was truncated by foundations for medieval buildings to the W and E, the latter documented as the 14th c Guildhall Chapel and, to the S of that, Blackwell Hall. To the W only ragstone and chalk wall foundations survived, and little associated occupation. In the central area, successive gravel metallings and chalk bedding layers for surfaces, dated from the late 14th c to the Great Fire of 1666, represented the Yard itself, the approach road to Guildhall. Fire debris was then dumped thickly over the site, presumably levelling up for further surfaces, but these were truncated by the concrete slab and overlying existing surface of the Yard, laid in 1973. Earlier features were also truncated by 18th and 19th c sewers. WC
The method of excavation produced few finds, but among them were decorated medieval and post-medieval floor tiles, including several 14th c Penn tiles. As well as the ceramic buckle mould, other finds of note are several copper alloy coins, a copper alloy needle and a fragment of medieval painted window glass.
33-9 Gutter Lane TQ 3223 8131 (I. Blair).
Between December 1987 and April 1988, excavations were undertaken after demolition in areas undisturbed by the extensive existing piling. The work was funded by Eagle Star Properties.
The heavily truncated remains of the E edge of a Roman road and its associated drainage ditches were uncovered in the extreme NW corner of the site, verifying the alignment of this road, first recorded to the W at 7-10 Foster Lane (see LA 4 no. 10 (1983) 279). The road ran from SW to NE, presumably to the S gate of the Cripplegate Fort. Fronting the road and extending to the E were 1st and 2nd c clay-walled buildings, some separated by narrow alleyways. All reflected the road alignment, including the earliest which were probably destroyed in the Boudican sack of London in AD 61. Many had plastered internal walls. Floors were predominantly of clay, with one notable exception, a polychrome mosaic uncovered to the SE. This mosaic, in a room possibly with an apsidal end, consisted of a square central panel of small white tesserae, in the centre of which a square within a circle were picked out in black. Alternating bands of black and white tesserae formed a narrow edge around the central panel, outside which larger squared red tesserae extended lm (3.2ft) to the walls of the room. The structure was destroyed by fire in the 2nd c. Later Roman activity was represented by the NE corner of a substantial but heavily robbed masonry structure, possibly dating to the 3rd c and similar to those found at 7-10 Foster Lane.
Overlying the Roman sequence, dark earth survived only in small pockets. The site was extensively pitted during the medieval period and occupied from 1520, according to documentary sources, by Embroiderers' Hall. Near the Gutter Lane frontage, a single brick-lined cesspit, containing an assemblage of fine glass and pottery, appeared to be related to the Hall.
The rich finds are mostly Roman and post-medieval. The many Roman bone objects include a good selection of needles and pins, some complete, and among less usual finds, a whole bone ligula, half a bone skate, a whole spindlewhorl and part of a double-sided ivory comb. Roman ceramics include many samian stamps, mortaria stamps and several counters and lamps. Roman copper alloy objects include a brooch, coins and a lock and key. Roman glass includes flagons, jars and unguentaria. Among post-medieval pottery are many whole vessels. Post-medieval pins, studs and rings were recovered, and post-medieval glass comprised a range of forms, including many wine glasses, some with unusual decoration.
58-60 Houndsditch TQ 3332 8140 (C. J. Mamwell).
Excavations funded by Speyhawk plc were undertaken after demolition in August and September 1989. The Roman city wall was exposed running along the SW edge of the site: the stones of the outer face were cut away by later cellaring, leaving only the core. The surviving portion was 5m (16.5ft) long and 4m (13ft) high and is to be preserved. The visible foundations of the wall indicated a contemporary ground level of 12.03m OD. Although badly truncated, the associated defensive ditch, V-shaped in profile, clearly ran NW-SE in front of and parallel to the wall. The base of this ditch implied an original minimum depth relative to ground level of 2m (6.5ft). Eight burials, directly in front of the wall or partly in the backfilled ditch and probably of late Roman date, comprised seven adults and one child: their bodies were extended and oriented in different directions. The medieval city defences were represented by the ditch, at least 18m (59ft) wide and, despite being badly truncated, one and possibly two recuts were distinguished. The ditch fills contained several complete dog skeletons.
