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VI. An Account of various Roman Antiquities discovered on the site of the Church of St. Michael, Crooked Lane, and in Eastcheap, in forming the northern Approaches of the new London Bridge; communicated by Alfred John Kempe, Esq. F.S.A. in a Letter to Henry Ellis, Esq. F.R.S., Secretary

  • Alfred John Kempe

Extract

In forming the northern or City entrance on the new London Bridge, it was thought expedient to construct a Sewer of very large dimensions under the line of approach; for this purpose, on the removal of the church of St. Michael, Crooked Lane (which stood on an immemorially ancient consecrated site), a transverse section was commenced of the eminence which rises from Thames Street towards the heart of the City. This excavation was made as deep as the low-water mark, about fifty feet below the present surface of the crest of the hill. In the course of the above operation, and of preparing for the construction of the northern land arches of the new bridge, three distinct ancient lines of embankment were discovered. These successive bulwarks, by which ground was gained by degrees from the Thames for the wharfs of the port of London, are not however the object of the present communication. Careful notes of these circumstances, as indeed of all other which relate in a constructive point of view to old London Bridge and the adjoining banks of the river, have been, I know, made by the Gentleman who has already contributed some of them to the Archæologia of the Society, and who will, I trust, be induced in the same way to follow up a subject for which he has acquired such good materials, and in connexion with which he has formed such a curious collection of articles of antiquity, particularly of the Roman era.

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      VI. An Account of various Roman Antiquities discovered on the site of the Church of St. Michael, Crooked Lane, and in Eastcheap, in forming the northern Approaches of the new London Bridge; communicated by Alfred John Kempe, Esq. F.S.A. in a Letter to Henry Ellis, Esq. F.R.S., Secretary
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      VI. An Account of various Roman Antiquities discovered on the site of the Church of St. Michael, Crooked Lane, and in Eastcheap, in forming the northern Approaches of the new London Bridge; communicated by Alfred John Kempe, Esq. F.S.A. in a Letter to Henry Ellis, Esq. F.R.S., Secretary
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      VI. An Account of various Roman Antiquities discovered on the site of the Church of St. Michael, Crooked Lane, and in Eastcheap, in forming the northern Approaches of the new London Bridge; communicated by Alfred John Kempe, Esq. F.S.A. in a Letter to Henry Ellis, Esq. F.R.S., Secretary
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References

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page 191 note a Stow's Survey, edit. 1613, p. 408.

page 191 note b See them represented in the Gentleman's Magazine for April 1831, p. 295.

page 191 note c Plate XLIV. figure 8.

page 192 note d Varying from ten to fourteen inches in diameter.

page 192 note e It might be expected that the Roman Potter's ware found at St. Michael's would be greatly mingled with that of the middle age. I found, however, only one fragment which I could certainly say was such, and this appears to be of the thirteenth century, and is very remarkable. It bears a shield impressed with three chevrons, the Arms of Clare, and appears to have been also covered (perhaps ornamentally, and not heraldically) with fleurs-de-lys. Few earthen vessels of the gothic age are, I believe, known; metal, wood, and leather being a that time extensively employed in those for household purposes. Of the earthenware of the sixteenth century (which may be reckoned the first of the modern era) we discover many relics; particularly vessels decorated with bearded heads. One of these, in my possession, a bottle found on the site of the old Boar's-head Tavern, in Eastcheap, has a venerable bearded visage on the neck, and underneath, a shield, bearing on a pale three mascles, below which is the date 1594.

page 192 note f “In the year of grace one thousand five hundred thirty and one the course thereof was found by a man that digged gravel thereof to mend the high way. It was in this place (St. Alban's) eighteen foot broad. The yellow gravell that was brought thither in carts 2000 years passed, remained fresh and strong,” &c—Holinshed's Description of Britaine, p. 112. folio edit.

page 192 note g One of these tiles, in my possession, very much resembles in form an oblong Roman shield having an umbo in the centre; see the Sketch. They are very rudely formed, and are probably the work of the Britons when they were beginning to adopt the Roman arts and customs. See on that subject Tacitus in vit. Agricolae. Edit. Elzvir, p. 731.

page 192 note h Edit. 1613, p. 324.

page 192 note i Annal. lib. xiv. Edit. Elzvir, p. 362.

page 193 note k Billingsgate, Dowgate. It is coincidentally remarkable that the entrances in the cliffs to the Isle of Thanet from the sea-ward, are called gates. Westgate, Kingsgate, Margate, Kamsgate, &c.

page 194 note l Andrian, act i, seen. 2.

page 194 note m Tectura augustum, ingens, centum sublime columnis

Urbe fuit summa. Virg. Æn. lib. vii, line 169.

—Vicina astris Erycino in vertice sedes,

Fundatur Veneri Idaliae. Ib. lib. v, line 759.

page 194 note n Several pieces of this pavement have been preserved by Simon Johnson, of 41, Joiner Street, St. Olave's, an intelligent labourer employed in the works.

page 196 note o Arcliaeologia, vol. viii.

page 196 note p On an altar discovered at Shields is carved a sacrificial vase containing five sprigs of ivy. See Gibson's Caraden, p. 783. A piece of Samian ware from St. Michael's has a moulding impressed with a running pattern of the flowers of the lily.

page 196 note q Od. vii, lib. 2.

page 196 note r Od. xxxvi, lib. 1.

page 197 note s Od. xxiii, lib. 3.

page 197 note t Sat. vii.

page 197 note u Nat. Hist. lib. xxxv, cap. 46.

page 197 note x Ibid.

page 197 note y See their communications to Mr. Gough and Dr. Combe in Archeeol. vol. viii. pp. 116, 127.

page 198 note z Antiq. Rutup. p. 133.

page 199 note a See Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. xiv, cap. 27.

VI. An Account of various Roman Antiquities discovered on the site of the Church of St. Michael, Crooked Lane, and in Eastcheap, in forming the northern Approaches of the new London Bridge; communicated by Alfred John Kempe, Esq. F.S.A. in a Letter to Henry Ellis, Esq. F.R.S., Secretary

  • Alfred John Kempe

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