A Roman timber rake head , c 30cm wide, with iron tines, from Drapers' Gardens, London
Reconstruction of a Roman Street Scene at Drapers' Gardens

Secrets of the Gardens

Archaeologists Unearth the Lives of Roman Londoners at Drapers' Gardens

Secrets of the Gardens: Archaeologists Unearth the Lives of Roman Londoners at Drapers' GardensBeneath Drapersí Gardens, on Throgmorton Avenue, in what was once a damp and uninviting quarter of the Roman city of Londinium lies a buried valley, the Walbrook. Excavations by Pre-Construct Archaeology between 2006 and 2007 provided further confirmation that this area was home to some of the more unpleasant industries of the town, as well as producing some remarkable and unexpected finds, including a hoard of metal objects buried in a fourth century well.

Buried along with the rest of the settlement under centuries of detritus the land was bought from Henry VIII in 1543 by the Drapersí Company, regulators of the cloth trade in the City of London. The Companyís ĎGreat Gardení remained largely undisturbed for over 400 years, an oasis of calm in the thriving and bustling financial centre. This resulted in fantastic preservation of the Roman remains buried beneath, despite the construction of one of the tallest buildings in the City here in the 1960s. These conditions, combined with the particular soil conditions of the Walbrook Valley and the sheer size of the area excavated, led to the remarkable survival of a near complete urban street with associated buildings spanning many years of the Roman occupation.

Illustrated in full colour throughout Secrets of the Gardens is aimed at the general reader and presents a picture of the site as revealed by a selection of the structures, watercourses, outstanding finds and environmental evidence uncovered. It includes the story of the excavations themselves and the problems inherent in excavating a site whilst simultaneously demolishing one of the tallest towers in London, a history of the Draperís company and the planning and design that has gone into the new building.

Publication Details

Paperback: 80+ pages incl DVD
Publish Date: 2009
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0-9563054-1-1
ISBN-10: 0-9563054-1-5
Dimensions: 21 x 21 x 0.5 cm
Price: £9.95
Available from Oxbow Books or direct from PCA

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Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd
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