King's Bench Walk, Inner Temple TQ 3129 8100 (B. Watson).
A watching brief funded by British Telecom was carried out during August 1989, when a shaft 3.9m (12.7ft) deep was excavated for new cabling. London Clay was located at a maximum height of 5.04m OD. Cutting into the clay were two successive features, possibly clay pits originally on the Thames foreshore. Both were backfilled with waterlogged silt and peat. The backfill of the later feature is dated to the 12th c and may coincide with documented occupation of the site by the Knights Templar. Both features were overlain by thick dumps of post-medieval rubble and soil.
Docklands Light Railway Shaft, Lothbury, opposite Founder's Court TQ 3267 8126 (J. Hill, R. Malt, P. Rowsome).
An excavation was conducted in 1988 as part of access works for the Docklands Light Railway extension to Bank. About 4m (13ft) of deposits were excavated in a vertical shaft 4.3m (14ft) in diameter. The work was funded by Olympia and York and DLR.
Initial activity on the natural ground surface consisted of pitting and dumping; site was then prepared for construction of a large masonry building in the early 2nd c. Situated on the W bank of the middle Walbrook valley, it was probably an 'urban villa' with interconnected rooms and corridors around a central courtyard. Two rooms were excavated, separated by a N-S ragstone and tile wall with a doorway. The room to the W contained a hypocaust of unusual H-plan, with a central double flue and incised box flue tiles built into the walls, which were plastered and decoratively painted. Both rooms had floors of mixed red and black tesserae on a opus signinum base. Further to the S, a red tessellated floor was located in another room or corridor. In a major refurbishment, the hypocaust was replaced by another of more conventional form, tile pilae supporting a new tessellated floor at a higher level. The building was apparently abandoned towards the end of the 4th c and dark earth accumulated. A series of postholes and slots were cut into this deposit, within the partially upstanding Roman ruins, representing a small building of 10th-11th c date. This in turn was sealed by successive medieval and post-medieval road surfaces, culminating in the existing street. The site was partly truncated in the late 19th c by a public lavatory built under a traffic island.
21-38 Mincing Lane, 85 Great Tower Street, 12- l8 Mark Lane TQ 3326 8082 (B. Watson).
A watching brief funded by Prudential Portfolio Managers Ltd was carried out during ground reduction and underpinning operations from April 1988 to January 1989. Although the site was extensive, existing basements had severely truncated archaeological strata. Among the intrusive features recorded were two chalk-lined wells. One well, constructed in the 13th or 14th c, was backfilled with cess and organic refuse, among which was a whalebone or walrus ivory hook cover with incised decoration showing a griffin or winged lion, of 12th or 13th c date. The other well, probably constructed in the 15th or 16th c, was backfilled in the 17th or 18th c with hearth rake-out or fire debris.
143-171 Moorgate (Moorgate Hall) TQ 3274 8172 (A. Shotliff).
Between February and November 1989 excavations were conducted partly before and partly after demolition. The work was funded by Land Securities (Management) Ltd.
Evidence for extramural Roman activity was not extensive. A single intact burial was found at the N end of the site and elsewhere many disarticulated human bones suggested there had been other burials in the area. A fragment of a copper alloy mirror, probably made in N Italy in the 1st c, may have come from a disturbed burial. The remains of the medieval More FyeId marsh appeared as waterlain clays and silts. Cut through them were several large ditches running W-E, probably to drain the marsh. These ditches silted up naturally but were recut in places to prolong their usefulness. Partly contemporary with and partly succeeding the drainage ditches were extensive dumps rich in animal bone, leather waste and pottery. This domestic refuse was presumably carted out of the city and tipped into open areas at the side of the road as land fill. All later strata were truncated by modem basements and foundations.
32-35 Queen Street TQ 3241 8090 21-26 Garlick Hill TQ 3237 8090 (C. Goode).
