163-167 Bermondsey Street SE1 TQ 33291 79565 MoLAS (Jez Taylor) evaluation January – February 2004 Buxton Homes BWU04
Two trenches were evaluated adjacent to the street frontage, and smaller localised investigations were carried out towards the rear of the property. A layer of peat was recorded at –0.27m OD, sealed by naturally deposited alluvial clay at c 0.55m OD. Several phases of in situ masonry buildings were identified, provisionally dated from the medieval period through to the 19th century. Of greatest significance were three substantial E-W ragstone walls, which may be surviving elements of Bermondsey Abbey precinct. The south face of the southern-most wall was fully exposed in localised areas, revealing a truncated depth of masonry, c 1.5m, overlying timber pile foundations. At the surface, the three walls were visible across the breadth of the site and they will be further investigated when work recommences. Other significant structural features included medieval chalk foundations for an internal room with a pitch-tiled hearth, and overlying post-medieval brick walls that follow the same building alignment. There was also evidence of a post-medieval brick drain and garderobe in an alley between two of the ‘Abbey’ walls. All medieval/early post-medieval masonry has been preserved in situ and protected within a breathable ‘terram’ skin.
County Terrace, 93–95 New Kent Road SE1 TQ 3232 7970 MoLAS (Bruce Watson) watching brief May 2004 Oakmayne Properties Ltd NKN04
There was no evidence to confirm that this site was occupied until the post medieval period. It appears that this low lying area, to the south of Watling Street was fields until the development of the County Terrace public house and adjoining properties during the 19th century. A thick layer of top soil containing 18th and 19th century material including broken bricks, clay pipe stems and 19th century pottery was found.
Former St Michael’s church, Lant Street, SE1 TQ 3217 7979 MoLAS (Tony Mackinder) evaluation August 2004 Squarefoot Properties Ltd MCL04
Two evaluation trenches were excavated on the site. Archaeological deposits were recorded in section and plan. Natural ground was observed between 1.95m OD and 2.08m OD, above this were two different types of soil horizon, one appeared to be post-medieval, and the other was undated. Several post-medieval features cut these. There were also several brick floors and walls, three brick wells or soakaways dated to the late 17th century, to the 18th century and a brick lined cut dated 1820-1850. Finally there were several ground raising dumps. The modern ground level was between 4.33m OD and 4.46m OD.
The George Public House, 23 Keyworth Street SE1 TQ 3187 7936 MoLAS (David Sankey) watching brief March 2004 McCabe Builders Ltd KWT04
Two trial pits were monitored and natural gravels were observed at 0.3m OD. No archaeological remains were observed.
137 Great Suffolk Street SE1 TQ 3223 7967 MoLAS (Carrie Cowan, Kevin Appleton) evaluation March-April 2004 watching brief August-September 2004 Alan Camp Architects GEF04
A ditch containing late Roman pottery dated 350–400 was found. More Roman pottery, which probably derived from ploughed out Roman features, was found in the ploughsoil interface with the overlying post-medieval layer. There was no evidence of any settlement and it is likely that the ditch formed a field boundary or drainage ditch.
A medieval pit containing pottery dated 1270–1500 was found and several sherds of medieval pottery, which probably derived from ploughed out medieval features, were found in later contexts. Two post-medieval pits were also found; one was dated to the 16th century. Post-medieval dumped layers built up the land during the post-medieval period but there was no evidence of marshland and these might simply represent agricultural use. Clay pipes dated the layers to 1660–1800.
A later watching brief recorded several ditches, interpreted as being field boundaries of probable Roman date. No datable finds were recovered during this phase.
Grotto Court, 77-78 Great Suffolk Street, The Borough, London Borough of Southwark SE 1 TQ 3202 7975 MoLAS (Raoul Bull) watching brief May 2004 Oakmayne Properties Limited GTC04
Post-medieval archaeological garden soil deposits, brick foundations and a brick lined well were present beneath the existing modern ground slab. Beneath the post medieval soils lay a thin subsoil showing evidence of light vegetation. The subsoil overlay a silty sand deposit derived from underling natural gravels and contained a single sherd of abraded Roman pottery. Natural sand and gravel was observed at 1.85m OD. The highest survival of archaeological deposits occurred at 2.85m OD.
82-96 Old Kent Road, SE1 TQ 33130 78780 MoLAS (Paul Thrale) excavation August–September 2004 Mount Anvil Construction Limited OKO04
The site revealed evidence relating to the Roman, Medieval and Post-Medieval periods. Significant features include the 1st-2nd century foundations of a large Roman structure that may be an occupational building or possible mausoleum associated with a roadside cemetery. A 1st-2nd century, cremation burial and a 3rd century possibly disturbed burial pit were also found close to this structure.
Three linear cuts were uncovered in the north of the site that ran parallel to the present Old Kent Road that is thought to be on the alignment of the Roman Watling Street. It is possible that these linear features may be roadside ditches associated with Watling Street
The level of the slab varied between 2.51m and 2.64m OD. Modern ground level immediately adjacent to the site is 2.68m OD.
The first archaeological deposits recorded were possible 17th-19th century agricultural and garden soils recorded across the site at heights of between 1.90m OD and 2.12m OD.
Natural sand and gravel deposits were recorded at heights of between 0.88m OD in the south of the site in Trench 7 and natural sand deposits were recorded at 0.76m OD in the north in Trench 1. Overlying the sand and gravel deposits, natural sandy silt was recorded at heights of between 1.60m OD in the south of the site in Trench 6 and 1.46m OD in the north of the site in Trench 1.
