LONDON ARCHAEOLOGIST 1990 vol 6.10
EXCAVATIONS ARE listed alphabetically. They are followed by the grid reference, the name of the director of the excavation, and the site code. I thank Andrew Westman for collating the entries, which are all from the Museum of London, Department of Urban Archaeology.
4-10 Artillery Lane TQ 3337 8168 (James Drummond-Murray) ARY89.
A watching brief funded by Provident Life Association Ltd took place between April and June 1990, to monitor groundworks. The site lies in the area of a Roman extra-mural cemetery and evidence of burials was expected. In the event, all strata had already been removed by truncation and post-medieval landfill directly overlay natural gravels.
26-30 Artillery Lane TQ 3343 8169 (Chris Goode) ALN89.
Four test pits were recorded in the basement of a standing building in January 1989, by arrangement with Sheppard Robson, architects, for archaeological assessment of the site. Natural gravels and brickearth were truncated, in one of the test pits, by a cut feature containing post-medieval building debris. This was truncated in turn by a cesspit floored with stone flags and lined with yellow frogged bricks. There was no sign of Roman burials, which might have been expected on this extra-mural site.
Tunnel at Bishopsgate and Wormwood St (S) TQ 3320 8142 - (N) TQ 3323 8148 (David Sankey) BTB89.
Investigations between November 1989 and April 1990 in a British Telecom tunnel running N from the site of Bishopsgate, a scheduled ancient monument, revealed a foundation of flints and brickearth trench-built in natural brickearth, perhaps for a monument on the boundary of the Roman city, preceding the city wall. Adjoining this were later foundations of Kentish rag and clay, with mortared ragstones facing N, presumably representing the Roman gate. Further to the N a wide, flat-bottomed ditch is interpreted as a medieval recutting of the defensive ditch, no earlier ditch surviving. Subsequently a chalk-built arched foundation crossed this ditch, cutting waterlain sediments within it.
274-280 Bishopsgate TQ 3339 8184 and 298-306 Bishopsgate TQ 3340 8190 (Niall Roycroft) PS090 and BOG89.
A large redevelopment on the E side of Bishopsgate was resumed and excavations, funded by Spitalfields Developments Ltd, were carried out between February and April 1990, after demolition. These excavations were at 274-280 and 298-306, to the S and N respectively of areas excavated in 1987-8, at 284-294 (see LA 6 no. 2 (1989) 46).
To the S nearly all strata were truncated to the level of natural gravels, in which at least 11 large circular features containing mixed brickearth and gravel are attributed to natural periglacial cryoturbation. They ran roughly SW-NE, along a possible spring line at the S edge of a brickearth capping to the gravels. To the N this brickearth was truncated by a very large Roman quarry pit. This had filled with water, which was then deliberately ponded. Later, thick marsh deposits accumulated. Smaller quarry pits to the S were infilled in the Roman period.
Parallel N-S ditches (also detected in 1987-8) indicated medieval drainage. To the N, a large tank or cistern was dug with a gravel base and timber-revetted sides; this was fed from the S and an outlet channel ran off to the N. This tank silted up and was then redug and slightly repositioned at least twice before being abandoned. It may have supplied clean water to the Hospital and Priory of St Mary without Bishopsgate, known to have been founded a short distance to the N, initially in the late 12th c and refounded in the mid-13th c. Similarly, a series of 4 burials to the extreme N were probably associated with this hospital (see also excavations at 1-2 Norton Folgate, LA 5 no. 6 (1986) 164, and at 4-12 Norton Folgate, and at 4, 15 and 38 Spital Square, LA 6 no. 3 (1989) 79-80).
These burials and the tank were sealed by the foundations, cellars and stone-lined cesspit of a substantial late medieval or 16th c building, fronting onto a N-S road directly to its E and, presumably, onto Bishopsgate to the W. This building, and other brick buildings to the S, survived until construction of the latest buildings on the site in the late 19th-20th c. Further to the S, remains of a timber-lined well, cess and rubbish pits and a brick-lined soakaway indicated medieval and later buildings, presumably also fronting onto Bishopsgate.
Among finds recovered was a spout from a 13th-14th c Kingston ware jug, in the shape of a dog's head.
28 and 30 Bush Lane and 2 Suffolk Lane TQ 3267 8084 (Paul Travis) BSL88.
Excavations were conducted in the basements of separate standing buildings at 28 and 30 Bush Lane from January to June 1990, before demolition. Test pits in the basement and the superstructure of a third building at 2 Suffolk Lane, to the E, were also recorded, until November 1990, during refurbishment. The site is part of a scheduled ancient monument, the presumed Roman governor's palace. 2 Suffolk Lane is listed as being of special architectural or historic interest. Work took place by arrangement with MEPC Developments Ltd.
Intrusions survived cut into natural brickearth and gravel. Substantial Roman mortared ragstone foundations running W and S probably represented walls retaining terraces up slope, at least to the N (where extensive Roman buildings were recorded in 1988-9, at 86-96 Cannon St: see LA 6 no. 2 (1989) 46-7). A large tile-built channel curving SE and part of a possible basin lined with opus signinum suggest elaborate drainage, subsequently abandoned. Later intrusive features included a N-S medieval chalk foundation and to the W a post-medieval brick-lined well, cesspit and a probable ice-house. Medieval moulded stones were reused, incorporated in the cellar walls of the 18th c building at 30 Bush Lane and forming windows, later superseded, in a brick cellar at 2 Suffolk Lane.
The earliest elements of the standing building at 2 Suffolk Lane were parts of separate post-Great Fire buildings, later combined and substantially rebuilt. Floors, a staircase, door and window cases, panelling and fine, decorative plasterwork, dated to the early or mid-18th c, survived from this rebuild. The S half of this building was then altered to serve as a warehouse and cast iron columns of early 19th c type were inserted. Later in the 19th c the entire building was refurbished as offices. Subsequent fire damage led to renewal of the roof and partial refacing of the walls.