Excavations and a watching brief at 32-35 Queen Street from June to August 1988 were conducted concurrently with a watching brief at 21-26 Garlick Hill, immediately to the W. The excavations, funded by Legal and General, were in two phases, taking in the rear of 6A Great St Thomas Apostle, to the N, when this was added to the development. The work in the site to the W was funded by Capital and Counties.
Natural brickearth was overlain, to the E, by grey silt containing a prehistoric flint flake. Ragstone foundations of a Roman building were excavated to the E and a timber-lined well was recorded to the W. These were sealed by levelling-up dumps into which a large drainage ditch, running S, and a timber-lined pit were cut. Intrusive medieval features included a clay and timber-lined drain to the N, dated to the mid 11th-mid 13th c, a circular chalk-lined cesspit, backfilled in the 16th or 17th c, and chalk foundations associated with a cellar floor to the N. This floor comprised reused decorated glazed 14th-15th c tiles, surrounding reused plain glazed 16th c tiles. At the S and W edges of the site, chalk and brick medieval and post-medieval cellar walls survived, incorporated in existing party walls. To the W, the cobbled surface of Garlick Hill was recorded, dated to the 17th c, later raised to its existing level.
40 Queen Street, 1 Skinners Lane TQ 3241 8085 (A. T. Mackinder).
An excavation, funded by Ortem Developments Ltd, took place from September to November 1989.
The earliest features were three wooden drains and a post and plank revetment on the probable line of a Roman waterfront. These were succeeded by a large Roman masonry building having at least four rooms with worn brickearth and chalk floors and another room with a plain concrete floor. Disuse of this building was marked by much demolition debris filling it.
Later dumps were cut by several pits, wall foundations and, to the N, early 17th c chalk-lined cesspits and the remains of post-Great Fire cellars. The latest features were a brick soakaway, a cesspit and a brick burial crypt, emptied and backfilled, associated with the church of St James Garlickhythe immediately to the W.
62-63 Queen Victoria Street (Ormond House) TQ 3235 8096 (J. Youle).
An excavation, funded by MEPC Developments Ltd, took place in February and March 1989.
Natural gravels were cut by a series of Roman quarry and rubbish pits. They were infilled and sealed by brickearth and gravel dumps before the laying of an external gravel surface, which may have been part of a W-E road. All surviving Roman deposits are dated to the late 1st c, and were cut by intercutting cess, rubbish and storage pits dated to the 9th-14th c. One 12th-13th c cesspit was wattle-lined, with a surrounding privacy screen. This sequence was cut by later medieval chalk and ragstone foundations, which may have formed part of a building fronting onto Garlick Hill to the E. An early 18th c brick cellar, disused and infilled by 1800, probably belonged to one of a number of properties also fronting onto Garlick Hill, and a contemporary brick-lined well was probably located in an open space documented immediately to the W. Strata beneath Ormond House were heavily truncated by its construction in the 1960s, although survival was better to the E, where deposits had been less deeply truncated by 19th c coal cellars.
85 Queen Victoria Street (Dominant House) TQ 3223 8089 (N. Hammond, P. Rowsome, M. O' Shea & K. Wooldridge).
This site comprised the W half of a scheduled ancient monument, the Huggin Hill Baths (partly excavated in 1972) and an area further to the W. A test pit survey in March 1988 and trial excavations between June and October 1988 were carried out to assess archaeological survival of the monument. Scheduled monument consent entailed major excavations between January and June 1989, running concurrently with demolition of the existing building. These and the trial excavations were funded by the Hammerson Group. In May 1989 an agreement was reached to preserve most of the Roman structural remains that had been found. Minor excavation and a watching brief, which included supervision of arrangements for preservation of the monument, continued until November 1989 (see LA 6 no. 3 (1989) 59-62). To the N, truncated natural gravel and, to the S, river-scoured natural gravel overlain by natural clay, reflected a steep slope down to the Thames. The earliest activity recorded was terracing of this slope in the 1st c. A lower terrace formed the construction level for a large masonry building of early to mid-Flavian date, thought to have been the main public baths of the city. Oak piles supported foundations of Kentish ragstone and concrete and, internally, a thick ragstone and concrete raft. The superstructure of the building, much of it built of tile, and retaining walls to N and W, survived up to a height of 3m (l0ft). The building contained a suite of large rooms originally extending further to the E. To the W, two rooms heated by an interconnected hypocaust and containing fragments of a polychrome mosaic floor are identified provisionally as a double-apsed caldarium and a tepidarium. To the E, two unheated rooms, probably frigidaria, had internal corner-buttresses or pier bases and mosaic floors. Substantial masonry culverts and drains through the foundations carried off ground water. Many changes were made internally, a timber drain was inserted around the building to the W and, in the early 2nd c, another large double-apsed heated room was added. The terraced gravels to the W remained open ground; there was no sign of a waterfront revetment.
