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Roman Industry in Southwark


The Romans conquered lowland Britain in the years follownig the invasion in 43 AD. London was founded around 47 AD, according to tree ring dating of early timbers drains in the City. Southwark was founded at approximately the same time as a settlement benefitting from its location on the south end of London Bridge. Archaeologists have found temples, bathhouses, mansions, shops, workshops, wharves and warehouses in the area showing that it was an important part of Roman Londinium.

At Guy's was found the remains of a large Roman boat - a flat bottomed 'lighter' and the remains of a jetty at least 30m long made of wood. A timber tank for storing fish or oysters was found.

Near the Courage Brewery Site archaeologists found the complete wooden floor of a riverside warehouse. Nothing like this has been found anywhere else. The basement would have been cool and so it may have been used for storage of food or drink - it had a ramp at the entrance ideal for rolling barrels.

Roman storage jars - for transporting wine, fish sauce and olive oil have been found in abundance.

At the same site were found evidence of iron smelting and copper-alloy casting. Red deer antlers were also carved into household objects such as combs, handles and buttons.

There is also evidence of animal butchery, smithing and baking.

To find out more read:

Cowan, Carrie, 'Below Southwark - the archaeological story' London Borough of Southwark, 2000



Wooden Floor of Roman Warehouse excavated in Southwark
What the warehouse may have looked like

Roman Bone Comb

Next Page - Medieval Southwark

Page updated 12 Nov 2004
Ind. Rev.

The Lost Industry of Southwark Project is supported by:

the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs

Project Director- Kevin Flude

Email Kevin Flude. Cultural Heritage Resources

To find out more on Southwark visit the SOUTHWARK LOCAL STUDIES LIBRARY
& buy the excellent book by Leonard Riley entitled 'Southwark - an illustrated guide.'

Page template last updated 29 Dec 2010