Youth Hostel, 36-8 Carter Lane TQ 3190 8107 (Sarah Gibson) YHA87.
During refurbishment of a standing building, chalk foundations were recorded, possibly part of the medieval deanery of St Paul's Cathedral.
1 Carter Court, 77 and 79 Carter Lane TQ 3176 8108 (Drew Shotliff) CAE90.
A watching brief was carried out between August and November 1990, by arrangement with John Mather and Partners, architects, during the excavation of a new light well in Carter Court and lowering of an adjacent basement floor. 79 and 81 Carter Lane are both partly timber-framed, probably dating from the late 17th c, and are listed.
Internal ground works revealed a ragstone foundation running W-E, about 1.50m (5ft) wide, interpreted as part of the N wall of the nave of the late 13th c church of the friary of Blackfriars, documented on this site and previously identified nearby (see 7 Ludgate Broadway, LA 5 no. 6 (1986) 160, and 69 Carter Lane, LA 6 no. 6 (1990) 162). A freestanding ragstone foundation to the S. matched by a possible buttress on the N side of the wall, may represent part of a pier base for the nave arcade. Further to the S, excavation to a depth of 1.80m (6ft) revealed post-medieval dumps containing human bones, probably from disturbance of burials within the church. A late 16th-17th c brick-built cesspit abutted the S face of the wall of the church.
Christchurch, Newgate St TQ 3199 8137 (Kevin Wooldridge) CIS89.
Floor levels and two underlying brick vaults of the Wren post-Great Fire church were located during landscaping work by the Corporation of London.
Cornhill, near Bank Station TQ 3275 8111 (Sarah Gibson) ORN90 .
A Roman bowl and an amphora were recovered from deposits that were probably intrusive within natural strata, in a shaft dug by contractors for London Underground Ltd.
20-6 Cutler St, 123-5 Houndsditch, 5-8 Clothier St TQ 3344 8 l38 (Richard Sermon) CCT90.
Excavations and a watching brief were undertaken from January to March 1990, after demolition. Work was funded by Greycoat Construction Ltd.
Natural gravels capped by brickearth were cut by early Roman quarry pits, into which at least one Roman mortar burial was inserted. Evidence survived of widespread medieval pitting, for disposal of rubbish and cess as well as for gravel extraction. Many pits contained quantities of human bone, including a trepanned skull, presumably from disturbance of pre-existing burials. In one case an attempt seems to have been made to re-inter bones on a W -E alignment. The sequence was completed by two post-medieval brick-lined wells and by pits containing domestic refuse, slag, burnt brick and crucible or mould fragments.
30-40 Eastcheap, 37-9 St Mary at Hill TQ 3312 8078 (Michael Inzani) ECH88.
Excavations were conducted in the basement of a standing building from October to December 1989, funded by Norwich Union Insurance Group.
Natural brickearth was cut by beam slots for a Roman timber framed building containing at least 8 small rooms, aligned to a presumed W-E road to the S. After this building was dismantled cess and rubbish pits were dug. Later strata were truncated and only intrusive features survived, including a medieval chalk-lined well repaired in brick and finally backfilled in the 17th c, and 3 post-medieval brick-lined cesspits and a possible ice-house. The chalk walls of medieval cellars, refaced in brick, also partly survived encased in the walls of the existing basement.
143-9 Fenchurch St, 17-20 Cullum St TQ 3314 8095 (Sheena Macdonald) SAK90.
Test pit sections were recorded in June 1990 and a small area was excavated in the basement of a standing building, before refurbishment and installation of a lift shaft. This work was funded by Nico Construction Ltd and took place by arrangement with Sedgwick Group Properties and Services Ltd.
Natural brickearth was levelled up with dumped brickearth in the Roman period in preparation for the construction of at least one building, evidenced only by floors. Three phases of flooring, the last being a black-and-white tessellated floor, ended in destruction by fire. The destruction debris was levelled and posts were inserted in what was probably then open ground. These features and later intrusive medieval pits were truncated by the brick foundations, partition walls and the cobbled floors of a post-medieval cellar.
Fleet Valley between Blackfriars and Holborn Viaduct Stations (S) TQ 3167 8092 - (N) TQ 3171 8148 (Portia Askew, Stuart Bedford, John Chinca, Tom Dawson, Tim Ellis, Richard Greatorex, Bill McCann, Gavin Oulton & Nick Truckle) VAL88.
A series of excavations, entailed by this very extensive redevelopment along the E side of the lower valley of the River Fleet, began in 1988 and ended in September 1990 (see LA 6 no. 6 (1990) 163). Work was funded by Rosehaugh Stanhope Developments PLC.
N of the prehistoric confluence of the Fleet and the River Thames (under and to the N of Queen Victoria St), contemporary skeletal remains of an infant were recovered, together with worked flints. In the late 1st or early 2nd c a substantial timber revetment, incorporating reused drain timbers, was built running N-S along a meander of the Fleet. Nearby timber posts, possibly a contemporary structure, were associated with deposits of wheat chaff. To the S (S of Ludgate Hill) a large building fronting the Fleet may have served as a warehouse. Timber posts and a sill beam were set on ragstone foundations; associated occupation deposits are dated also to the late 1st-early 2nd c. Subsequently this was abandoned.
Land reclamation and timber revetments of mid to late Saxon date were identified S of Ludgate Hill. To the NW (under the E side of Ludgate Circus) substantial Saxo-Norman timbers formed the E abutment of a bridge over the Fleet. Further to the S (E of New Bridge St) deposits representing medieval reclamation and waterfront occupation were cut by part of the extension of the city wall, dating to the 13th c, over 80m (260ft) long and surviving up to 2.50m (8ft) above foundation level. This ran from E to W, from Ludgate to the Fleet, faced with Kentish rag, with a long return to the S, along the line of the E bank of the Fleet. The outer (W) face of the latter stretch was partly battered and built of ashlar blocks of Kentish rag. The internal face was stepped and built with squared blocks of chalk.
