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A Roman Settlement and Bath House at Shadwell: Excavations at Tobacco Dock and Babe Ruth Restaurant, the Highway, London

Lookup NU author(s): Professor James GerrardORCiD


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Excavations in 2002 by Pre-Construct Archaeology on two adjacent sites south of The Highway in Shadwell have revealed the presence of an extensive late Romano-British settlement. The sites lie on an escarpment overlooking the north bank of the Thames, over a kilometre beyond the walls of Londinium. The area’s importance first became apparent in the 1970s through the discovery of monumental masonry and third-century settlement and burial evidence, although the nature of this activity has remained controversial.At Tobacco Dock, Roman activity increased dramatically in the third century when the natural escarpment was terraced and clay-and-timber buildings, drains and water tanks were constructed. In the subsequent excavation beneath Babe Ruth restaurant to the east, a substantial and well-preserved masonry bath housewith hypocausts, an apse and ready access to fresh spring water. A well-appointed clay-and-timber building to its north apparently serviced the needs of the baths and its visitors. The rich finds assemblage includes a gold ear-ring and necklace, suggesting the presence of wealthy women at the baths, alongside bracelets, finger rings and a large collection of hair pins. The pottery includes an unusual late assemblage of imported samian and amphora whilst the animal bone and palaeoenvironmental remains provide a wealth of information about the local environment, economy and diet, including rare early evidence for the elusive black rat.This volume presents the evidence for Roman Shadwell as revealed by these excavations and considers its place within the broader context of Londinium and its hinterland.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Douglas A, Gerrard J, Sudds B

Publication type: Authored Book

Publication status: Published

Series Title: Pre-Construct Archaeology Monographs

Year: 2011

Volume: 12

Number of Volumes: 1

Number of Pages: 224

Publisher: Pre-Construct Archaeology

Place Published: London

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9780956305428