Prehistoric pot from Hunts House
18th century pottery from a cess pit

Excavations at Hunt's House, Guy's Hospital

London Borough of Southwark, PCA Monograph 1

By Robin Taylor-Wilson

PCA Monograph No.1 Excavations undertaken during the redevelopment of Hunt's House, part of Guy's Hospital in Southwark, London revealed sporadic periods of activity from the late Mesolithic period until the present day. The site lies on what was low-lying marshland on the eastern margins of two islands which became the focus of Roman occupation in Southwark.

The earliest activities on the site indicated periodic exploitation of the marsh's natural resources and Guy's Channel, a natural watercourse, was certainly being used by river craft in the Roman period. Early 2nd century waterfront installations recorded along the channel were abandoned in c. AD 170, possibly due to severe flooding, Dryer conditions followed during the 3rd and 4th centuries and a network of drainage ditches were dug. Enclosures, possibly for livestock, were also identified and a timber-walled structure may have been used for storing amphorae, Pottery from this period suggests a nearby shrine while other finds indicate leatherworking, leadworking and the processing of animal carcasses in the vicinity. Further embanking of Guy's Channel in the mid/late 4th century suggests rising river levels at this time with industrial activities continuing nearby, possibly into the early 5th century.

Ditches found across the site may represent 5th-century fields which were covered by thick alluvial deposits resulting from sustained flooding until c. 1300 when attempts to drain the area resumed. Eighteenth century soakaways, cesspits or wells were all that survived of the post-medieval houses which occupied the site before the construction of Hunt's House.

Publication Details

Paperback: 150 pages
Publish Date: 2002
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0-9542938-0-2
ISBN-10: 0-9542938-0-0
Dimensions: 29.3 x 20.6 x 0.4 cm
Price: 10.00 (Out of Print)
Free online version (PDF)