Several phases of the medieval Fleet Prison, with a moat to the E, were identified (E of Farringdon St), the earliest structures being two substantial polygonal masonry foundations. The N and S ends of the perimeter wall of the prison were recorded, including medieval and post-medieval repairs.
Much re-used or discarded timber and stone was recovered. They included staves, heads and hoops from c 40 casks, primary evidence for medieval cooperage, and c 500 moulded stones, ranging in date and type from a 12th c window arch to 19th c artificial stone from the original railway station at Ludgate Hill. During the redevelopment the railway line was repositioned to run under Ludgate Hill and the previous railway bridge over this street was demolished. Part of the W-E stretch of the medieval extension of the city wall was demolished but the longer stretch running N-S is to be preserved in the basement of new buildings.
The site produced a notable quantity of late medieval and post-medieval objects, recovery of which was enhanced by wet-sieving and by metal-detecting of deposits. The former technique was used, in particular, to retrieve the contents of an early 17th c brick-lined drain. Finds recovered elsewhere include bone objects such as combs and thread-pickers of late Saxon date, several pilgrim badges, much waste from the production of hone-stones, a complete Kingston ware jug of previously unrecorded form and several post-medieval medical implements.
32 Furnival St TQ 3121 8149 (Jonathan Henderson, Richard Sermon) FUL89.
Test pits were recorded in April and May 1989 and a watching brief was carried out from July to October 1990, funded by J V Developments Ltd. Evidence for quarrying of gravel underlying natural brickearth was probably of Roman date. These quarry pits, backfilled with brickearth, were truncated by the brick foundations, walls and stone floor flags of 17th or 18th c cellars. The latest building, probably of early 19th c date, was recorded before demolition. This comprised a cellar and 3 floors with timber floor frames, stud partition walls and roof, within a brick shell.
Cripplegate House, Golden Lane TQ 3229 8199 (Sarah Gibson) CPG90.
Roman quarry pits and medieval rubbish pits were recorded during ground reduction, work being funded by Golden Lane Properties Ltd.
55-8 Gracechurch St and Brabant House, St Benet's Place TQ 3299 8088 (Gerry Martin) RAC90.
Excavations funded by Land Securities Properties Ltd took place from July to September 1990, after demolition.
The earliest feature, cut into natural brickearth, was a pit containing Late Bronze Age pottery. Traces of early Roman occupation, consisting of parallel gullies running N-S, were followed by a substantial building, to the E. Part of this comprised foundations of unmortared Kentish ragstone in rows up to lm (3.3ft) apart, infilled with flints, topped by rammed clay and sand and then a thick opus signinum floor. Possible imprints of pilae in this floor surface suggest the existence of a hypocaust. To the S and W were less substantial floors of mortar and brickearth. Later a very large pit, at least 15m (49ft) in diameter and 6m (20ft) deep, was dug to the S; the function of this pit, backfilled in the early 2nd c, was unclear. To the W were stakeholes, slots, two wells and a series of intercutting pits. Among later features only intrusive medieval pits, a chalk-lined cesspit and post-medieval brick-lined wells or soakaways survived modem truncation.
Several complete pottery vessels were recovered, including Roman decorated hunting cups, and a mid-10th to mid-13th c red-painted ware spouted pitcher with finger prints on the inside.
1-3 Great St Thomas Apostle TQ 3240 8092 (David Lawrence) THM89.
Excavations funded by London Underground Ltd, formerly London Regional Transport, took place in the basement of a standing building in April 1990, before demolition.
A line of stakes running N-S in natural brickearth was sealed by thick dumps of brickearth containing burnt building debris. Large pits were then opened for rubbish and cess, and fragmentary slots suggest that a timber-framed building may have been erected, also aligned N-S. All post-Roman strata were truncated by modern foundations, the basement and the underground railway.
Notable finds from the dumps include a complete copper alloy hinged ruler and a glass gaming counter.
13-14 Great St Thomas Apostle TQ 3239 8095 (Mark Hinman) GTA89.
Excavations funded by Poly Property Ltd took place between November 1989 and February 1990, after demolition.
Natural brickearth was overlain by redeposited brickearth and two successive Roman clay-and-timber buildings were constructed. Both buildings burned down. No further horizontal strata survived subsequent truncation. To the E were intrusive Saxo-Norman rubbish pits and to the W foundations and cellars of a large medieval building. The cellars were entered by stone stairs, the lowest steps of which, with part of an adjacent stone door jamb, were still in situ. A large chalk-lined cesspit was inserted to the N, backfilled in the 17th c, and brick cellar floors were inserted elsewhere.
The party wall along the W side of the site at basement level, forming 3 blind arches, was of post-Great Fire construction, reusing a variety of building materials. These included several moulded stones perhaps deriving from the nearby church of St Thomas Apostle, destroyed in the Great Fire and not rebuilt.
The most notable find is a middle or late Saxon hipped bone pin with an expanded head and with cruciform and ring-and-dot decoration.
Pinners' Hall, Great Winchester St and 8 Austin Friars Square, and 105-8 Old Broad St TQ 3298 8139 (Catherine Rosborough) GWS89.
Post-demolition excavations, funded by the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund, were conducted between May and July 1990, followed by a watching brief.
The earliest evidence of activity, cutting natural gravels and brickearth, was a U-shaped ditch or gully running W-E across the site, to the N, and a well, to the S, both of early Roman date. Widespread gravel quarrying ensued. The quarry pits were backfilled and the ground consolidated, presumably in preparation for possible construction, all further evidence of which was truncated.
