The Cluniac priory and abbey of St Saviour Bermondsey, Surrey: excavations 1984-95

T Dyson, M Samuel, A Steele, Susan M Wright, 2009

Data copyright © Museum of London Archaeology unless otherwise stated

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Primary contact

David Bowsher
Project manager
Museum of London Archaeology
Mortimer Wheeler House
46 Eagle Wharf Road
N1 7ED
Tel: 020 7410 2285

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T Dyson, M Samuel, A Steele, Susan M Wright (2009) The Cluniac priory and abbey of St Saviour Bermondsey, Surrey: excavations 1984-95 [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]


Excavations by Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) on the site of the Cluniac priory and later abbey of St Saviour Bermondsey took place between 1984 and 1995. There is evidence for Middle and Late Saxon settlement, a small Late Saxon/ early Norman chapel, the development of the church and conventual buildings, and the reuse of the site following the Dissolution.

The project was published following a joint venture between English Heritage and the Museum of London Archaeology Service:
Tony Dyson, Mark Samuel, Alison Steele and Susan M Wright, 2011, The Cluniac priory and abbey of St Saviour Bermondsey, Surrey: excavations 1984-95, MOLA Monongraph Series 50

Contents of the digital archive

The full paper and digital archives, and most of the finds from the project are publicly accessible in the archive of the Museum of London, and can be consulted by prior arrangement with the Archive Manager at the London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre (LAARC), Mortimer Wheeler House, 46 Eagle Wharf Road, London N1 7ED ( The human bone assemblage (with the exception of WTN84 which was reburied) is accessible to researchers in good standing by prior application to the Senior Curator of Human Osteology at the Centre for Human Bioarchaeology (CHB), Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN (

The post-excavation project was not designed with digital dissemination in mind; indeed the various sites were not originally intended to be published as a single monograph. However, the published report and important parts of the digital archive are being made available through ADS as part of the English Heritage Rescue of Complete Archaeological Projects (RECAP) to ensure continued access for researchers, particularly those not based in London.

The post excavation assessment was carried out prior to 1997 and the bulk of the post-excavation analysis was carried out between 1997 and 2003.

  • Stratigraphic report: a table listing the sites included in the project. No Level III archive reports are available
  • Post-excavation project design (August 1997)
  • Finds reports: building material assessment, ceramic tobacco pipe assessment, registered finds assessment, prehistoric and Roman pottery assessment, post-Roman pottery assessment, Saxon pottery report (all BA84); worked stone assessment (BA84 and VIN88); conservation assessment (project)
  • Documentary reports: documentary assessment (project) and notes filed by source and type.
  • Environmental reports: BA84 animal bone assessment; TOB 95 assessment of processed samples; publication project plant remains assessment
  • Human bone report: post-assessment level report
  • Matrix files: output from the Bonn Harris matrix programme, for BA84 only
Site plans
  • An AutoCAD drawing for each site with digitised context outlines
  • A document file listing the main drawing conventions

Most data tables were originally recorded in the MoLAS Oracle relational database. Most of these tables were transferred as .LST files (simple text files with the pipe separator "|"). This is how the Museum of London makes osteological information available over the web from the Centre for Human Bioarchaeology site (see All files have been presented on the ADS site as comma separated values (.csv).

Please note that some Periods recorded in the Oracle database were altered during final analysis and publication. A concordance table is provided to link the database to the publication text. Also, alongside the human bone tables, a table presents the summary inhumation list used in the preparation of the publication text it lists contextual information and age/sex data from the Oracle database, and the concordance between period and land use at data entry and publication stage.

Some animal bone was recorded on a UNIX system (Informix). These are made available as .csv files. Separate data tables were created for each site code. Metadata for the Informix database is provided in the form of a draft LAARC document informix_documentation_guide.

The post excavation assessment was carried out prior to 1997 and the bulk of the post-excavation analysis was carried out between 1997 and 2003.

Note that the inhumed human bone database presented here is that produced by Bill White and Brian Connell during the preparation of the published report. The inhumed human bone assemblage has been re-analysed and recorded as part of its transfer to the CHB (see above). The new database is available for download from the CHB website.