The baths were dismantled in the late 2nd c, valuable materials being salvaged, and evidence for glass and metal-working suggests that industrial use was then made of the ruins. Clay-and-timber domestic buildings were constructed during the 3rd c, incorporating surviving masonry. Two large ditches were cut through the ruins, draining to the S. Later features included a sunken building of 10th-11th c date, chalk foundations of other medieval buildings and, to the E, the tile-floored cellars of two 17th c brick buildings containing evidence of fire destruction. The site produced much Roman building material including several complete roof tiles. Some tile fragments bear a stamp, 'PPBRLON' or 'PPRBR', pertaining to the Procurator of the Province of Britain and may have been intended for use in an official building. Part of a Purbeck marble slab, inscribed ‘ . . . ]MAX/ . . . ]NIA’, may have formed part of a dedicatory inscription. One of the drains consisted of nineteen sections of ceramic drain pipe in situ. Many fragments of Roman painted wall plaster were uncovered, some with elaborate and colourful designs.
Part of a late Roman or Saxon casket was found. The wooden box had decayed but its decorative bone mounts survived intact. It appears to have been empty when buried.
Many ceramic lamps were found including one in the form of the theatre mask of a slave, Flavian in date and probably made in Italy, and three late 1st or 2nd c Verulamium mica-dusted lamps, the only examples of such lamps known from London. Another unusual find is a limestone mould which would have been used in the production of small metal dishes. Roman glass finds include fragments of some high quality vessels and a spindle whorl.
Church of St Mary at Hill TQ 3307 8076 (B. Watson).
The roof and parts of the interior of this standing building were badly damaged by fire in May 1988. Immediately afterwards, photographic and photogrammetric recording (the latter by the York Institute for Advanced Architectural Studies) was sponsored by HBMC. In October and November 1988, with a view to restoration of the church (a listed building), boreholes and test pits were recorded by the Museum of London and fire debris was examined and roof remains were surveyed in situ by HBMC.
Up to 3m (l0ft) of archaeological strata under the church showed intercutting pits, probably of Roman date, followed by medieval and post-medieval burials. In the SE corner of the church was a brick-roofed burial vault, faced with reused Caen and Reigate stone. It was probably contemporary with the post-Great Fire rebuilding of the church by Wren, the stone deriving from the medieval church (see LA 5 no. 2 (1985) 50). The vault was emptied and sealed apparently in the late 19th c. The roof survey and the Museum of London's sorting of the ceiling plaster recovered from the fire have allowed a reconstruction (by R. Lea, HBMC) of the vaulted roof, built 1826-7, and a lantern and clerestory windows added in 1848-9, all to designs by James Savage.
63-71 St Mary Axe (Bunge House) TQ 3333 8139 (Stuart Gibson).
Pre-demolition excavations and a watching brief in 1988 were funded by Bunge and Co. The line of the city wall, a scheduled ancient monument, crossed the site from NW to SE. A probable Roman ditch, heavily truncated, was traced in front of this line. It was succeeded by a medieval ditch, on the flat base of which animal hoof prints were detected. This ditch was recut, and later a post-medieval brick-lined drain inserted. All other remains, of the upstanding defences or of the associated medieval church of St Augustine Papey, demolished in the 16th c, were presumably destroyed when Bunge House was built in 1926.