In the early medieval period, the site was open ground containing rubbish and cess pits, and 3 barrel-lined wells. It lay within the documented precincts of the Augustinian friary of Austin Friars, founded in the 13th c. Short lengths of masonry foundations, in several phases, were exposed and c 200 fragments of moulded stone, including column bases and window tracery, were recovered from destruction debris or found re-used in later foundations. Few later features survived severe modern truncation.
Finds from the site include a good assemblage of mid-1st c pottery, the earliest such assemblage found in the City of London, a complete Roman millstone from a water-mill, medieval crucibles and bone skates, and a post-medieval crucible for glass making, with glass slag.
50 Gresham St TQ 3252 8128 (Damian De Rosa) GRM90.
Excavations were carried out in the basement of a standing building in March 1990, funded by the Corporation of London.
The surface of natural brickearth was covered by an area of burning. This was cut by domestic rubbish pits, which were followed in turn by dumps, pits and a metalled surface, all suggesting continuously open ground. A layer of demolition debris was superseded by 'dark earth'. This was cut by two sets of pits, one possibly late Roman, the other medieval, including a wood- or wicker-lined cesspit. A later wall built of chalk blocks may have formed part of a medieval cellar or cesspit. This and other deposits were truncated by the foundations and basement of the latest building.
Tunnel in High Timber St and Stew Lane TQ 3223 8083 (Julian Ayre, Sarah Gibson & Dick Malt) TIM90.
Medieval foreshore deposits were recorded, at Ordnance Datum (mean sea level), during construction of new sewer connections.
45-50 Holborn Viaduct (Atlantic House) TQ 3153 8158 (Peter Durnford) ATL89.
Test pits were recorded in the basement and sub-basements of a standing building between October 1989 and February 1990, for archaeological assessment of the site, funded by Prudential Portfolio Managers Ltd. Along the E side of the site, lying on the W bank of the River Fleet, remains of a possible medieval timber revetment were set in natural river gravels and silt. To the extreme S, mortared chalk, rag and Reigate stone may have been a foundation for the documented medieval bridge carrying Holborn (the road) over the Fleet. Thick organic dumps elsewhere were cut by medieval pits, one wicker-lined, and post-medieval brick foundations and drains.
78 Laurence Pountney Hill, 9 Laurence Pountney Lane (Rectory House) TQ 3273 8078 (Jon Mills) REC89.
Test pits were recorded in the basement of a standing building, during refurbishment. This building is of late 17th c date and listed as of special architectural or historic interest. The work was carried out intermittently in 1989 and early 1990, by arrangement with Seifert Ltd, architects.
Natural strata were not reached. The earliest features identified were two ragstone wall foundations running N-S, possibly related to the presumed Roman governor's palace to the W. This masonry was later incorporated in medieval chalk foundations, mostly running W-E. Post-medieval deposits and a brick-lined culvert, to the W, probably predated the existing building.
78-9 Leadenhall St TQ 3344 8113 (Chris Goode & Sarah Jones) LHN89.
Excavation took place in several phases between January and April 1990, after demolition. Work was sponsored by P & 0 Developments Ltd.
The earliest evidence of human activity was a linear cut running roughly NW-SE, cut into natural brickearth. Brickearth was then dumped across the site, compensating for the natural slope. Subsequent stake holes and post holes, possible structural slots, and accumulated layers of burning and redeposited burnt debris, interspersed with occasional resurfacing of clean brickearth, are interpreted as external and of Roman date. An isolated clay-and timber wall running roughly NW-SE was destroyed by fire; any associated floor surfaces were probably removed by later truncation. An isolated patch of rammed gravel to the W is assumed to be a continuation of the Roman street found in previous excavations to the SW (see 80-84 Leadenhall St, LA 6 no. 2 (1989) 50-1).
To the S, ragstone foundations aligned NW-SE were succeeded by chalk foundations on the same alignment; no construction horizons or floors survived. A total of 59 burials, concentrated mostly to the W, partly overlay the latter foundations. These burials, associated with the church of St Katharine Cree to the W and with Holy Trinity Priory to the N, were truncated by the latest, modem features on the site.
Finds of note include a late Saxon composite bone comb and case from a pit predating the burials, the second of its kind to be found in London, a late Saxon glass linen smoother and an Anglo-Norman bone skate.
145-6 Leadenhall St TQ 3311 8115 (Jerry Youle) LEN89.
A post-demolition excavation was carried out between October and December 1989, funded by Pension Funds Securities Ltd.
Natural gravels and brickearth were cut by early Roman quarry pits, associated with stakeholes possibly forming a small structure. The pits were backfilled and the site levelled in preparation for construction of a timber-framed building with brickearth walling and floors. This contained at least 3 rooms and adjoined a yard to the N. The walls were reinforced in a phase of repair before the building was demolished, and quarry and rubbish pits opened. In the early 2nd c two new clay-and-timber buildings were erected. Hearths, rake-out debris and iron slag in the building to the N suggest that it was a smithy. A pit in an open area to the S contained two human skulls. Later Roman features included, to the S, a tile-lined drain leading to a complete amphora set into the ground, perhaps for collecting rain water, and to the N a clay and tile-lined kiln or oven. No other features survived severe later truncation except intrusive medieval wells and rubbish and cesspits.
Deposits of all periods were extensively sampled for environmental evidence. Finds from the site are mostly of Roman date and include fragments of painted wall plaster, decorated oil lamps, copper alloy brooches and fragments of shale bowls and platters. The most notable object is a Roman copper alloy saucepan, surviving in poor condition; complete saucepans are rarely found in Britain.
9-10 Little Britain TQ 3208 8151 (Ian Greig & David Lakin) LBT86.
Sections were recorded in February 1990 in a machine-dug trench behind the existing street facades, which were retained. This work was initiated by Fitzroy Robinson Partnership and funded by Wimpey Construction Management in an attempt to locate the house of John Bray, where Rev Charles Wesley was lodging in 1738 when he experienced religious conversion.
