Museum of London Archaeology are carrying out archaeological excavations over a period of about sixteen weeks, as part of the redevelopment of the Three Quays site on Lower Thames Street. The new building, designed by Architects 3DReid is replacing early 1960s offices. Forme UK are spearheading the interior design on the project. The new building will be the latest addition to Cheval Residences' porfolio of luxury serviced apartments. Cheval Residences are funding the archaeological investigations and subsequent analysis and publication of the results.
The works are being monitored by the City of London’s Historic Environment Manager to ensure compliance with the conditions for planning consent. The investigations comprise excavations at the locations of new foundations for the building so that remains can be recorded prior to construction. The foundations have been designed to avoid significant historical features on the site, which include a section of the foundations of London’s Late Roman (3rd Century AD) river wall. Other features that may be encountered include earlier Roman timber revetments/waterfronts, medieval timber revetments (likely to date from the 13th century onwards and advancing ‘into’ the Thames over time) accompanied by possible evidence of shipbuilding or other riverside activity. Post-medieval remains will also reflect the site’s riverside setting and, in the end, comprise the brick warehouse foundations of Galley, Brewer’s, and Chester Quays, which were destroyed by bombing in the Second World War, and the 19th-century, brick river wall.
Given the waterlogged nature of soils comprising in-fill dumps behind the waterfronts and riverbank deposits a wide range of artefacts, including the timber waterfront structures are likely to be found in very good states of preservation. Early findings include a medieval timber-lined drain and the tops of medieval timber waterfronts. The archaeology of the majority of the site, unaffected by new foundations, will be preserved in situ beneath the new building.