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While rebuilding some of London’s most iconic landmark stations the Thameslink Programme has unearthed history that had previously been buried deep beneath the soil for thousands of years.

We’ve worked closely with our partners, including Costain, Oxford Archaeology and Pre-Construct Archaeology, to learn more about the history of the ancient settlements around London and share our findings with a wider audience.

Archaeological discoveries at London Bridge

Hundreds of historic artefacts have been discovered and preserved during excavations under the ancient arches of London Bridge station. They include a wealth of everyday objects used by people who lived and worked in the area over the preceding centuries, and are now offering insight into the very first settlement at London Bridge.

Artefacts include:

  • Timber piles constructed from trees felled between AD59 to AD83, which may have formed part of a substantial waterfront building on the edge of the settlement south of the first London Bridge
  • Medieval floor and wall fragments which may have been part of the large houses along Tooley Street, which are known to have belonged to important clerics such as the Prior of Lewes
  • Kilns for making clay tobacco pipes, dating from the 16th to18th centuries.

Archaeological discoveries at Borough

Archaeological work during construction of the Borough Viaduct uncovered an array of remains from the Roman, Saxon, medieval and more recent periods. They provide a fascinating insight into the formation and growth of the ancient settlement at Southwark.

Some of the most fascinating finds include:

  • Traces of early Roman military occupation
  • Evidence for the Boudican revolt
  • A Roman bathhouse under Borough High Street, that was previously unknown
  • Substantial evidence for the Saxon / medieval defences of the settlement
  • The remains of townhouses belonging to important medieval clerics and the St. Saviour’s / Park Street burial ground.

The future

The results of our work are currently being analysed by archaeology experts from Oxford Archaeology and Pre-Construct Archaeology for future publication. All the finds and records will be deposited with the Museum of London.

Uncover more about our discoveries

Southwark Cathedral is hosting ‘Stories of Archaeology in Southwark’ – a day long series of talks about archaeology in the local community – on Saturday 28 July 2018. The event will include an hour long talk by Amelia Fairman, Senior Archaeologist at Pre-Construct Archaeology and Oxford Archaeology, the team that undertook the Thameslink Programme fieldwork.

Tickets cost £8.50. To book, visit Southwark Cathedral’s Eventbrite page

The Government-sponsored Thameslink Programme is transforming north-south travel through London. Find out more about how the Thameslink Programme is creating new railway infrastructure and stations, leading the way in adopting new digital technology and providing new trains.

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