The sequence of natural brickearth, possible Roman quarrying, further natural accumulation, medieval pitting and ditching, and a chalk foundation resembled that already recorded to the N, on this extensive development (see LA 5 no. 14 (1988) 385,6 no. 2 (1989) 51). A post-medieval brick-lined well to the E, at 9 Little Britain, was truncated like other features by insertion of the basements of the existing 19th c buildings. No archaeological evidence was found to confirm the documented location of John Bray's house.
100 Lower Thames St (Billingsgate Roman Bath House) TQ 3313 8069 (Jeremy Oetgen) BBH87, BIL75.
Extensive recording of Roman remains preserved in the basement of a modern building took place between October 1989 and October 1990, for the Corporation of London. These remains, representing a substantial late Roman building with hypocausted rooms, were discovered in 1848 during construction of the Coal Exchange. After further excavation by Peter Marsden during redevelopment in 1968-75, they were scheduled as an ancient monument and were last investigated archaeologically in 1987 (see LA 5 no. 14 (1988) 385).
The archaeological recording was in conjunction with conservation work undertaken by Nimbus Conservation Group and environmental monitoring by Ridout Associates. Limited excavation also took place where appropriate, revealing the monument more clearly and providing more dating evidence, in preparation for eventual public display.
Under the N wing of the building timber piles were badly rotted and dendrochronology was not feasible. A timber-lined drain was located there, running S. To the E, beside the W wing and along a road beside the E wing, other timber and tile-lined drains were exposed and their silt fills sampled for environmental evidence. Hypocaust pilae and floors, and masonry wall footing, were taken apart to remove modern cement-based consolidant and reconsolidated with lime-based mortars. Deposits sealing the partly destroyed or abandoned building were excavated, including 'hillwash' to the E and collapsed rooftiles to the W, where an underlying mosaic floor was fully exposed, recorded and relaid.
25-7 Ludgate Hill TQ 3183 8113 (Bruce Watson) PIC87.
Excavations funded by Eagle Star Properties Ltd were undertaken from December 1989 to February 1990, after demolition. These were to the N of two previous areas of excavation in this development (see 54-66 Carter Lane, LA 6 no. 2 (1989) 47).
The earliest features, cut into natural sand and gravels, were a Roman well and a Saxon pit. Immediately S of Ludgate Hill and parallel to the street frontage was a large V-shaped ditch. This is of uncertain date but is presumed to be part of the N defences of a Norman fortress, Monfichet's Tower, documented in this area. Cess and rubbish pits, and a stone-built garderobe pit of probable 16th c date, were cut into the infill of this ditch. Medieval pits also survived truncation elsewhere.
Among the finds were, in one pit, a jug with incised decoration of a 'lion rampant', dated to the 12th-13th c, and several complete medieval cooking pots.
1-3 Ludgate Square TQ 3183 8111 (Bruce Watson) PAL86.
A watching brief was carried out during underpinning of a late 19th century warehouse, where medieval masonry was uncovered and recorded in 1986-7 (see 54-56 Carter Lane, LA 6 no. 2 (1989) 47). Work funded by Eagle Star Properties Ltd, was suspended when the building burned down in February 1990. An unlined well of Roman date and several cess and rubbish pits of uncertain date were cut into natural brickearth and, in turn, truncated by the foundations and basement of the latest building.
Mansion House Station, 38 Cannon St TQ 3234 8096 (Jerry Youle) MHS89.
A watching brief was conducted by arrangement with MEPC Developments Ltd in February-March 1990 during rebuilding of the underground station and after demolition of a building immediately to the W where excavations took place in 1989 (see 62-3 Queen Victoria St, LA 6 no. 6 (1990) 165).
Natural brickearth overlying gravels survived to the N, where disturbed soil horizons possibly indicated Roman agriculture. Elsewhere, natural strata were truncated by Roman quarry and rubbish pits, backfilled with brickearth and burnt building debris. Later intrusive features included trench-built chalk and gravel foundations, and cess and rubbish pits, which were probably medieval, and a brick and ragstone structure that was probably post-medieval.
51-60 Mark Lane (Corn Exchange) and 58 Mark Lane (Cereal House) TQ 3333 8077 (Douglas Hart) RON90.
Excavations were conducted in April-May 1990 within the single basement of a standing building at 58 Mark Lane. A watching brief continues on the rest of the development, to the E and S at 51-60 Mark Lane, which is double-basemented. Work is funded by the British Land Company PLC.
The site straddles a small valley running from NE to SW. A ditch crossed this, perhaps to enclose animals. Later a Roman timber framed building and a timber-lined well were built. They went out of use and rubbish pits were dug in what was then open ground. Surviving medieval features included rubbish pits and a large chalk-lined cesspit. These were succeeded by brick foundations, identified with the Corn Exchange, documented here from the 18th c and several times rebuilt.
Middle St (Hand and Shears public house) TQ 3201 8176 (Tony Mackinder) HAS90.
A watching brief during underpinning and refurbishment of a standing building revealed evidence of a wall running NE-SW, possibly medieval and subsequently robbed, and a burial, probably associated with the Priory, or later, the parish church of St Bartholomew the Great, to the W. The existing brick and timber-framed building, mainly 19th c in date, incorporated older, reused timbers, and had been underpinned previously. Work was undertaken by arrangement with Neil Kirsop and Co, surveyors.
1-3 Pemberton Row TQ 3135 8125 (Jim Heathcote & Sad Gibson) PEM90.
A medieval ditch, garden soil and post-medieval rubbish pits were recorded during underpinning works.