201 – 203 Old Kent Road SE1 TQ 3335 7862 MoLAS (David Sankey) evaluation February 2004 Strand Construction Ltd ODN04
An elongated pit – or part of a property boundary ditch system – was sampled. Large fragments of Amphora, Black-Burnished jars and table ware were present. The site lies adjacent to the Old Kent Road (London to Kent Coast).
The Final Furlong, 162 Grange Road SE1 TQ 3361 7913 MoLAS (Carrie Cowan) evaluation March 2004 Alan Camp Architects GNU04
A ditch was found containing Roman pottery and tile which adds to the pattern of Roman activity in the Grange Road area. Three pits were also found on the site; the earlier two were dated to the late 17th to 18th-century and one to the 19th century. The site had been extensively truncated by 19th century activity.
Potters Fields SE1 TQ 3452 8006 MoLAS (David Sankey) evaluation March 2004 Berkeley Homes POE04
Information was retrieved on the levels of Pleistocene Gravels and on sandy lag or levee deposits left by the meandering Thames during (broadly) Mesolithic times. These deposits were later to become the surface of Horsleydown Eyot. Also, potentially, there were indications of a contemporary palaeochannel of the Thames. The extent and depth of alluvium, left by the tidal floods and river transgressions, and post-medieval ash dumps was mapped. Re-used timber piles driven into the alluvium were traced, and post-medieval cesspits and walls were recorded. Finally, the extent and degree of truncation by later warehouses was mapped.
60–62 Queens Road, Peckham TQ 34785 76741 MoLAS (David Saxby) evaluation April–August 2004 BPM Project Management QNR04
Four trenches were excavated on the site each measuring 10m by 2m. These revealed landscaping features including plough marks, a bedding trench and post-hole dating to the 18th-19th century.
St George’s Garden, Southwark SE1 TQ 32550 79780 MoLAS (Paul Thrale) watching brief November 2004 Southwark Council SGO04
Two brick structures, possibly vaults associated with the churchyard, were recorded and partially excavated during the watching brief,. They had been backfilled prior to the conversion of the burial ground to a public park in 1887. Several re-deposited 18th-19th century gravestones and two possibly in-situ grave markers were also recorded. No in-situ burials were removed. Archaeological deposits were recorded in plan, the highest survival of archaeological deposits occurred at 5.20m OD. Natural ground was not observed.
Stoney Street & Clink Street, SE1 TQ 32539 80403 – 32589 80315 MoLAS (Bruce Watson) watching brief July-August 2004 EDF Energy VWS03
A watching brief was carried out to monitor the excavation of new service trenches along of the length of Stoney Street and Winchester Walk. For previous work here see LA Roundup 2004, CNK99 & CSA00. Work along Stoney Street revealed two portions of the masonry foundations of the 13th century kitchen attached to the Great Hall of the Bishop of Winchester’s Palace (SAM left in-situ) and another foundation, interpreted as a later addition to the south side of the medieval kitchen range. There were 16th or 17th century brick-built additions to the kitchens, including wall foundations and a possible drain or soakaway. Away from the area of the kitchens was evidence of soil horizons, probably part of the palace kitchen garden, post-medieval levelling dumps and rubbish pits.
Along Winchester Walk there was extensive evidence of levelling dumps of post-medieval and medieval date. On the site of the Bishop of Winchester stables and tennis court, brick wall foundations a concrete floored drain of 16th or 17th century date were found. All these structures here had been robbed out during the mid 17th century when the present street was created. Later post-medieval activity on the site of stables and tennis court consisted of levelling dumps and a rubbish pit. Due to the depth of trenches during this phase of work Roman deposits and natural geology were not reached.
St Christopher House, Southwark Street SE1 TQ 3200 8030 MoLAS (Jane Corcoran) geoarchaeological watching brief and excavation April-July 2004 Land Securities Ltd SCH03
The site is about 200m from west to east and stretches from the margins of the Hopton Street Eyot across the ancient landscape feature known as the Bankside Channel. A series of sections, aimed at obtaining a profile across the channel, were excavated through the alluvial stratigraphy, which was as much as 7m deep in the eastern part of the site. From the records and samples obtained it will be possible to reconstruct the characteristics of the Bankside Channel from the Mesolithic period onwards. Provisional radiocarbon dating has shown that much of the 'channel' was dry land in the Mesolithic and Neolithic, when a lake may have existed beyond the southern boundary of the site and evidence for human activity includes a stake or post and burnt flint spreads. By the Bronze Age rising river levels had led to most of the eastern part of the site lying within the influence of the river (probably the Thames), with peat representing wet marshy ground fringing the eyot. Two timber structures were found, one of substantial cleft alder logs the other more flimsy, which may have been platforms. Both were dated to 1500-1290BC. They had been constructed, not in the peat at the edge of the eyot, but in channel marginal deposits, adjacent to what may have been tidal creeks or inlets. Less direct influence of the river was found in the Iron Age when another timber platform (radiocarbon dated 800-400BC) was constructed of alder logs in shallow water at the eastern edge of the site. It was laid on a brushwood mat and rested on a central timber, with a row of upright stakes at either edge and was supported on piles. By the Romano-British period the entire site appears to have been relatively dry land, subject to seasonal flooding and at least partly used for coppicing. However, at about this time a dramatic landslide appears to have taken place, perhaps a result of a flash flood or other event, that scoured the eastern edges of the site, breaking the platform into segments that slid, encased in blocks of sediment into an eroded void. The exact nature of this event is not yet established, nor its cause and impact. But it is very likely that an event of its scale will have been witnessed by the Romano British or early Roman occupants of the Borough High Street eyots.