The Thameslink Project is proving a treasure trove for archaeologists and historians. Hundreds of artefacts including medieval floors, 16th century tobacco pipes and thousand-year-old timbers have been unearthed as Network Rail pushes ahead with the £6.5 billion Thameslink Programme.
Archaeological work during the building of the new Borough viaduct threw up extensive remains from Roman, Saxon, and Tudor London. A 14th century flagon, thought to have been used to serve ale at the Abbot of Waverley’s town house, is now on display in the Wheatsheaf Pub in Stoney Street.
‘We believe from its distinctive white clay that it was made in Cheam between 1350 and 1440,’ said Jackie Keily, curator at the Museum of London, which gave permission for the jug to be displayed in the Wheatsheaf. Meanwhile London Bridge is still serving 52 million passengers a year as engineers build a brand new concourse the size of Wembley Stadium. Locals have wisecracked that much of the work is long overdue.
During the excavation of the original brick arches at London Bridge station timber piles from trees felled between AD59 to AD83 were discovered. The finds are being used to deepen understanding of Roman London, Boudicca’s revolt and the medieval defence systems used long ago.
All the finds and records will be deposited with the Museum of London at the completion of the work.