5 Pilgrim St TQ 3178 8112 (Bruce Watson) PIL75.
A watching brief took place in June-July 1990 during ground reduction and underpinning, by arrangement with Elsworth Sykes Partnership, architects. Previous ground works on this site, on the line of the Roman and early medieval city wall, were watched by the Museum of London in 1975. To the W cess and rubbish pits were cut into natural gravels, and cut in turn by a feature running S-N, perhaps a robbed out medieval or post-medieval wall. No sign of the city defences was seen.
St Botolph, Aldgate T Q 3358 8120 (Julian Ayre, Sean O’Connor) SAB87.
Excavations took place between April and July 1990 inside a crypt at the S end of the church of St Botolph-without-Aldgate, before conversion of the crypt into offices. These excavations, sponsored by the London Diocesan Fund, augmented watching briefs conducted in 1986-7, before clearance of burials from the crypt (see L45 no. 10 (1987) 273).
Natural brickearth was overlain by brickearth dumps and a clay-and-timber building of Roman date. This burned down and the site was levelled, becoming a yard or open area. Later cess and rubbish pits were in turn truncated by foundations of rammed gravel and chalk for a W-E wall and, to the S, by a series of at least 17 burials orientated W-E. The latter may date from the 10th-11th c and were probably associated with the wall, indicating that the church was in existence then. Another W-E wall built further to the S, including 2 courses of a wall face in Kentish rag and part of a door sill in Reigate stone, probably marked the later addition of a S aisle or porch, encroaching onto the cemetery.
The church became dilapidated and was rebuilt in the mid-18th c on a different alignment, nearly S-N, to a plan by George Dance the elder: this is the existing brick building. The brick vaulted crypt added to the S included in its foundations and lower courses stone fragments of c 14th c window tracery and 17th c tomb monuments, presumably reused from the previous church. This crypt was filled with burials and sealed in the 19th c, except for the later interment of a head, reputedly that of Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, executed in 1554. The excavators recovered this head and the parish reinterred it in the churchyard.
St Helen, Bishopsgate TQ 3321 8127 (David Lakin) HEL86.
A programme of repointing and consolidation of the stonework of the church of St Helen, Bishopsgate, begun in 1986 on the S wall (see LA 5 no. 14 (1988) 383), continued round the N and E walls of the nave and chancel. The external faces of the latter walls were archaeologically recorded between November 1989 and April 1990, work being funded by the parish and the City Churches Grants Committee.
Possible traces of a wall of the original parish church, documented in the 12th c, were identified in the S half of the E wall of the chancel. Most of the existing fabric is attributable to the extension and conversion of the church into a Benedictine nunnery in the 13th c. The roof line and possible vaulting on the S side of the cloister and traces of the adjoining E range were visible in the N wall of the nave and chancel. Pre-Dissolution modifications included enlargement of windows and the addition of a parapet; post-Dissolution alterations were also recorded.
25-51 St Mary Axe and 9 St Helen's Place TQ 3326 8131 (Nicholas Elsden & Vicki Ridgeway) SAY88.
Excavations funded by Spaxe Properties Ltd were conducted in several phases both before and after demolition, between July 1989 and August 1990.
Natural sand and gravels capped by brickearth were quarried in the earliest activity on the site, beginning in and perhaps confined to the Roman period. The quarries were infilled and overlain by dumps containing a large quantity of Roman painted wall plaster. These dumps were truncated by early medieval pitting for disposal of domestic rubbish and cess.
The Priory of St Helen was founded to the W of the site, in the 13th c. The chalk core of a wall and substantial foundations running N-S across the site, on the documented line of the Priory boundary, were presumably the remains of its precinct wall, surviving embedded in later walls. Within the precinct were deposits of garden soil, cut by rubbish pits. There were also chalk-lined cellars of two buildings, either contemporary with the Priory or belonging to the period immediately after its dissolution. The walls of one cellar, to the S, were faced with squared blocks, about half of them scratched with Roman numerals, probably masons' batchmarks. Brick-lined slots surviving in two corners probably held beams for a floor, stairs or some other structure. A ditch ran parallel to the Priory boundary and there were extensive dumps of waste possibly from an industrial process such as bell-founding. To the E, outside the precinct, foundations of rammed chalk and gravel probably represented pier bases in the church of St Mary Axe, documented from the 12th c and converted to secular use in the 16th c. To its S, the associated graveyard was marked by 9 burials; there were also two pits containing c 150 skeletons, without skulls, probably reinterred in the course of mid-20th c redevelopment. Post medieval brick cesspits, cellar walls and a well were also recorded.
The Roman painted wall plaster in the dumped deposits was of fine quality with a wide variety of colours, most still in very good condition. Designs partly pieced together include a column, roundels and other architectural motifs. Later deposits from within a 14th c pit were sieved, yielding much scrap from the manufacture of fancy knife handles: these had bone scales inlaid with jet and amber, and sheet copper alloy and iron endcaps and shoulder bolsters. Only one knife of comparable form has been excavated hitherto in London.
St Peter, Cornhill TQ 3302 8111 (Julian Ayre, Sarah Gibson & Bruce Watson) PTE90.
A watching brief was conducted during insertion of ground beams and renovation of the floor of the nave of the church of St Peter-upon-Cornhill, in August and September 1990, funded by the Proclamation Trust. Strata were removed to a maximum depth of lm (3.3ft), revealing column bases of the nave arcade, consisting of reused stone. A brick burial vault, memorial stones, lead coffins, coffin fragments and disarticulated human bone were also recorded. The burial vault was cleared in the 19th c, probably before refurbishment in 1889, when a mosaic tile floor was laid and pews were installed.
Tallow Chandlers' Hall, 4 Dowgate Hill TQ 3254 8088 (James Drummond-Murray) TAH90.
Insertion of new drain runs and floor slab in the basement of Tallow Chandlers' Hall, a post-Great Fire building and a scheduled ancient monument, entailed a watching brief in July 1990, in accordance with scheduled monument consent. This was funded by the Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers.
