Roman London – 4. Timber from a Roman quay

Hidden away in the porch of the church of St Magnus the Martyr on Lower Thames Street, next to London Bridge, is a timber beam which is believed to date from the city’s Roman era and which once formed part of the city’s wharves.

Found, according to a plaque upon the wood, in 1931 under Fish Street Hill, the wood dates from around 75 AD, shortly after the first attempt to create wharves along the riverbank in about 50 AD and about 10 years after Boudicca and her rebels torched the city.

The Roman port did become an important trading centre, continuing to expand during the following two centuries before decline set in during the 400s.

The first controlled excavation of a Roman quay took place in 1973 and have continued sporadically since.

WHERE: St Magnus the Martyr (nearest tube station is Monument); WHEN: Access to the site can be undertaken at any reasonable time; COST: Free.

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