2 Seething Lane TQ 3336 8078 (Sarah Gibson).
Excavations after demolition between July and October 1988 were funded by British Land plc. A series of parallel Roman ditch segments may represent enclosures for animals, a function suggested by previous excavations in this area. Two medieval ragstone-built cellars were excavated, one of which had been used finally as a cesspit. Several post-medieval buildings were located, with accompanying external areas containing rubbish pits and a brick-built soakaway.
The earliest finds are six prehistoric flints, including scraping and cutting tools. Roman finds include a rare piece of 1st c marbled glass. Medieval finds include a late Saxon single-sided antler comb, sixteen Penn floor-tiles and fragments of an imported prunted beaker. A post-medieval glass beaker of 16th or early 17th c date is a further import, from the Low Countries or the Rhineland.
Thames Exchange, Upper Thames Street (Bell Wharf Lane) TQ 3245 8075 (M. Colquhoun, C. Milne, G. Milne, J. Stevenson & K. Tyler).
An excavation and watching brief on a complex sequence of Thames-side land reclamation was undertaken between February 1988 and September 1989, funded by Kumagai Gumi UK Ltd.
The earliest waterfront structure recorded was a 35m (115ft) length of 3rd c Roman timber quay running W-E at the extreme N end of the site. It was robbed in antiquity and left to silt up. Built on the foreshore and sealing the disuse of the quay was a series of Saxon embankments raising the ground by up to 2m (6.5ft). They were of various types: post and plank revetments, vertically-set staves, clay banks consolidated with timbers as hardcore and wattle fences. Incorporated in some of these structures were remains of several boats, including clinker planking, a keel, ribs and a large mast partner. From the beginning of the Saxon sequence the waterfronts respected the N-S line of an inlet in the centre of the site, which developed into a property division later to be known as Three Cranes Lane. At least two other N-S property divisions were located and proved to be of Saxon origin. In the early medieval period the waterfront was advanced by successive earthen banks with cobbled ramps leading down onto the foreshore.
By the 12th c the transition had been made to large, complex, prefabricated revetments, which survived up to 2m (6.5ft) in height. These front and back-braced post and plank structures were initially earthfast but later incorporated baseplates as carpentry techniques improved. A notable example was a framed scissor-braced jetty with assembly marks, dated to the early 13th c. Major property divisions developed, influencing both the waterfront and associated buildings. Some traces of early Saxon buildings were recorded. A large 12th c warehouse with foundations of split beech logs and massive oak baulks was found to the E, and was replaced by more extensive buildings with chalk and ragstone foundations up to 1.5m (5ft) deep. At the extreme S of the site the base frame of Three Cranes Stairs was located, a major ferry terminal documented in the medieval period, continuing in use until Southwark Bridge was completed in 1819.
With the help of the Thames Mudlarks much metal-work was recovered from the site, in addition to worked bone and other organic artefacts. Roman finds include a boxwood scoop with a negroid head, a golden necklace decorated with glass beads, bone hair-pins and an amber intaglio, together with much Roman pottery from the foreshore deposits.
Late Saxon finds include a lead ring decorated with Anglo-Saxon runes, a copper equal-arm brooch, other lead brooches and some coiled wire beads. There were also bone awls, needles and a comb. A large collection of Saxon quernstones, imported as a partially worked stock from the Eifel Mountains, were recovered. A set of wooden pan-pipes was recovered from a Saxon context.
London's trading connections in the medieval period are revealed by weights and balances, French and German pottery, many foreign coins, two pewter spoons with Russian parallels and pilgrim badges of continental origin. Other badges include some from Thomas Becket's shrine, including a church-shaped ampulla. A pewter peacock and a fox staff head were also recovered. Industrial activity is attested by a stone metalworking mould and partially-manufactured buckles. Other items include knives, hones, tweezers and leather scabbards and shoes.
A post-medieval waterlogged pit contained several wooden bowls, two brooms, packing boxes, a panier and a child's ball and skittle, together with Spanish, German and English domestic pottery. There were also some industrial ceramics used in sugar refining.
