Work to improve London Bridge station as part of the Thameslink upgrade is giving archaeologists their first access to this important historical site since the Victorians carved it up with railways around 150 years ago. Substantial Roman remains, as well as foundations and objects from the Saxon and Medieval times, have recently been uncovered, reports SE1 website.
Besides the station dig, the area has recently seen extensive mud-shovelling to build The Shard and The Place, as well as reworking bridges and buildings around Borough Market. The turmoil is yielding a steady stream of discoveries on this most ancient part of London, settled by the Romans at the same time as Londonium across the Thames.
Perhaps the biggest find is the remains of one of the earliest buildings known in Southwark. A pit near Joiner Street has yielded 17 timber piles, part of a structure from the first century AD. Little is known about this eastern edge of Southwark in Roman times, and these are exciting times for excavators. Two years ago, a Roman baths was found on Borough High Street.
Most discoveries will go to the Museum of London. As part of planning consent, a display area of artefacts will also be constructed in the new London Bridge station.
SE1 website has a lengthy report with photographs.
The image at top, by the way, is a model of Roman London found in the basement of All Hallows by the Tower. It was built in the 1920s and lacks a few major Roman landmarks — most notably the amphitheatre now under Guildhall — that had yet to be discovered.