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The archaeology of Roman London Volume 1: The upper Walbrook in the Roman period

Catharine Maloney with Dominique de Moulins

CBA Research Report No 69 (1990)

ISBN 0 906780 91 8


Title page of report 69

This report attempts to examine the early development and environment of the upper Walbrook valley in the City of London in the 1st to 4th centuries. It is based on the results of archaeological investigations of 1981-4 mainly in the western half of the valley at 2-3 Cross Key Court/15-35 Copthall Avenue/43-49 London Wall, 4-6 Copthall Avenue, 8 Telegraph Street and 23 Blomfield Street, an area which in recent years has been, and continues to be, subject to redevelopment. These sites provided evidence of the prehistoric streams of the Walbrook, and of the development, decline and changing environment of the area in the Roman period. For the first time detailed information about the nature of the prehistoric streams was forthcoming. This is important for, as this study will attempt to prove, interference in the natural drainage pattern during the Roman period radically altered the Walbrook valley, causing the stream to flood and eventually creating a marsh which was not completely drained until the 17th century. A study of the prehistoric stream and its environment not only provides part of the background to the early history of London but also highlights one aspect of the Roman achievement which, although it ultimately failed, nevertheless provided an impetus for the eventual reclamation of the whole of the Walbrook valley in the City.


  • Title pages
  • Contents (pp v-vi)
  • List of figures (p vi-viii)
  • List of plates (p ix)
  • Acknowledgements (p ix)
  • Summary (pp x-xi)
  • French and German summaries (pp xii-xvi)
  • 1 Introduction (pp 1-14)
    • Geological and topographical background (p 1)
    • Previous work in the Walbrook (pp 1-4)
    • Uses of the Walbrook valley (p 5)
    • Background to the excavations (pp 5-7)
    • Organisation of the report and figure conventions (pp 7-9)
    • Dating evidence and finds (pp 9-14)
  • 2 Natural topography (pp 15-25)
    • 15-35 Copthall Avenue (Stream 1) (pp 15-19)
    • 4-6 Copthall Avenue (Stream 2) (pp 20-21)
    • 23 Blomfield Street (Stream 3) (p 21)
    • Discussion (pp 26-46)
  • 3 Period I reclamation and drainage (pp 28-31)
    • 15-35 Copthall Avenue (controlled excavation) (pp 25-)
    • 15-35 Copthall Avenue (watching brief) and 44 London Wall (pp 34-39)
    • 43 London Wall (pp 39-)
    • 8 Telegraph Street (p 40)
    • 4-6 Copthall Avenue (p 40)
    • 23 Blomfield Street (p 40)
    • Dating (pp 42-44)
    • Discussion (pp 44-46)
  • 4 Period II buildings (pp 47-69)
    • 15-35 Copthall Avenue (controlled excavation) (pp 47-56)
    • 15-35 Copthall Avenue (watching brief) and 44 London Wall (pp 56-60)
    • 43 London Wall (p 60)
    • 8 Telegraph Street (p 60-61)
    • 4-6 Copthall Avenue (pp 61-63)
    • Dating (p 63)
    • Discussion (pp 63-69)
  • 5 Period III Late Roman developments (pp 70-78)
    • 15-35 Copthall Avenue (controlled excavation) (pp 70-72)
    • 15-35 Copthall Avenue (watching brief) and 44 London Wall (p 72)
    • 43 London Wall (p 72)
    • 8 Telegraph Street (pp 72)
    • 4-6 Copthall Avenue (p 72-75)
    • Dating (pp 75-77)
    • Dicussion (pp 77-79)
  • 6 Period IV Post Roman development: a summary (pp 79-81)
  • 7 Summary finds report by J Groves (pp 82-84)
  • 8 Environmental analysis by D de Moulins (pp 85-115)
  • 9 Tree-ring dating by J Hillam (pp 116-118)
  • 10 Conclusions by C Maloney (pp 119-125)
  • Appendix: 15-35 Copthall Avenue plant remains (pp 126-150)
  • Bibliography (pp 151-152)
  • Index (pp 153-155)

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The archaeology of Roman London Volume 1: The upper Walbrook in the Roman period (CBA Research Report 69) PDF 10 Mb