London’s Waterfront 1100–1666: excavations in Thames Street, London, 1974–84
by John Schofield, Lyn Blackmore and Jacqui Pearce, with Tony Dyson. Hardback; 210x297mm; xxiv+514 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (132 colour plates). English text with summaries in French and German. 422 2018. Available both in print and Open Access.
Printed ISBN 9781784918378. £90.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784918385.
London’s Waterfront 1100–1666: excavations in Thames Street, London, 1974–84 presents and celebrates the mile-long Thames Street in the City of London and the land south of it to the River Thames as an archaeological asset. The argument is based on the reporting of four excavations of 1974–84 by the Museum of London near the north end of London Bridge: Swan Lane, Seal House, New Fresh Wharf and Billingsgate Lorry Park. Here the findings of the period 1100–1666 are presented.
Buildings and property development on sixteen properties south of Thames Street, on land reclaimed in many stages since the opening of the 12th century, include part of the parish church of St Botolph Billingsgate. The many units of land reclamation are dated by dendrochronology, coins and documents. They have produced thousands of artefacts and several hundred kilos of native and foreign pottery. Much of this artefactual material has been published, but in catalogue form (shoes, knives, horse fittings, dress accessories, textiles, household equipment). Now the context of these finds, their deposition in groups, is laid out for the first time. Highlights of the publication include the first academic analysis and assessment of a 13th- or 14th-century trumpet from Billingsgate, the earliest surviving straight trumpet in Europe; many pilgrim souvenirs; analysis of two drains of the 17th century from which suggestions can be made about use of rooms and spaces within documented buildings; and the proposal that one of the skeletons excavated from St Botolph’s church is John Reynewell, mayor of London in 1426–7 and a notable figure in London’s medieval history.
The whole publication encourages students and other researchers of all kinds to conduct further research on any aspect of the sites and their very rich artefactual material, which is held at the Museum of London’s Archaeological Archive. This is a significantly large and varied dataset for the archaeology and history of London in the period 1100 to 1666 which can be continuously interrogated for generations to come.
About the Authors
JOHN SCHOFIELD was an archaeologist at the Museum of London from 1974 to 2008. He has written several well-received books on the archaeology of London and of British medieval towns; and as Cathedral Archaeologist for St Paul’s Cathedral, archaeological accounts of the medieval and Wren buildings.
LYN BLACKMORE is a Senior Ceramics and Finds Specialist who has worked for MOLA and its predecessors since 1986. During this time she has established the Anglo-Saxon fabric type series for London, has contributed to the Type-Series of London Medieval Pottery and has published widely on aspects of post- Roman pottery. Her special research interests are the development of London and the role of local, regional and imported pottery and finds in trade and exchange. In 2009–14 she was Assistant Treasurer of the Medieval Pottery Research Group and in 2017 was elected co-editor of its journal Medieval Ceramics, a role she first held in 1989–94.
JACQUI PEARCE is a Senior Ceramics Specialist with MOLA, focusing especially on medieval and later pottery, on which she has published widely. She joined the Museum of London’s Department of Urban Archaeology in 1977 and has played a major role in the development and publication of the Type-Series of London Medieval Pottery. She has served as Joint Editor of Medieval Ceramics, as well as of Post-Medieval Archaeology and is currently Joint Editor of English Ceramic Circle Transactions. In 2017 she was elected President of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology.
TONY DYSON was the principal documentary historian and general editor at the Department of Urban Archaeology of the Museum of London from 1974 to 1998.