A masonry foundation at least 1.50m (5ft) wide, running N-S, is interpreted as representing a Roman wall on the W bank of the Walbrook or possibly a building to the W of the bank. Dumps in the Walbrook valley were cut by masonry foundations for an internal partition wall running W-E, associated with a beaten clay floor, probably part of the kitchen under the original medieval hall. This was sealed by demolition debris derived from destruction of the hall in the Great Fire. Oak sill beams, oak joists and pine studs, with lath and plaster, survived from the rebuild of the hall, behind modern refacing in the existing basement.
Tunnel in Threadneedle St TQ 3290 8120 (David Sankey & Drew Shotliff) TED90.
Remains of a Roman building with masonry wall foundations and tile and opus signinum floors were recorded in a tunnel under the existing street.
Vintry House, Vintry Place TQ 3239 8080 (Robin Brown, Lis Dyson & Dick Malt) VHA89, VRY89.
An extensive watching brief has continued on this large Thames side development since 1989, preparatory to excavations that are expected to take place in 1991 (see 68 and 69 Upper Thames St, LA 6 no. 6 (1990) 167), by arrangement with Wates (City) Ltd.
Roman and early Saxon deposits were overlain by naturally-lain alluvial mud, indicating a rapid rise in sea level. This was followed by a sequence of buildings, dated to the 10th-early 11th c, with walls and roofs supported by posts. Wattle stakes marked internal partitions or structures; one building had at least 6 successive floors, one made of planks and others marked by brushwood and compacted silt; and timber edging to a tile hearth was repaired at least once. Outside the buildings were wattle fences; waterlain sand and gravel against the S face of one of these showed that it had acted as a riverside revetment.
At least 6 further revetments have been recorded, dated by their carpentry from the 12th to the 16th c, indicating progressive reclamation and migration of the waterfront to the S. Carpentry techniques include a form of scarf joint not recorded before in London and a back-braced edge-trenched mortice and tenon joint dove-tailed in three directions. The latest revetment, a chalk and Kentish rag wall founded on an elm timber raft, was on the line of the existing riverside wall. To the N chalk foundations, including some built on split beech timber rafts, indicated buildings on the reclaimed land.
To the S of the existing Vintners' Hall was a set of tile-built hearths, separated by low tile walls and extended and repaired, reusing roof tiles on edge, at least three times. These were probably part of the kitchens of the original hall, in use until the Great Fire of 1666 when the hall was destroyed. Other strata were removed by modern basementing and foundations.
Spoil from the pile holes on the site was metal-detected with the help of members of the Society of Thames Mudlarks, producing a very large assemblage of well-preserved early and late medieval ceramic and inorganic finds. In addition to large quantities of dress fittings, coins, trade seals and waste products of metal working, numerous badges were found commemorating pilgrimage and denoting personal allegiance. Notable in the latter category is a small pewter hart-and-tree badge used by Richard II and his followers, the first example found in London. Deposits in the coffer dam in the river produced a large pewter plate with the letter V on it, possibly signifying its use by the Vintners' Company. Other finds from the coffer dam include an elaborate pewter crucifix badge of late 14th-15th c date, a 15th c Talbot badge of allegiance to the Earls of Shrewsbury and a small lead ingot with the mark of the Plumbers' Company, paralleled by one found at Nonsuch Palace, Surrey. A wattle-lined cesspit at the N end of the site contained two almost complete wooden bowls, a large boxwood comb and Spanish and German pottery of late medieval date.
Wardrobe Court, 9-10 Wardrobe Place and 1-2 Addle Hill, and 57 Carter Lane TQ 3189 8104 (Caroline Mamwell) WAP88.
Trial excavations funded by Warnford Investments PLC were conducted in the basements of two standing buildings to the N and E of recent excavations and watching brief observations (see LA 6 no. 6 (1990) 167). Quarry pits for brickearth were identified and the form of the ‘western stream' of the Roman city (see LA 5 no. 12 (1987) 328-334) clarified at this part of its course. The latter channel was steeply incised on its E side to a relative depth of at least 4m (13ft); it had a flat base and was at least 14m (46ft) wide. The waterlain silts filling the channel contained pottery of early medieval date, indicating that it remained open until then. Later intrusive features included post-medieval brick-lined cesspits and an adjacent well.
24-30 West Smithfield, 18-20 Cock Lane, 1-4 Giltspur St TQ 3181 8153 (Brona Langton) WES89.
Excavations were carried out in the single basements of standing buildings at 1-4 Giltspur St and 18 Cock Lane, in May and June 1989. After demolition of these buildings further excavation took place both there and in an unbasemented area to the N and W, next to 24-30 West Smithfield, from September to December 1989, followed by a watching brief. This work was by arrangement with Vestey Estates Ltd, formerly Commercial Properties Ltd.
Natural sand and gravels were cut by pits, one of which contained Late Bronze Age pottery. In the early Roman period pits were dug to quarry gravel. These were then backfilled with rubbish or left to silt up. Later the site was partly levelled up with brickearth, pits were dug and hearths were used, perhaps for an industrial purpose. These features were truncated by a series of at least 127 burials, forming part of an extensive late Roman cemetery. These burials, including 14 chalk burials, were orientated variously, but generally N-S or W-E. The density of burials was variably localised, some phases of graves coinciding with pitting and rubbish disposal and one small area remaining free both of graves and pits. The cemetery deposits were cut by intrusive medieval rubbish or sand-lined pits, chalk foundations and gravelled surfaces, cut in turn by post-medieval brick cellar floors, drains and wall foundations.
