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Old 08-03-2010, 07:29 AM
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Default Medieval roof finial found beside Thames

Medieval roof finial found beside Thames

08-03-2010 07:29 AM

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Tue, 2010-08-03 15:23


Medieval roof finial found beside Thames


Medieval roof finial found beside Thames

Source: The Daily Guardian

Terracotta in the shape of an animal would have decorated a grand tiled roof at a time when most people lived under thatch
A scrap of muddy terracotta found on a bank of the Thames has provided a rare glimpse of the grandeur of medieval London before the Great Fire.
The roof finial, up to 800 years old and in the shape of an animal, would have decorated a grand tiled roof at a time when most people lived under thatch. It was found by a mudlark – one of the small army of amateur archaeologists who scour the beaches and mudflats of the river at low tide.
The finial is a rare find. The fire of 1666 obliterated much of the medieval street pattern and led to changes in building regulations to prevent fire spreading again with such disastrous speed.
Roy Stephenson, head of archaeological collections at the Museum of London, said: "It gives a fascinating insight into the lost roofscape of medieval London, which we know relatively little about. Here we have evidence of a decorated tiled roof, possibly from a prestigious private dwelling."
Mudlarks have operated for centuries along the Thames, now working under licence from the Port of London authority and the Museum of London. Their finds, ranging from Victorian boots to Roman rings, are reported to experts under the portable antiquities scheme.
Experts at the museum will now clean and study the finial, and their progress can be followed online at www.museumoflondon.org.uk







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