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Roman bath house unearthed at Thameslink site

20 September 2011

2,000 years of history have been unearthed by our engineers following the discovery of Roman bath house ruins in Southwark.


The ruins were discovered on land being re-developed as part of the congestion-busting Thameslink programme. Believed to be one of the biggest Roman finds in London on the south side of the River Thames, they were uncovered on the corner of London Bridge Street and Borough High Street.

We have commissioned a team of specialist archaeologists from Oxford Archaeology and Pre-Construct Archaeology to excavate the site, which has been earmarked for the construction of a new office block.

Although work is at an early stage, the bath house appears to include a range of rooms including a cold plunge bath as well as hot rooms warmed by underfloor heating. Elsewhere on the site, substantial walls have been found that are thought to belong to predecessors of St Thomas’ hospital, which used to stand on the site.

Chris Place, one of our rchaeologists said: “This is a significant find and offers a further insight into London’s long history. In Roman times the main settlement was on the north bank of the River Thames and was connected to the settlement at Southwark by the first London Bridge. Much archaeological work has been done in Southwark over the years, but we were still surprised to discover ruin of this nature and size.”

We are exploring ways, with the London Borough of Southwark, of preserving the remains beneath the new building to be constructed on the site. Where appropriate, key finds will be deposited with the Museum of London where they will be available for public study.