The Late Bronze Age pottery is a substantial bucket urn of post-Deverel-Rimbury type. It is unusual to find a complete vessel of this kind in the City. One of the Roman burials, of a child, contained 10 bracelets of shale, copper and bone, as well as a silver earring and a glass bead necklace. Another grave contained 5 copper alloy bracelets, a silver earring and an intact Nene Valley ware colour-coated beaker. A jet necklace of more than 220 beads in segmented, faceted and other shapes was found with another burial. Two burials were accompanied by decorated bone combs, one of which is a rare form: a double-sided comb made of composite materials, dated to the 4th c. One of these combs was situated behind the skull and was presumably a hair comb in situ. A copper alloy ring was found on the finger of another skeleton. One body was buried with a wooden box containing jewellery and cosmetic equipment.
Among other finds were an iron barrel-lock, key and chain, in a medieval pit, and a bone syringe, copper alloy candle snuffers and a large 17th-early 18th c Staffordshire slipware dish.
Broadgate phases 12–13: Norton Folgate and Primrose Street, EC2 TQ 33380 81990 (L Dunwoodie)
Five testpits were examined. Pits had been dug into natural brickearth; but there was no dating evidence.
Brooks Wharf, 48 Upper Thames Street, EC4 TQ 32220 80800 (C Rosborough)
Eight testpits were monitored. Land reclamation deposits probably of medieval date were recorded.
Blossom’s Inn, 3–6 Trump Street, 20–27 Lawrence Lane, 2–4 Russia Row, EC2 TQ 32410 81250 (Sarah Gibson)
Three testpits were excavated, two of which revealed extensive Roman deposits. In one, an E-W ragstone wall, almost certainly Roman, survived to a height of 1.35m. In the other waterlaid deposits, which may have been associated with a tributary of the Walbrook stream, were recorded. They were overlaid by a Roman road surface.
Bull Wharf, 16–19 Queenhithe, 66 Upper Thames Street, EC4 TQ 31760 81070 (D Lees and J Ayre)
This investigation was begun in 1990 but largely undertaken by MoLAS from the beginning of 1992 until 1996. The work up to the end of 1993 is described here.
Excavations were undertaken in the S half of Bull Wharf Lane as part of the large waterfront redevelopment commenced to the NE in 1990–1 (see UPT90), next to the medieval inlet of Queenhithe (a Scheduled Ancient Monument). The earliest structure found was a N-S earthfast post and plank revetment which marked the E edge of Queenhithe dock; it is dated by dendrochronology to 1146. To its S and W were the remains of the posts of a robbed revetment which indicated that the E edge of Queenhithe was moved about 3m to the W. This reclamation can be dated to between 1146 and 1151. Further to the S groups of timber wedges, set into the foreshore to secure the angled front-braces of a timber waterfront, indicated the robbed remains of a W-E revetment. Recorded at the S end of the trench were four substantial posts over 3m in height and a number of planks forming a W-E revetment dated to 1181. This was a continuation of a structure first noted during the previous redevelopment of Bull Wharf in 1979 (BLL79 above). Its position and form indicates that the E edge of Queenhithe had again migrated to the W. (*FigBUF which revetment)
The revetment sequence was sealed by dumped make-up deposits and road surfaces. The earliest road surface was well preserved, over 10m in length and edged with reused timbers as kerbs. The latest surfaces were associated with arched chalk foundations with greensand walls and tile floors of riverside buildings from the 13th to the 17th c. They often respected earlier revetment alignments, indicating a continuity of property boundaries. One particular rubble and mortar foundation contained over 30 dressed greensand stones, some with recognisable architectural features.
8 Crosby Square, EC3 TQ 33140 81250 (Sarah Gibson)
Test-pits found natural gravels truncated by the footings or slab of the standing building.
75–77 Cornhill, EC3 TQ 32940 81140 (Sarah Gibson and D Dunlop)
In nos. 75–77 natural gravels and brickearth were truncated by the double basement slab. In the S and E of the site, in No 74, a large SW-NE ragstone wall was exposed immediately beneath the single basement slab; it is probably an internal partition wall dividing the N range of the Roman basilica and forum, very close to its NW corner. Beside the wall was Roman demolition material which also occurred in another testpit where it sealed Roman occupation layers, probably within the basilica. Also recorded was a linear cut interpreted as a robbed foundation cut for an E-W wall within the basilica which, if projected, would join with the E side of the W portico.
32 Furnival Street, EC4 TQ 31220 81490 (J Drummond-Murray, J Henderson and R Sermon)
A building, probably of early 19th c date, was surveyed and recorded before demolition. It comprised a cellar, three floors with timber floor frames and stud partition walls, within a brick shell, and roof.
34–35 Furnival Street, EC4 TQ 31210 81510 (J Henderson)
Four testpits found mostly sand and gravel; there were some pits, probably medieval.
Opposite no.1 Gutter Lane, sewer trench, EC2 TQ 32250 81240 (Sarah Gibson)
Tunnelling for a sewer linkage was monitored. Deposits about 1m deep from basement level were recorded, the best section showing destruction debris, including scorched brickearth, followed by brickearth make-up for a clay floor.
20–21 Lime Street, 8–11 Ship Tavern Passage, EC3 TQ 33070 80985 (D Shotliff)
Six testpits and two boreholes showed over 2m of Roman strata.
Paternoster Square, EC4 TQ 31950 81250 (Sarah Gibson)
Testpits and boreholes were examined, most of which revealed modern debris, though natural brickearth survived in a testpit in Panyer Alley/ 45 Newgate Street (in the pre-1960s configuration of buildings), with a possible Roman building above.
British Telecom tunnel, Old Broad Street, EC2 TQ 33025 81366 - 32990 81223 (D Sankey and A Westman)
The remains of three Roman buildings, a Roman road and a medieval building were recorded in a tunnel together with evidence of associated external activity. A collection of Victorian pottery and hand-made glass vessels for mixing chemicals were also recovered; one of the pots being marked with the address 53 Threadneedle Street. The archive contains notes on the glass and pottery.