68 Upper Thames Street (Vintry House, Vintners’ Place) TQ 3237 8081 (J. Ayre & R. Malt).
Excavations were conducted from January to March 1989 in a N-S trench in the N part of a large, continuing Thames-side redevelopment (see also 69 Upper Thames Street, Vintners' Hall). The work was funded by Wates (City) Ltd. WC
The sequence began in the extreme N with part of a late Roman quay and foreshore to the S. Thick silting, suggesting slow-moving water and a rise in river level, was followed by two low wattle and clay embankments of Saxon date, running W-E. Land reclamation progressed and, further to the S, a late Saxon revetment was constructed with rough posts and planks, kept subsequently in repair. This revetment survived up to 1.2m (4ft) in height above the contemporary foreshore, where mooring posts, plaited rope fragments and boat timbers were well-preserved. Associated dumps to the N contained brushwood, rubble (including a fragment of Rhineland lava millstone) and decorated leather; these dumps were overlain by wattle surfacing, which may also have been associated with the revetment. The Saxon waterfront was sealed by dumping associated with further medieval reclamation, and across the site later intrusive features, such as medieval chalk foundations, pits and wood-lined structures, were truncated by 19th c basementing.
Well-preserved organic finds include a Saxon bone comb, needles and bodkins. Among many leather articles are a Saxon scabbard with tooled decoration, an almost complete shoe with patched sole and a boot fragment with fastenings. A notable Saxon wooden find is part of a rebated boat stem in oak, of Scandinavian type. Metal finds of all periods were retrieved, including Roman copper alloy coins and a Saxon silver coin, and an intact medieval copper ring and dress hook. Medieval iron objects include fish hooks, pins, needles, mounts and a knife, as well as many roves. Lead objects include a seal and various tokens.
69 Upper Thames Street (Vintners’ Hall) TQ 3239 8080 (R. Brown, L. Dyson & R. Malt).
Excavations and an extensive watching brief have been conducted concurrently since October 1989 on part of a large Thames-side development at Vintry (see also Vintners Place, 68 Upper Thames Street). The project is funded by Wates City Ltd. WC.
A listed standing building at the N end of the site, Vintners' Hall, replacing an earlier hall destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, was examined during refurbishment. Test pits around its foundations revealed medieval chalk wall foundations, a faced ragstone wall and tile hearths and floors. Timber posts immediately to the S of the existing Hall may indicate a waterfront revetment. To the S, excavations revealed a sequence of four timber revetments, progressing in date from the 13th to the 16th c, succeeded by a masonry riverside wall further to the S. These structures produced well-preserved examples of medieval carpentry, including a form of scarf joint not recorded before in London. Metal artifacts include a 13th c St John the Baptist pilgrim badge from Amiens, several ampullae and some late medieval badges of allegiance.
Foreshore deposits removed from a coffer dam erected in the river were systematically metal-detected on site with the help of members of the Thames Mudlark Society. Finds recovered were mostly 16th to 18th c, including small denomination coins, late 16th c tin tokens, an iron dagger, an unusual copper alloy sheet candlestick and a miniature lead cupboard, probably a toy. Also recovered were several pilgrim badges, an ampulla, buttons and a large group of 16th-17th c cloth seals presumably relating to dye-houses nearby. These seals include many London dyers, others from English counties as well as imports from France and Germany.
1 and 6-10 Wardrobe Place, Wardrobe Terrace, 53-57 Carter Lane, 1-10 Addle Hill, 146A Queen Victoria Street TQ 3 l89 8102 (B. Watson & J. Youle).
Test pits examined in March 1988 verified the course of a large water channel running S across the site, probably of Roman origin with medieval reuse (see LA 5 no. 12 (1987) 328-34). A watching brief in October-December 1989 during refurbishment of 1 Wardrobe Place, funded by Haslemere Estates, recorded waterlain sediments within this channel. To the E, a trial excavation in the basement of 3-4 Addle Hill in June-July 1989, funded by Harry Neale, found two quarry pits, possibly Roman, cut into natural gravels and sealed by a thick dump of brickearth and gravel. Chalk rubble foundations to the NW, robbed out in the 17th or 18th c, and chalk and ragstone, and post-medieval brick foundations, to the E may have been related to buildings of the King's Wardrobe, known to have occupied this site between 1359 and 1666. WC
1-7 Whittington Avenue TQ 3311 8117 (G. Brown & B. Pye).
Excavations and a watching brief between June 1988 .id September 1989 were funded by the deve1oper, the Corporation of London.
At the beginning of the sequence, the naturally-sloping ground surface was raised with dumps of brickearth by c 0.3-0.4m (lft). A road was constructed of rammed gravel and sand, c 5m (15.5ft) wide, running N-S and lined with clay-and-timber buildings. These were burnt down, perhaps in the Boudican revolt of AD 61. The two sides of the road then developed separately. To the W, cultivation was followed by use as a rubbish tip, while to the E, buildings of high quality were constructed, with flint foundations and tile sleeper walls.
A major redevelopment in the late 1st-early 2nd c was the construction of the basilica-forum complex and associated new roads. The N-S road was widened to c 9m (30ft) and another road was constructed to the N, crossing at a right angle. Timber-lined drains were laid to the E of the former road and to the S of the latter. Wooden pipes c 1.2m (4ft) long joined with iron collars were laid within the road gravels, supplying water to both public and private buildings. To the SW of the road junction the ground was raised and the basilica constructed on substantial ragstone and mortar foundations. The floors inside this major public building (the largest in Roman Britain) were of poor quality mortar and even brickearth. After a fire in the mid 2nd c, the basilica was renovated and a portico added to the E, with a floor of tiles laid in a herringbone pattern (opus spicatum). By the mid 3rd c the portico was dismantled, although the rest of the basilica continued in use. To the E of the N-S road were two large buildings, probably sharing a party wall. The N building, part of which-was probably a shop, had stone foundations and both buildings had tessellated floors, hot air flues and walls decorated with painted plaster. They appear to have fallen into disuse by the 3rd c, and were overlain by destruction debris and dark earth.
Insertion of a late 19th c basement destroyed most of the later strata, but intrusive features survived. An early medieval well was cut through the basilican foundations, which were later robbed out. Various foundations survived from the later medieval period, some probably related to documented buildings, Green Yard Inn and the chapel of Leadenhall; others formed two chalk-lined cellars. To the NE of the site, a party wall incorporated masonry of c 14th c date, including 'chequer-board' decoration of chalk blocks and flints.
Finds of note include a Roman copper alloy handle decorated with swan's head terminals and a glass Medusa or Maenad medallion from a jug. Roman glass was prolific and included well-stratified 1st c groups. Roman building materials were present in substantial quantities. In addition to the well-made tessellated and herringbone floors, lengths of quarter-round plaster moulding occurred at floor and wall junctions. Much roof mortar was also preserved and marble fragments from a drain-lining were reconstructed as a near-complete decorative wall panel.
Coleman Street (outside Armourers’ Hall), EC2 TQ 32650 81530 (A Mackinder)
Sewer works revealed an apparently waterlaid deposit, possibly a flood deposit from a nearby Walbrook tributary, and timber stakes which may have derived from a revetment.
7–11 Bishopsgate, EC2 TQ 33020 81190 (S McCudden, O Belle)
The remains of Roman floors and building debris, substantial medieval chalk walls and post-medieval brick walls were recorded in testpits.
2 Fore Street, EC2 TQ 32510 81630 (Sarah Gibson)
Four testpits were examined, most of which showed natural brickearth or gravels. One of the testpits indicated ditch fill above the gravel.
Goldsmiths’ Hall, Foster Lane, EC2 TQ 32210 81360 (B Watson)
During January 1989 a watching brief was carried out to monitor the digging of one testpit and the drilling of one borehole in the SW corner of the basement of Goldsmiths’ Hall. Cut into the natural brickearth was a truncated pit or ditch probably of Roman date.
London Wall, junction with Blomfield Street, EC2 TQ 32940 81500 (D Sankey)
Undated waterlaid sediments of a Walbrook channel were recorded in a British Telecom shaft.